Goal-setting is an important step toward successful academic achievement. It puts learning into action.

A passive approach to your education includes:

  • Procrastination
  • Intentional delay
  • Poor time management
  • Miss-matched priorities
  • Missed opportunities

From my years of advising students, I can tell you that these types of behaviors almost always result in poor academic performance that may cause you to:

  • Retake a course
  • Forget what you have learned
  • Not graduate with your peers
  • Not meet NCAA eligibility standards
  • Have to enroll in additional years of high school

You may fall into some of these behaviors if you overestimate tomorrow, meaning your list of things to do is far too long for the time you will have to spend. This is usually more frustrating and disappointing than ever expected because in the long run it makes a job harder—work expands over time.

Procrastinators often think that tomorrow will be a better, easier, more focused or incredibly productive time. It is very likely the future self becomes a twin to the present choices. Self-defeat is not a friend.

If self-motivation is non-existent, and you don’t have a strong support system pushing you, you might need to reach out to a peer and ask them to hold you accountable. Students of today have peers from multiple generations who are characterized with educational values, self-pride, maturity, or the ability to enjoy themselves in the learning moment.

The power of peer influence can be a proactive relationship. Your peer might be a:

  • Relative
  • Friend
  • Neighbor
  • Mentor
  • Teammate

This person might be the right inspiration for you to learn how to find a procrastination-proof environment that will allow you to meet your goals.

Here are some additional steps to take to gain an active approach to your education.

  • Set concrete steps. Make sure these steps help you to meet your goals for the next month, 12 months, 3-5 years and 10 years.
  • Manifest your motivation; get connected with your source of fuel.
  • Develop an academic purpose in life.
  • Hold yourself accountable and take self-action to avoid time wasters: i.e. checking text/emails, web surfing, chatting, etc.
  • Be all you can be—be true to your potential, you deserve it.
  • Know that new found knowledge and met goals will help you to earn the best out of life.

In summary, maximize your purpose, and travel in the direction to meet your goals. And remember, University of Nebraska High School teachers and advisers are here to help you. It is never too early to develop a sustained study effort and new habits—start today!