Skip to main content

Goal Setting & Personal Development

  • SMART Goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. We provide an example using the goal of "Pay my bills in college by selling cotton candy at parks on the weekends." Then, this fillable PDF has space for you to complete your own goals. ( Fillable PDF)
  • Time Management Presentation ( PDF)
  • Self-Improvement Exercise ( Fillable PDF)
    • Look throguh our resources HERE.
    • SHAC can help with time management, anxiety, and much more.
  1. Determine your end goal. For example, what is your desired career or the purpose of you pursuing an undergraduate degree?
  2. Speak with your advisors, professors, fellow students, and professionals for their thoughts on the best pathway to attain this goal. In other words, which classes should you be in, what actives are recommended to be a part of, is your chose major the best for this pathway, etc.
  • Get academic help from our tutors! They can help with most of the core STEM courses, along with SoE specific classes, programs, and software. 
  • Know you are not alone! And, what you are feeling is OK (although not desired).
  • Set boundaries on your time and workload (see our Time Management accordion below).
  • Get YOU time.
  • Try saying 'no.'
  • Get a good nights rest, and make it consistent.
  • Be physically active.
  • Drink water.
  • Breath deeply and mindfully.
  • Get goals and work through them.
  • Write things down.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Minimize social drama. 
  • Try a new approach.
  • Take an emotional time out - do something that is completely different than what is overwhelming you.
  • Create a plan - for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. 
  • Ge the emotional help and support you need. This can be accomplished by:
    • See an extensive list of support services and departments at UNM in our Survive & Thrive document.
    • Talking to trusted and supportive friends and family
    • Talk to your classmates
    • Talk to a counselor (for example at UNM's Student Health & Counseling (SHAC))
    • Talk to your instructors.
      • There are no "stupid" questions as long as you show you are trying.
    • Talk to your academic advisor
      • Find your advisor HERE.
      • Be your own advocate. 
      • Be specific about your needs. 
      • The current (2021) Director of Undergraduate Programs is Dr. Andrew Schuler.
  • Manage your time well. Use THIS document ot help you!
  • Making a Successful Transition: Time Management
  • A Student-led Workshop on Time Management (video)
  • Where does the time go? Have you considered the time you have? How many times have you wondered what happened to all the time you had? Have you ever counted up the number of hours during a week and approximated times for each activity? You can make master schedules for:
    1. Term papers, Exams, etc.
    2. Template of your life
    3. Weekly schedule: things that change weekly
    4. Daily schedule
  • Planning study time
    1. Budget time
    2. Deadlines
    3. Breaks
    4. Peak times
    5. Fill gaps
    6. Prioritize
    7. Plan for any task to take 3x longer than anticipated
  • The STEM Collaborative Center has compiled words of wisdom from those who have gone before you. Here are the tips and strategies from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) majors from a panel of Graduate and Upper Level Undergraduate students at UNM.  Additionally, read about the advice from our mentors who are STEM Professionals and Peer-Mentors on our  Mentoring page

70 ways to manage your time

  1. Clarify your values
  2. Set goals based on your values
  3. Develop action plans based on goals
  4. Record and evaluate how you spend your time
  5. Ensure that daily, weekly & term goals are congruent with your values
  6. Combine activities
  7. Watch out for the time wasters
  8. Have little tasks at hand
  9. Be flexible
  10. Review lecture notes soon after your lecture
  11. Review lecture notes throughout the term
  12. Don’t rely on cramming for exams
  13. Spread memory work out over the term
  14. Remember – work expands to fill time available
  15. 20% of what you do yields 80% of the results
  16. 80% of what you do yields 20% of the results
  17. Let your subconscious work for you – start papers and creative work early
  18. Have a note pad at all times
  19. Take learning skill workshops
  20. Have a purpose for everything you do
  21. Define your objectives
  22. Set priorities
  23. Plan
  24. Write down daily goals in order of priority
  25. Set goals that are specific
  26. Set goals that are measurable
  27. Set goals that are acceptable to you
  28. Set goals that are realistic
  29. Set goals that include a specified time frame for completion
  30. Make “To Do” lists
  31. Work on top priorities
  32. Break down big tasks into short projects
  33. Do the hard tasks first
  34. Eliminate tasks you do not have to do yourself
  35. Complete one task before starting another
  1. Delegate
  2. Allow enough time for each task
  3. Allow extra time for the unexpected
  4. Avoid busyness
  5. Allow time for family, friends and yourself
  6. Use calendars: term, week, daily
  7. Set deadlines
  8. Consolidate discretionary time in blocks
  9. Do creative work where you will not be disturbed
  10. Communicate clearly the first time
  11. Get feedback on your communications
  12. Do not over schedule
  13. Know your limitations
  14. Use the telephone or email
  15. Group phone calls, emails together
  16. Return calls at a fixed time
  17. Keep time filler tasks by the phone
  18. Keep a clean desk
  19. Do not waste other people’s time
  20. Plan meetings
  21. Direct meetings purposefully
  22. Start meetings on time
  23. Keep meetings on agenda
  24. Time limit agenda items
  25. End meetings on time
  26. Handle mail once
  27. Throw out what you will not read
  28. Use a tickler system to remind you of due dates
  29. Let your secretary handle appointments
  30. Fix hours for appointments
  31. Go to the other person’s room or office
  32. Meet outside of your office
  33. Block interruptions of appointments
  34. Do not trust your memory – write it down
  35. Develop a good file system