Goal Setting for College Students | Carina Troche | Skillshare

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Goal Setting for College Students

teacher avatar Carina Troche

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Define Your End State

    • 3. Confidence

    • 4. Action

    • 5. Routine

    • 6. Rewards

    • 7. Obstacles

    • 8. Tracking

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About This Class


  • You’re busy with university and work obligations
  • You have a hard time “staying motivated”
  • And you don’t know where to start.

If you’ve struggled to find the time to pursue that side project ….

If you’ve started out well only, only to get distracted by a million other commitments ….

If you want to get GOOD at things, but can’t find the discipline to follow through…


  • How to set ultra-specific goals that align with your overarching mission
  • Confidence-boosting techniques to master your inner psychology and become a top performer in your field
  • The simple hack you can use challenge limiting beliefs and rewrite invisible scripts in a matter of seconds
  • The exact process I use to create an action roadmap for my goals
  • How to leverage the power of routines and incremental habits
  • When to use rewards – and how they help you follow through
  • A step-by-step guide to contingency planning – so you can recover quickly when things go wrong
  • 5 simple techniques to measure you progress and stay on track

Meet Your Teacher

Hello, I'm Carina. I'm the Founder of the TheWellbeingWishlist.com and I help students all across the world find a good balance between wellbeing and professional and academic success.

