When I sit down with students and ask them “What are your goals for the year?” they often look at me with a blank face.

But here’s the thing: Goals have a real, measurable impact on your success.

All sorts of studies show that if you write your goals down on paper you’re 33% more likely to reach it. As well as this, our research with top-performing students showed that they are far more likey to have a set a goal that they’ve written down and committed to.

That’s why in this article and video we’re going to share a really simple framework so you can set a powerful goal and create an incredible year!

Step 1: Don’t Only Set Academic Goals

Whatever you do, don’t only set yourself academic goals!

It’s easy in Year 12 to only focus on school, but if you’re only thinking about and HSC goal setting for school, then you run the risk of burning out.

So, when setting your goals for the year, split them into 4 main categories:

  1. Academics
  2. Health + Wellbeing
  3. Family + Friends
  4. Career

By setting goals within each of these four categories, you’ll be much more well-rounded, and it’s a great framework for HSC goal setting and for the rest of your life after school!

Step 2: Be Specific

So often when I chat with students and they share their goals with me, they are really vague:

“I want to do better at school” or “I want to get fitter”

What does that even mean?!

Usually the vaguer you are in your goal, the less you know where you’re actually at in your progress towards achieving your goal.

Now, knowing where you’re at is really important because making progress is really motivating and inspiring!

That’s why specificity is really key to powerful HSC goal setting, so you can see with clarity what you’re working towards, where you’re at and where you’re getting to.

You want to actually quantify your goal, for example:

Instead of ‘Do better at school’, a better goal is ‘Get a ATAR of 90 and a Band 6 in HSC English’

The test here to know if you’ve nailed being specific about your goal is that you can actually identify a way to clearly measure your progress on this goal.

If there is, then you’ve got a specific goal. If there isn’t, you need to keep reworking your goal until you’ve got it!

Want some help achieving your goal marks for 2020? Check out our summer holiday workshopshere!

Step 3: Challenge Yourself

To be really honest, most people that set goals for themselves just look at what they’re doing now and where they’ll end up if they keep going that way, and set that as their goal.

But this isn’t really a goal – it’s a destination that you’re already on the path of reaching. This is fine, but it’s not really the point of a goal.

The point of a goal is to stretch and challenge yourself to lift your performance from the trajectory you’re currently on to where you want to be!

The bottom line is that your goal needs to be a challenge.

You don’t know what you’re actually capable of achieving until you set your sights on it and achieve it.

In fact, research shows that the more challenging your goal is, the more likely it is to elicit high levels of achievement and performance!

To make sure you’ve got a challenging goal that’s going to help you perform and achieve, take your goal and simply add 10%.

For example, if your goal is to get 70% in HSC English, add 10% and set your goal to get 77% in HSC English!

Looking for extra help to get ahead over the school holidays?

We’re running 15+ Summer Holiday Workshops at our Hornsby Campus this year!

Get a head start on the 2020 school year with our accelerated summer school holiday courses – covering English, Maths, Sciences, Economics, Study Skills and more!

To find out more and get a head start on the 2020 school year get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Facebook!


Isabella Hanley is the Digital Content Manager at Art of Smart. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge on surviving the HSC since completing the Year 12 in 2014. In her downtime she enjoys Netflix binging like a pro, singing in the shower and hanging out with her awesome rescue dog, Ruby.