Mental Health Tips of the Month

Setting New Goals for the Academic Year

August 2014

The start of a new academic year can bring about both excitement and stress. It can be difficult to transition from the summer break to the busy fall semester but setting academic goals can help with this transition. Setting attainable goals keeps you focused, motivated, and increases your chance of having a successful academic year.

Here are a few things to consider when setting new academic goals:

1. Have a P-R-O attitude.

  • Positive: When setting academic goals use positive phrases such as “I will pass this class with a 90” instead of negative phrases such as “I will not fail this test.” Focusing on positive thoughts keeps you motivated while focusing on negative thoughts often leaves you feeling discouraged.
  • Realistic: Set high but attainable goals.
  • Objective: Use tools to help keep you on task. Tools such as a planner/calendar or a to-do-list can help you keep track of when assignments are due and can help you plan when to study for exams.

2. Be S-M-A-R-T.

  • Specific: State and write down the academic goals that you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable: Establish criteria for measuring your progress towards these goals.
  • Action-oriented: Create a plan that will help you establish your goals (i.e., a study plan or a daily/weekly to-do-list).
  • Relevant: Identify academic goals that are personal and meaningful to you.
  • Time-bound: Have a realistic time frame for accomplishing your academic goals.

If you would like to learn more about goal setting, please call CAPS to schedule an initial consultation appointment. If you are experiencing a crisis situation and need to speak with someone immediately, please contact CAPS during business hours, and we will be happy to assist you. After business hour or when CAPS is closed for holiday breaks, you may contact: (1) MHMRA at (713) 970-7000, (2) Crisis Intervention of Houston at (713) HOTLINE (468-5463), or (3) the University of Houston Department of Public Safety at (713) 743-3333 and ask to speak to your assigned therapist or the clinician on-call.