Defining educational goals is a process which involves identifying objectives, selecting attainable short-term goals and formulating a plan for attaining these goals. Educational goals are different for each individual.
Identifying objectives is an important first step because they differ for everyone. First, it is important to define what one means by “education.” For some people, education equals a college degree, while for others it means some kind of vocational training or may mean simply learning a certain skill effectively, such as how to cook or how to appreciate poetry.
Once educational objectives are determined, it becomes easier to identify goals. It is useful to put both long and short term goals in writing, so that they can be referred to later. Short-term goals, such as “bring my G.P.A. up to 3.5” or “read a book about astronomy,” can be accomplished fairly quickly. Long-term goals, such as “graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science” or “learn to speak Italian” will take some time.
The next step is to formulate a plan for how these goals will be accomplished. For example, if the goal is a college degree, the plan would include visiting various campuses and meeting with financial aid officers to discuss tuition payment options. As time passes, it can help to refer to the written goals often for inspiration. Crossing off short-term goals is an excellent way to keep oneself motivated to continue working toward the long-term goals.