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Karina. I'm the founder of the well-being wishlist, and I help students all across the world find a good balance between well-being and academic and professional success. In this class, I'll teach you how to set goals that you actually stick to you. You'll learn how to create an action roadmap, build the right habits and reward yourself for success. You'll also learn how to overcome any obstacle you would encounter. So you can leave this class feeling 100% confidence in your goal. I'm excited to get started and look forward to seeing you inside the class. 2. Define Your End State: Before we talk about the nuts and bolts of goal setting, I want to challenge you to think about your end states. What this means is that we'll look beyond your goal and see how it fits into the bigger picture of your life. The reason why we're doing this is because it's so important to understand the why behind your goals. It's only when you know what you want and why you want it, that you can lay out a good strategy to accomplish. And it's much better to figure it out at this stage if a goal isn't right for you, well, you're not emotionally invested in its success. Don't worry at this point, if it all sounds a bit complicated, because I've got a few practical exercises to walk you through the steps. First, Let's think about the bigger picture. Where do you want to be five years from now? What do you want to accomplish and experience in this lifetime? I know that especially for younger people, this can be a bit tricky to answer. But think about it this way. The clearer your picture of your future, the easier it will be to fit your goal into that. And if you're really having a hard time with this, which I totally get, Imagine yourself 60 years from now. You're an old man or woman, but you'll terminally ill. You have fun memories of your childhood and your early twenties, and you cherish many precious moments on this planet. What would you like to tell your younger self? And what would a perfect life of looked like? Or if you want and slightly less morbid exercise, what would you do if you had all the support and money in the world, but you only had a one more year to live. It might seem weird to think about this, but reminding ourselves of our own mortality can be a very powerful way to shift our focus back to our core values. Do you take as much time as you need to think this through and feel free to pause this video. When you come back, we'll take a look at how your goal fits in overarching vision. Suppose you wanted to become a researcher. It's quite easy to see how a goal of getting good grades and college would fit into that. Doing wealthier undergrad masters can make it so much easier to find a professor who's willing to guide you during your PhD. But what if you're planning to go down the entrepreneurship route and you've always dreamed of starting your own business. Sure, if your business is in their teaching sphere, good grades and college might give you that credibility and competitive edge that you need. But sometimes it may seem like it's not a natural fit between that long-term vision, that grand idea of what you want to do in life, and a short-term goals that you want to pursue. In that case, it makes sense to see if you can change your goals so it does line up with your vision. For example, I have a friend who wants to work in the tech space. He loves doing a coding stuff, but he doesn't study computer science that you need. That's why for him, it's much more important to learn everything he possibly can about the software development area. And he just makes it a priority to excel in our classes that will help in this field. Now it's your turn. Take a moment to reflect on whether your goal aligned with your vision. If not, what can you do to make it more of a natural fit? The last thing I want to talk about in this lesson, It's about making your goal ultra specific. Many people sell to achieve their goals not because they're lazy, not because they lack willpower, but simply because a goal wasn't any good. Often it's because our goals are way too vague and we have no clue what to do. Take that goal we had just now about getting good grades and colleagues. That's a prime example of a vehicle. It's much better if we can narrow a goal down to a precise outcome. For example, I'm aiming to get at least an a in classes x and y and a b in class D. How does that sound? Or instead of saying, Oh, I'm looking for a summer internship, Why don't you have a goal like, I want to find a marketing internship at a tech startup in San Francisco. The next thing to check off your list is to see how realistic your goal is. This is important because if your goal is not realistic, you will odds of accomplishing that are very slim. That too, I want you to think about whether you have the time, the resources, and the energy you need to pursue that goal. For example, if your goal is to work as a marketing manager in a field where you need 10 years of experience. I'm not sure how realistic that is for someone coming right out of college. And that case might make sense to go back to the drawing board, rewrite your goal into something that's more attainable. Or to take the necessary courses to develop the skills that you need. So you can accomplish that goal a few months, a year, five years from now. And finally, I want you to think about whether your goal is your number one priority. Sometimes we set goals because they seem cool, but actually don't mean that much to us. For example, I always thought it would be cool to travel around the world, but I'm not, I'm not very fond of air travel. Select traveling to South America, going on a plane to Australia. Seems nice. Sounds nice. I know it's not for me. That's why it's always good to check if we're pursuing a goal because we really wanted or one of our friends for it was a cool thing and we picked up from them. So do that sanity check just to be sure. 3. Confidence: When we talk about goal-setting, most people think of a Libre planning, setting up good habits and following through. And yes, all of that stuff matters. But one thing that distinguishes that top 5% from all the average guys is confidence. The real stars in football, academia, or any other field are those that know without a shadow of doubt that they are going to succeed. Now you might think that these people are just really smart, talented, and dedicated. If you look closely, what sets them up for success is the sheer trust and ambition with which they pursue their goals. They don't care if they miss a shot or if their paper gets rejected. For them. All that matters is accomplishing their goal. When most of us have long given up, they continue until they succeed. And if it takes them months or even years. So BM, what we can learn from this as the fact that if you want to excel in college, I worked for the best companies and enjoy unprecedented levels of success. The first thing you need to do is develop a winning mindset. Because if you keep thinking, you'll fail, chances are you will. But if you believe you can succeed, you set a first step towards success. To develop that level of confidence in yourself, I'd like to start with a small exercise. Basically, we all have a mean voice in the back of our heads that doubtless, I like to call this voice or inner critic. It looks back on our past failures at wonders of a risk of taking action. And it might even tell you that you'll never mountain much. Now this inner critic comes in all shapes and forms and its main task is to fill your limiting beliefs. These are thoughts like, Oh, I'm not cut out for this, I'm not good enough or never accomplish that those types of sentences, you get the idea. Now, for a little exercise, take a goal that you're currently working on and write down all the limiting beliefs associated with it. For example, if your goal was to start your own business, you might be like, Oh, I'll never find funding. I'm not good enough to start my own business. How do I know I have the expertise? All of those doubts that you have. You might have lots of these, so feel free to pause the video. And when you're done, also, you exactly how to challenge these beliefs and turn them into empowering statements that encouraged you to succeed. Done. Okay? One of the easiest ways to challenge your limiting beliefs is to rewrite them from the perspective of a growth mindset. What this means is that instead of focusing on what you can't do yet, you focus on actions you can take to make your goal attainable going forward. For example, if you believe that you'll never get an a in your statistics class, you could decide to meet your professor and get feedback on the areas that you struggled with. I put another example on the slide, but the whole concept behind this is that we shake up the idea of failure and replace that with an image of success. So now next to or under each limiting belief or you've previously written down, reframe that, and rewrite that into either a pathway or an image of success. Once you're done, we'll go to the final step which is visualization. Visualization is a really powerful force because we're working directly with our subconscious. It's what professional athletes used before competitions. And you can use the same with any personal or professional goals you have. The wave visualization works is that you find a comfortable and quiet place to sit so you're undistracted on the stabbed. Once you're comfortable, you can then close your eyes because that makes it easier to imagine stuff. And then you enter into a state of gratitude. So basically banish all the doubt or the worries that you have. And simply imagine what it would be like to succeed. What would it feel like to accomplish your goal? What would you do? How would your life change for the better? Really go into that image? What does your life look like every day? How do you feel? What are you doing? Take a few moments to enjoy that vision of success. Once you feel really confident that that's the way things are going to turn out. You can then take a few deep breaths and come back. Anytime you notice yourself doubting your success. Anytime a limiting belief comes up, you've debunked that with a more growth mindset type belief, you can use visualization to reduce the doubts. You can use visualization to re-install that confidence. And it will help you anytime you struggle. Anytime we face a challenge. And it will help you get back on track when you're behind and ultimately move you much closer to success. 4. Action: Do you know that feeling when you've set a goal for yourself and then your bit scared to start. And you think, oh, maybe I should weigh a few weeks, this is not the best time. I get it. I've been there myself, especially with really big goals. It can seem a lot easier to put them off until we feel ready. But chances are a few weeks or months from now, your goal is going to be just as daunting as it is today. That's why it almost better to still start sooner rather than later. And that's why in this class I want to look at tackling perfectionism, head on. Perfectionism, often contrary deep-rooted fear of failure. But when we think about it, failing really isn't all that. It hurts. And you might feel awful for a few days. But there's nothing to stop you from trying again. And I mean, just by starting usually gets some part of it, right? And its multiplicity got 50 percent right of it, because you already half the way. That's much better than not making any progress are all on a more practical level. A really good way to combat perfectionism is by proactively starting those tasks that you keep the main, schedule them in your calendar and make sure they get done first thing. Now for your goal, I want to get you into action mode as well. And that's why for this lesson, your task will be to come up with an actual roadmap. And action roadmap is like a master document that details all the steps that you're going to take to accomplish your goal. Suppose your goal was to write an excellent tamper can impress your professor. Imagine you have eight weeks until submission. And in that time you need to read, plan, write, and review the paper. On this slide. I've given you an example of what your timeline and action steps for the next eight weeks could look like. Obviously, how you actually go about this is going to be different for each paper and VDD past, but you get the idea, basically for your action roadmap, what you're gonna do is you take your goal, you figure out where you are right now and where you want to go. And what you're gonna do in between that is roadmap doesn't have to be perfect and it's not set in stone either. As you start making progress towards your goal, you often learn as you go along and you'll see that one strategy works better than you anticipated or another doesn't work at all. In that case, it's totally fine to adjust your plan. I just want to encourage you to make an action roadmap now because that will guide you if you're feeling lost or if you're procrastinating. Once you're done, upload that to the class gallery. And if you need further information on how to go about this, there's a detailed description and a good example of an action roadmap in the project description for this class. 5. Routine: Most of us rely on motivation to help us accomplish our goals. We start out super enthusiastic, studying long hours and working out hard at the gym. But once the exciting novelty of our goal wanes off, we find ourselves struggling to stay on track. This is where having a good routine can really help. I would even say that it's the quality of our routines and habits that distinguishes the high flyers from those who just get average results. For example, who would you say gets better grades in college? The student who goes through his lecture notes after each class. What a student who cramps and puts into all-nighters before the final exam. Usually the people who come out top are those who value consistent, small habits over a crash and burn approach. So in this case, that would be all students revising off for each clause. This is because the results of actins compound over time, just like interest increases for every year that you save. And that's how success builds up exponentially every time you follow your set routine. And that's why in this lesson, I went to encourage you to build incremental habits and start figuring out which small steps you can take to move closer towards the milestones on your Action Roadmap. These incremental habits can be as small as reading for 10 minutes every day, picking up a journal article from the library or taking a lunchtime stroll around your block to keep your energy levels up. When designing your routine. I'd also like to encourage you to think about your environment. We all know how much harder it is to resist the temptation of sweets when we have a chocolate bar lying right in front of us. Just like our chocolate bar, any object and our surroundings can either make it easier or harder to stick to all habits. That's why I would like to encourage you to think about three principles that can dramatically increase or decrease your odds of success. Simplicity, visual cues and pairing. Simplicity is all about removing unnecessary distractions from your environment so your habitual behavior becomes a default choice. For example, de-cluttering your desk so you can start studying right away or turning off notifications on your phone so you don't get the structured. And we're working on that term paper. Visual cues work in a similar way. But instead of removing items from your surroundings, what you do is selectively placing certain objects to trigger a good habits. This could mean putting your gym shoes by your bed each morning. We're having a few healthy meals precooked in your fridge, so you just need to warm them up when you're hungry. And finally there's sandwiching or pairing. The way this works is that you squeeze your new habit in between other commitments on your calendar. For example, if you have classes from nine to 10 and 11 to 12 on a Monday morning, you could plan in a 50 minute study session and the library between them. Or you could bring out the trash every morning when you leave the house to go to work. Now it's your turn. Pick one small habits that will help you check off the milestones on your actual roadmap. Then think about what principles you can use to make that habit you'll default choice. How can simplicity, visual cues and pairing help you? In the next class, we'll talk about rewards and how you can use them to stay motivated and keep moving closer towards your goal. 6. Rewards: Rewards are part of the classic carrot and stick approach used by politicians, school teachers, and companies to motivate people. Unlike fines and punishment, which are part of the stick side of the equation, rewards make us feel good about ourselves and encouraged us to behave a certain way. When looking at the psychology of motivation, we can distinguish between two types of rewards, intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards include the satisfaction that we get from doing a good job, the joy of taking on a challenging task and succeeding. They are our most important drive. But when that drive fails on next best alternative is an external reward like a cash prize or a core experience. Large external rewards can make instantly gratifying behaviors like watching TV see much less appealing because we know that we're only got the external reward if we accomplish a certain milestone. In that sense, external rewards can tip the balance in favor of habits that benefit us in the long run. However, the risk with external rewards is that a diminishing effect in the long run. And in addition to becoming less effective, they also reduce the impacts of intrinsic rewards. That's why it's important to be strategic about how we use them. Personally. I like to use external rewards in three cases. The first is when I have just achieved a major milestone and I went to celebrate my success. For example, when creating this online course, I could reward myself finishing the video scripts. This would encourage me to move to the recording stage much quicker and get the course filmed in a matter of days. The second time I like to use rewards is when I've just overcome a major obstacle and I'm feeling exhausted. For example, if I've just spent the last five hours restoring my corrupted essay naught for my hard drive. I might reward myself with a cup of tea and a relaxing comedy shell. The last occasion when I use reward is when I've just missed a milestone, but started taking action to get on track and I need some extra encouragement to keep going. Say despite my best intentions, I've missed an interim deadline at work and I've just reorganized my schedule to make things fit. In that case, I might take a quick five-minute break and enjoy the sun outside before I knuckled down at my desk. In this lesson, I want to challenge you to come up with one onto rewards that you can use to motivate yourself when you feel down or beginning to lose focus of your goal. Ideally, these reward that one-off experiences or things that are really special to you. So you don't end up working towards their goal only because you could pick on craving the reward. Some rewards that I like to use are planning a nice holiday, spending time with my dog or going out for dinner with friends. But feel free to pick anything that works for you. And it's course, feel free to share your rewards in the class gallery so they can inspire other students also taking this class. 7. Obstacles: In this video, we'll talk about obstacles. We all have them, the major and minor blockers that stop us from achieving our goals. The other day, for example, had been filming this class and can get some other footage to open in the video editing software. At that point, I had two choices. Refilled the footage, will stop wife in the class altogether. What I ultimately managed to fix the issue, this little anecdote disk goes to show what different approaches we can take when we encounter an obstacle. If we narrow it down, there's two fundamental options that we have. We can either persevere until we overcome the obstacle or cut our losses and give up. Either of these roots is perfectly fine provided each user intentionally. But as achieving your goal probably means a lot to you. I want to focus on how you can best prepare to deal with unexpected obstacles and how you can overcome them fast, no matter how much or how good you prepare, life will always have some sort of surprise in store for you. That said, it does make sense to prepare for any obstacles you might reasonably expect. Just like mountain years pack warm clouds and rain jacket for a long hike. You want to be ready for the road ahead. Suppose you have a test tomorrow and you need to take a bus to uni. If there's even a 50 percent chance of that boss being made, I'd recommend taking an earlier bus, cycling or finding alternative transport. Similarly, if you're applying for graduate jobs while dealing with exams at the same time, you might think ahead about how you're going to balance the two that can help you avoid overwhelming or long run. Well, each goal will have its unique set of stumbling blocks. There's a few obstacles that you're likely to encounter with almost any goal. The first is that life gets in the way and at the time you plan for work, no, no goal gets filled with other commitments. In that case, I encourage you to think about how important achieving Google is to you and whether or not it should have priority over other tasks and activities that you do on a daily or weekly basis. The second common obstacle is that you begin to lose momentum and start resenting yourself and your work. You might even begin to doubt your own ability and wonder if you're up for the ambitious goal. I totally understand. It's frustrating when you don't see immediate results. But this happens to almost everyone at some point. Just beware of negative self-talk because it is a real killer for your success. Instead, whenever you begin to doubt yourself, I encourage you to revisit the lesson on confidence to overcome your limiting beliefs. And finally, another mistake that I see with lots of people is not having a solid backup plan. A backup plan can tell you exactly what to do when things go wrong. Having one in places, a real lifesaver when you don't know how to recover from a failure and get back on track. Therefore, I'd like to encourage you to create a contingency plan with at least two ideas of what you could do for each obstacle that you went to dissipate. For example, if your goal is to a slot next exam, and one of the obstacles you will see is that you might not understand all the material. During your exam revision, you could arrange a one-on-one meeting with your professor, ask your friend to explain the difficult concept to you or look online for any additional resources. If you're feeling stuck and don't know where to start when creating this plan. I put together a few questions on a slide to get you started. Now it's your turn. Make a list of at least ten potential obstacles. And for each one, write down two ways you could overcome them. Be sure to upload your backup plans where clause is, this is a second and final part of your class project. Once you've done, feel free to move on to the next lesson, we will look at tracking and measuring progress. 8. Tracking: For this last lesson, let's take a look at how and why you should measure your progress. If you don't know what targets and milestones you want to hit, it is incredibly difficult to stay on track. Meanwhile, having time sensitive targets and checking your progress at regular intervals makes it so much easier to keep moving towards your goal. Tracking can not only nodule in the right direction, but also give you an advanced warning if you're falling behind. This lets you adjust your course right away, rather than realizing perhaps too late that you're going to miss your goal. Good progress measurement system will show you right away when it's time to use your contingency plan to get back on track. Another key benefit of tracking is that it gives you feedback on your progress by making a note of what you've been doing, you can see which actions and commitments are most valuable and meaningful for your goal and which activities have the smallest impact. Therefore, tracking can also show you how effective your behaviors and routines are and give you valuable hints on how to improve your action roadmap. Suppose you're studying for your exam and you track the percentage grades that you got on past papers at regular intervals throughout your revision period. Now, the grades that you get on those past papers will show you if you're learning the right concepts and if the revision you are doing is paying off. For example, if you can rereading your textbooks three times and you still don't get more than a 154% on past papers. Chances are we reading isn't doing you much good. Instead, you might be better off studying in a different way. For example, by writing essays, pretending to present the lecture content to a classmate, or meeting with your module leader to address any open questions. Also keep in mind that you are tracking system can be very simple or very complex depending on your goal. For example, if your goal is to work out each day, simply checking a box in your calendar when you complete out daily routine can be more than enough. Whereas if you're applying for graduate jobs, it might make more sense to keep a detailed spreadsheet with all of the information of the companies that you have applied to. Apart from spreadsheets and calendars, three other tools that I like to use to track my progress, or timers to-do lists and journals. Of course, there's many more techniques than this, but it doesn't really matter which system you use. As long as you're tracking works for you and gives you the information that you need to see if you're still making good progress. So pick at least one tracking system you will use to measure your progress towards your goal. Now that we've covered all the basic tips and tricks that you need to set and achieve your student goals. It's your time to execute on the material that I've taught in this class. By now, you should have the confidence to achieve your goal. A detailed roadmap of how to get there, a tracking system to measure your progress, and a contingency plan to rely on when things go wrong, all that's left is to take action and to start reaping those rewards. I wish you the very best of luck on your journey towards your goal. And if you liked this class, please leave a review down below and visit the well-being wishlist.com for more content around goal-setting, limiting beliefs in career advice for students and recent graduates. Thank you very much.