Social Aspects of Achieving Your Goals

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how a social network can help accomplish goals

Setting goals can be a challenge, but working toward them, once you’ve set them, can be an even greater challenge—often because it implies that you will be making changes in your life. You might be creating new directions of thought or establishing new patterns of behavior, discarding old habits or starting new ones. Change will always be the lifeblood of achieving your goals.

You may find that as you navigate this path of change, one of your best resources is your social network. Your family, friends, roommates, coworkers, and others can help you maintain a steady focus on your goals. They can encourage and cheer you on, offer guidance when needed, share knowledge and wisdom they’ve gained, and possibly partner with you in working toward shared goals and ambitions. Your social network is a gold mine of support.

Here are some easy ways you can tap into goal-supporting “people power”:

  • group of young women, many in business suits Make new friends
  • Study with friends
  • Actively engage with the college community
  • Volunteer to help others
  • Join student organizations
  • Get an internship
  • Work for a company related to your curriculum
  • Stay connected via social media (but use it judiciously)
  • Keep a positive attitude
  • Congratulate yourself on all you’ve done to get where you are

What are some other ways that you build a network of support with the people in your life?

A note about social media

More than 98 percent of college-age students use social media, says Experian Simmons. Twenty-seven percent of those students spent more than six hours a week on social media (UCLA, 2014). The University of Missouri, though, indicates in a 2015 study that this level of use may be problematic. It can lead to symptoms of envy, anxiety, and depression. Still, disconnecting from social media may have a negative impact, too, and further affect a student’s anxiety level.

Is there a healthy balance? If you feel overly attached to social media, you may find immediate and tangible benefit in cutting back. By tapering your use, you can devote more time to achieving your goals. You can also gain a sense of freedom and more excitement about working toward your goals.


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