Goal Setting Advice from a Senior

aerial view of Robinson Circle

“Most of you say you wanna be successful, but you don’t want it bad—you just kinda want it.” -Dr. Eric Thomas, motivational speaker

Sorry, guys. But Dr. Thomas is right. The running stereotype about us millennials: We’re entitled and aren’t willing to earn our stake. That disgusts me.

Visualizing and mapping goals allowed me to transition from a chattering idealist into an active doer. I broke down how to become a person of integrity with 5 steps.

Step 1: Change your thinking. I failed. I smacked rock bottom. I escaped and never looked back. Einstein said that “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” My equal and opposite reaction was an obsession with success. “Be obsessed or be average,” says hecto-millionaire Grant Cardone. If you don’t value your success over your social newsfeed, the following steps won’t apply.

Step 2: Visualize your goals. Contrary to popular belief, it’s your life—not your parents’ or teachers’—so YOU must figure out what you want. Imagine where you want to be in 2, 5, 10, 30 years. The future used to FREAK ME OUT. One key: Think positive, not negative. Imagine earning valedictorian or living in a waterfront condo—not questioning if Social Security will still exist or if global warming will flood out your favorite beach. I visualize myself as director of corporate communication of a major financial organization every single day. During my morning commute—or walk between classes—or any free time, I visualize myself succeeding.

Step 3: Write them down.  This makes it real. You’re not just fantasizing about valedictorian or that waterfront condo—you’re actualizing those goals and determining a tangible path toward them.

Step 4: Create a path. Ask yourself: “What are the necessary steps I need to take to achieve each goal?” Now it’s really real. By taking this step, you can adopt a goal 20 years down the line into your every action. Let’s take my example: director of corporate communication for a major financial organization. How do I get there?  I need to collect credible experience, earn quite a few promotions, and excel in each role in order to earn such a high position. It’s difficult to launch a career with a large organization. So, I need to gain experience, learn industry insights, and sharpen my skills while working at a PR, advertising, or communications agency first. I’ll score that job by interning at the agency or one akin to its client list and services offered. I’ll gain the internship through networking and solid academic performance.  I’ll excel in school by studying, committing my time to projects and papers, and paying attention in class. I’ll show up to class … on time. When the alarm clock buzzes, I won’t press snooze. When you understand that waking up on time each and every day translates into your goals 20 years down the line, you might start waking up 15 minutes early.

Step 5: Travel that path. After you write down your goals and create a path, there’s no more lying to yourself. Incorporate your goals into your everyday life. My rule: If it doesn’t benefit my success, it’s not for me. For example, I stopped playing video games one year ago. I sold my game system, controllers, and all last month after realizing I’d never play again. Why? Video games waste my time. All the time used to play video games can be used to fund my success. I work two jobs, attend school full time, and actively participate in four on-campus professional development organizations. In my free time, I read up on industry trends for public relations, advertising, and finance. I research different career paths and job opportunities in my field. If I watch TV, I usually watch CNBC to learn new ideas to incorporate into my professional life. I’m not saying that I never watch sports, go out to dinner, or hit the beach. I’m saying that all those things come secondary to my goals.

Where do you visualize yourself in five years, future Rowan Profs? Comment below. 

By: Kyle Schachner, Ventnor, NJ (Atlantic County)
Double major, public relations and advertising