1. K-State home
  2. »Counseling Services
  3. »Additional Resources
  4. »Self Help
  5. »Tips for Setting Goals

Counseling Services

Counseling Logo

Kansas State University
Counseling Services
1105 Sunset Ave, Rm 101
Manhattan, KS 66502

Monday - Friday:  8am-5pm

785-532-3932 (fax)

Parking Information

Tips for Setting Goals

People set goals constantly, and these may vary in sizes and scopes. These also vary in terms of the length of time and investments needed to achieve these goals.  This resource offers some basic tips on goal-setting...and on making goals real.

Preview Points

  • Setting goals may help make a life more manageable.  
  • The following are some simple tips for setting goals.  


  • State the goal very specifically.  

EXAMPLE – TOO GENERAL:  I want to get a good job.  

EXAMPLE – SPECIFIC:  Following graduation, I want to obtain a job.  By July 1, I want to be a supervisor for a construction firm in Kansas City.

  • Select a goal that’s truly important to you – one in which you are strongly invested.  
  • Select a goal which you can personally have influence over achieving.  
  • Make sure you can measure progress toward your goal.  
  • Choose goals that are challenging and yet realistic.  
  • It is often helpful to state the goal in a way that (1) describes the situation as it is currently and (2) the situation as you’d like it to be.  


INSTEAD OF:  “I want to improve the way I study.”

STATE THE GOAL AS:  “I will implement a system to better plan and organize my study time.  

Concluding Points

  • Plan goals that are important.  
  • Set challenging but realistic goals.  
  • Describe the goals in measurable ways.  

Tips for Setting Goals (pdf)