Ask Nick: Values and Goals

Dear Nick,

How can I do a better job at setting my values and goals?

V.H., Junior, Biology Major

Dear V.H.,

College is a wonderful time for self-exploration. We are exposed to so many opportunities and experiences that show us the limitless possibilities in life. As we come to the end of our college career, sometimes it may feel like we have so many dreams and fantasies but lack the structure to achieve and accomplish them.

This is why it is so important to clarify and define your goals and values to center yourself and move in the direction of what is important in your life! Defining your core values helps to center you in what is important. Simply ask yourself: “What do I stand for? What is important to me? What is meaningful?” These self-reflective questions can help you to decide what you stand for as a person.

When you think about defining your goals, imagine that you are going to the mall to buy shoes; you would start at the directory, look for the dot that says “you are here,” plan out the route to find the shoe store and walk in that direction. Setting and achieving your goals is quite similar; know where you are, know where you want to go and move in that direction!

Goals can begin with dreams, fantasies or thoughts. Once you decide on a goal and commit to attaining it, I suggest writing it down. The best goals are written down, measurable, attainable and they have a time limit. As you formulate your goals, read them over daily and ask yourself: Am I moving in the direction of achieving my goals? What am I doing today to take one step closer to accomplishing this goal? As you begin this process, life tends to have more meaning and direction. You will awake with more zest and excitement. Good luck in realizing all of your phenomenal potential!

Be Well,


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