As I’m finishing up my last semester of college, to say that I’m eager and ecstatic is an understatement. This has been a very long journey. I was initially supposed to graduate from one school over the course of 4 years. Instead, life had a different plan for me. Five years, four different schools, and three degrees later… I’m finally closing this chapter.
I’ve worked two jobs while attending school full-time, commuted over 40 miles to go to night class, retook a couple of math courses, and had to put my social life on hold a numerous of times.
It definitely has not been easy, but I’ve come up with some methods that have helped me stay focused:
Create a Goal Board
First, I placed my goal board on the wall right across my bed, that way I could wake up to it everyday as a reminder.
I chose 4-9 goals I wanted to complete and wrote them down on flash cards and hung them on a string with clothespin.
I then hung a second string below my goals. When I would finally accomplish one of my goals, I would then move them down to the second string.
To help me put more effort into completing my goals, I would put a deadline on a post-it and place it on the goal.
Have a Weekly Planner
One of my favorite planners to use is the Productivity Planner. I am definitely a procrastinator when it comes to completing homework assignments, and this specific planner has helped me stay on task.
In my planner I have:
- Inspirational quotes
- Top tasks to complete
- Additional tasks when the prioritized ones are completed
- A reward when everything is done
It makes life easier to have all your reminders of responsibilities in one spot. Using this planner made me more organized and helped me manage my time better.
Mark Your Calendar
Incase you lose your handy-dandy planner that you carry with you at all times, having a calendar in your home is also very useful.
I mark on my calendar weekly goals or something I would really want to do.
For example: Week 1– Lose 2 lbs. Week 2– Go hiking. Week 3–Revise resumé. Week 4–Go to the movies.
Create a Two-Year Plan and a Five-Year Plan
This is an exercise that made me uncomfortable at first because it forced me to breakdown what I really want in life and how I’m going to get there. I put these plans in the notes app on my iPhone and then add to it when I want to. Some of the goals I even put up on my goal board in my room!
My two-year plan:
- Graduate from college
- Pay off two credit cards
- Lose 20 lbs
- Move out– new state/city
My five-year plan:
- Committed relationship
- Steady income
- Own a home
- New car
- Explore 4 other countries
The second part of this which is the hardest, is writing down how you’re going to accomplish these goals. How much time are you going to put in and what actions are you going to continue, try, or stop to get there.
It’s intimidating, but it helps you visually see that all your goals are achievable.
Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You
Three years ago an old friend once told me, “If you want to soar with eagles, you can’t be messing around with chickens.”
The people you surround yourself with a majority of the time eventually become your influencers. You’ll adopt a certain way of acting, being, and speaking.
I have a diverse group of friends in my circle, but one thing we all have in common is that we are career and goal-driven. We teach, support, and inspire each other in many different aspects in our lives.
Having a group of girlfriends that I look up to inspires me to work more diligently everyday to get to where I dream of being.
It’s easy to get side-tracked or feel moments of self doubt. There have been many times that I’ve wanted to quit and give up. I hope these tricks help you stay focused and motivated with whatever goals you want to accomplish!
Here is where you can purchase my favorite planner: