What is your goal?

Do you have a goal? Since you’re a member of Your Nursing Tutor, I’m going to guess that you have at least one goal: to become a nurse! Identifying THAT goal is easy…but did you know that you’re going to need to set a lot more goals than that in order to succeed in nursing school?

Today starts my blog series on the five essential steps of creating the perfect goals for your situation. These steps can be used in any area of your life, but I’m going to show you specifically how to use them to start seeing some major progress in your own nursing school experience.

Step One – Identify Your Goals

This is probably the step that you’re most familiar with. Ever made a New Year’s Resolution? Then you already know how to identify a goal. Now, it’s time to apply that skill to nursing.

One common trap that people fall into when identifying a goal is that they make it too broad and general. Take a look at these three examples to see what I mean:

Example One: “I’m going to graduate from nursing school.”
Example Two: “I’m going to pass my classes this semester.”
Example Three: “I’m going to pass my next exam.”

Example One is very overwhelming. It’s a nice sounding goal, but every time you think about it you’re going to feel a cloud of anxiety because you unconsciously realize that there’s a TON of work that needs to go into accomplishing that goal, and you don’t feel like you have the time to do any of it!

Example Two is better, but still a little too general. At the beginning of the semester, you’ll have the same problem as with example one: you’ll know that there’s a LOT that you need to do to succeed, but you won’t feel like you have time to do it all. Then at the end of the semester, when you’re struggling in your classes, you’ll begin to feel hopeless because you don’t have enough time to improve your grades as much as you’d like.

Example Three is the best. It’s very specific, so it’s much easier for you to stay focused without getting overwhelmed. It’s also easier to decide what you need to do to meet this more specific goal…but we’ll be talking about that more in the upcoming weeks.

In reality, all three of these goal examples have a place. After all, if you didn’t realize that your ultimate goal was to “graduate from nursing school,” then you wouldn’t realize that you even needed the goal to “pass my next exam.” So it’s super important that as you start thinking about your goals that you also start classifying them as “long-term” goals and “short-term” goals. Ideally, your short-term goals are going to be the steps you take to help you accomplish your long-term goals!

One of the biggest challenges that people run into with Step One is that they STOP here! If you Identify a goal and then stop, I can practically guarantee that you will never accomplish your goal. In fact, a Journal of Psychology article found that only 8% of people interviewed were successful in achieving their New Year’s Resolution. That’s a 92% failure rate.

If you want to avoid becoming just another statistic, make sure you read the rest of this goal-setting series. I’ll show you exactly how you can improve your chances for success. In the next post, I’ll be defining what “success” even means! Don’t miss it!

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