New term, new you: Goal-setting tips to make this your best term yet

Students walking on campus along Tatham Centre

Welcome to the start of the new fall term!  For some of you, this may yet again just be another year, another term.  For others, this upcoming term could mean something entirely different.  This could be a brand new chapter in your life. 

Whether you’re a new or returning student, setting goals for the term is an important asset in helping you achieve what you want for the next four months.  Here are some handy tips to consider when coming up with your short and long-term goals for fall 2017.

1. Use the "SMART" acronym

Make sure your goal is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based enough for you to accomplish. Following this method will help you brainstorm goals that are most certainly achievable.

"SMART" goals diagram

2. Have a variety

Your goals don’t necessarily have to be academic! Perhaps you want to work towards landing a job in your field of study. Maybe you want to spend more quality time with your friends. Keep in mind that all aspects of your life are vital to your personal development and plan your goals accordingly.

3. Ensure you have help and resources available

Sometimes you won't be able to accomplish a goal without the assistance of others. If you ever need help achieving your goal, your friends, family, dons, peers and campus workshops are just a few supports you can reach out to.

4. Set up a timeline

That way, you can keep track of the tasks you have to complete and you are one step closer to accomplishing your goal each time you meet a deadline! It’s also an effective method to not only keep yourself busy, but review your progress throughout the term. That being said…

5. It's all about progress

A quote, "It's not about perfect.  It's about effort.  And when you bring that effort every single day, that's where transformation happens.  That's how change occurs.  Some goals aren’t achievable within a matter of four months, and that’s okay! This is when long-term goals come into play. Focusing on what you have accomplished so far will allow you to maintain a positive perspective on your goal and celebrate the achievements you’ve made along the way.


It can be challenging to make goals and stick with them. Don't forget to check out the Student Success Office's online resources for additional goal setting tips and other personal development strategies. Hopefully, these tips will help you plan for the future, maintain a positive mindset, and stay motivated!

Best of luck setting your goals, UWaterloo.  We believe in you!

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