Beyond the Check on the Checklist

January 7, 2021
Fedjine Mitchelle Victor

Happy New Year, friends! I am so excited to be stepping into a new year filled with new opportunities and chances. One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of the year, or semester, is to create a vision board or to write out my goals in list form. Goal setting is such an important part of my process as a student. I’d like to share a few tips towards fulfilling goals that I consider as I go about my year! 

Start Small:

Yes, it would be amazing to get over procrastinating overnight, but it's a process! Give yourself credit for the little wins! Set obtainable and consistent small steps that help you build toward the bigger ones. One example of this would be writing a few pages of a big assignment a day. Here, you have a consistent small goal that you can achieve daily that is also contributing towards your larger goal of a finished paper.


It is harder to put off tasks when other people are relying on you. Getting an accountability partner to whom who you express your goals, and letting them help verify your progress is extremely helpful. I know it’s very tempting to do all your hard work behind closed doors and come out a changed person, but I recommend trying to invite others into your process. Set up reading groups with friends if your goal is to read more, have someone randomly text you weekly or daily inquiring about your tasks if your goal is to be consistent. 

Adjust as Needed:

I know you said in December that you would finish 3 workouts by the first week of February but it's January 22 and your workout clothes are still in the hamper. (I’m definitely speaking from experience here). One really helpful tip is to leave room for change in your schedule. The feeling of being behind can be discouraging sometimes, so adjusting and pivoting allows you to account for days you won’t feel motivated and times when things come up. One example of this would be if I planned to work on my Junior paper for about an hour Monday and Wednesday, but I leave Thursday night open in case I don’t get to it on either of those days. Or, after working on my paper Monday, I decide to work Tuesday as well to leave Wednesday open for another assignment.  

Appreciate Progress:

Appreciate the days where you only consider working on things or even days where you don’t get work done, but you’re productive on something else. Your process and progression are just as important as the finished product. Yes, we want to see finished assignments and things checked off the list, but the process is important too. Having a time constraint on your goals is overrated. Take your time and progress mentally and change your mindset. The experience of persevering and or struggling is important to the goal. Explore that. 

These are a few things I consider at the beginning of my year or semester as I set goals and set the tone of my year. These are in no way the only way to go about things, but suggestions based on things that work for me!