My Success Plan

Success starts with having a goal.

No matter what your goal is, when you attain it you have achieved success.   Being successful in school is no different than being successful anywhere else.  First identify what you want.

What are your career or educational goals?

You can start with something simple, and it doesn't even have to be completely clear, like....“I know I want to have a master’s degree or I know I want to be in the field of finance or science.”

Just start with a rough draft, it doesn’t have to be perfect. 

If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.
-Yogi Berra

CAReer and education goals

Get a piece of paper and label it (Career and Educational Goals) with the (DATE)


Write goals down on paper – Do not underestimate the power of declaration.  When we write something down we already bring it closer into being because we have already distinguished it from just an idea.  It takes on a permanent form and can be also be viewed by others making it even clearer than just your private thoughts that frequently change throughout the day.

Also, know why you want something.  Be honest with yourself here.  This may look like, "I want to be a doctor because I want to help people", or you may write "because I want to be respected" or "because I want to have a great income".  Any way you answer it, you may have multiple layers to why you are doing something it will serve you to know those layers.  It is not bad to do something just for the money, but you will be better able to handle the situation if you are not trying to fool yourself and you know and accept your motivations.

Get a Master’s degree in the Sciences.   (This is better than waiting until you are absolutely sure which area you want to specialize in.  You can keep updating your goals just start making a plan.  Everything will flow with more ease when you do.)  Remember you can always change your goals.  This video shows a great example.


An action plan is how you are going to reach your goal.

To get my Master’s in Science I will:

  1. Talk to my counselor about my desire to have a Master’s degree in Science.  Ask them for support.
  2. Take the necessary classes in Math, Science and Technology.
  3. I will call and perform three professional interviews with at least one of them from out of my local town (to learn views from other regions about the same profession-- in case you want to move in the future, you will know valuable information about regulations in other area’s)


Accountability is your friend.

Nobody goes through life alone. Establish a network of people whose wisdom, knowledge and character you respect to help you achieve your goals.  These can be respected family, friends, uncles, aunts, and sports coaches-- just to name a few. The criteria for this person could be: someone you respect who has their life together and who agrees wholeheartedly when you ask them to support you in this special way.


This is what separates those that do and those that do not.  Everyone has at one point in their lives experienced major distractions, whether through short-term impacts or long term circumstances.  How you organize yourself during and/or after these attention-grabbers will determine whose dreams you will actually live.


Do not wait to give yourself presents and treats along the way. It builds confidence and adds fun and joy along the way. Keep in mind this is all about you having a great life.  Enjoying the journey is one of the most important parts. You deserve it!


Rome was not built in a day and there were many setbacks. If you find that you cannot accomplish your goal within the time frame originally designed. Don’t fret. Just adjust.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
-C.S. Lewis


This might seem new-agey but feeling good about your life and what you are creating is a sure way to keep you motivated  Plus it’s Fun!

9th Grade
Get out ahead!  Ask questions in class!
Counselors and Teachers- get to know them
Be yourself
Take an assessment test 
Take a learning styles test 
Get involved- Join a school club or activity

10th Grade
Shadow two professionals in areas of career interest
Continue your relationship with your counselor- let them know where you are at even if you have no idea what you want yet.  Build that relationship. Just make an appointment to check in.
Start planning for your SAT / ACT 
Get a summer job or internship
Start an online college search

11th Grade
Take the SAT
or Take the ACT 
Not Sure which one to take? 
Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take?
It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. Find out more.
Keep or start being active in your school’s clubs and activities
Visit colleges
Intern with a company or professional of your choice

12th Grade
Continue meeting with your counselor to check on your goals.
Take SAT
or ACT  if you haven’t already
Choose six colleges you are going to apply for and be sure to find out deadlines for admission  
(Not all colleges have the same deadlines!)
Apply for financial aid (Application due dates can be as early as the beginning of March, be sure to check!) Applications will also require your parents tax return information from the prior year, ask them to complete their return early so your application isn’t delayed.

Letters of Recommendation- Decide who can honestly vouch for you?
Family- Make sure your family knows what your plans are
Be gentle on yourself, life is full of twists and turns.