Take a bite out of your goals

three donuts, one with a bite taken out of it

You probably have a lot of big goals on your mind right now — graduate from college, get your dream job, become your best self. No pressure, right? Giant goals can be overwhelming, especially when you think of them as giant goals.

If your goal was instead to paint a huge mural, you’d likely break the painting up into smaller sections. Paint the sky, then the trees and so on. Approaching big goals like that through small steps helps them feel (and become) more achievable.

Now apply that logic to your own big goals like finding your dream job. We recommend using a goal pyramid like the one below to help you visualize the process.



Start with small milestones on the bottom, like visiting the career center or researching a company you admire. The next tier should hold your mid-level goals like snagging an internship or networking in the field.

Add as many tiers to the pyramid as you need. The more small bites you accomplish along the way, the more boxes you get to check off, which is scientifically proven to make you feel good.

The goal pyramid works for shorter-term goals too, whether they’re yearly, monthly or even daily. Here’s another example: Let’s say you’re not a runner, but you decide to start training for a 5K. Instead of thinking, “I’m going to go run a mile” (which could sound exhausting), give yourself small visual goals while you’re out training. Think, “I just need to get to that tree.” Then, once you’ve made it to the tree, “I just need to make it to that mailbox.” Keep pushing yourself to go a little further one step at a time.

In the end, it’s all about getting to your personal finish line. Check out a few of our ideas for great goals to set that will take your fall semester to the next level.


Hey Sunny

A library of helpful advice, tips and answers to questions from students to Sunny.

ASU’s chatbot, Sunny, has been helping students get adjusted to college life for a few years now. The questions from students year after year, rarely change. Sometimes it helps to see what other students are asking to stay informed and realize you aren’t the only one trying to figure it all out.

Welcome to the Hey Sunny blog – a library of advice for students from Sunny and the team supporting the bot.

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