Fresh Approach to New Year’s College Goals

The new year brings fresh beginnings and the opportunity to look ahead. If your future includes education beyond high school, this is a perfect time to prepare for college. Combining your college planning goals with new year’s resolutions seems to make perfect sense. However, setting and reaching those resolutions can sometimes be a struggle. Instead, try these creative options for 2023:

  1. Create an action plan for success – An action plan is a list of tasks you’ll complete to achieve your objective. Write down the goal you want to achieve, a list of steps you’ll take, and a deadline for each step. A simple action plan like this can make your new year’s resolutions seem more achievable. For example, a good action plan would include applying for scholarships to pay for college.
    • Objective: Apply for 3-5 scholarships per week.
      • Step 1: Research scholarships, and create a list each month.
      • Step 2: Set aside time each week to complete 3-5 applications by Saturday evening.
      • Step 3: Update list with scholarship tasks completed, and make note of any follow-up needed.
  2. Set up a monthly challenge – There are about eight months until your first day of college. Make a list of eight monthly challenges that will include a goal you can achieve each month. For example, a monthly challenge could be finding ways to save money for college.
    • Challenge: Every week during the month, I’ll think of a way to save money and put that plan into action.
      • Week One: Open a college savings account and deposit money, even if it’s only $10.
      • Week Two: Ask family members and friends to give money as birthday or graduation gifts that you can save for college.
      • Week Three: Find a part-time job or gig, and put that money in my college savings account.
      • Week Four: Find ways to have “free fun” instead of paying for movies, new clothes, etc., and deposit the money you save.
  3. Create a bucket list – A bucket list can help you prioritize your hopes and dreams, and stay focused to make them a reality. For example, a bucket list could include the steps you’ll take to narrow down your list of prospective college. Create a bucket list of tasks, and check them off as they’re completed.
    • Bucket List One: Research colleges (including programs offered, cost, size, housing options, clubs and activities).
    • Bucket List Two: Narrow down your list to five colleges, and rank them.
    • Bucket List Three: Complete a virtual or in-person tour at each college.
    • Bucket List Four: Finalize your list, and send in college applications.

Check out the resources at UCanGo2 and OKCollegestart to help you Plan, Prepare and Pay for college.