5 Steps to Reaching Goals

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Goals are important because that is how we get where we want to in life.  Without them, we end up with nothing.  So how do you set a goal? And what are the steps to go through?

First, you must decide what that goal is.  With this step, you need to be direct.  If you choose a goal that is too broad, you won’t know what steps are to help you achieve that goal.

For example:  If you want to be a nurse.  What kind of nurse do you want to be?  This may be where you want to do a little research.  Check out the kinds of nursing jobs available, what degree you will have to have, what the different kinds of nurses do, what are their average pay ranges.  How many hours do they work? Do they work in a doctors office, hospital, or another facility?  Do they deal with patients or are they considered management?  Pick something you would like to do.  After all a job is much more fun if you like what you are doing.

     Second, what steps do you need to reach your goal.  Becoming a nurse is a long-term goal, so what are some short-term goals that you can do that will help you reach this goal? This is where you might want to do some research to see what the goal entails.  Get information from schools where you can get your nursing degree, so you know what classes you need to take, how long it will take and how much it is going to cost.  Right now, you are just gathering information, so don’t worry about the how right now, just gather the information.  Once you have all the information, then list the steps to take.

  1. Get enrolled in school.
  2. Figure out how to pay for it.  (often the school can help you with this, but also look in the community to see if you can find programs that might help you pay for it.) AZ Career Pathways is a community program that helps people get out of poverty and who might not be able to attend school any other way.
  3. Sign up for the classes you need.  The school may have a preferred curriculum or you may have classes to choose from but get signed up.goal-setting-1955806_1920
  4. Get a part time job or a volunteer position where you might learn more about your occupation.  Doing while you are learning will help you retain information and give you experience for when you get out and are looking for a job. (just don’t overdo it.  You want to be able to finish school.  That is your priority.)
  5. Set up a schedule so you know when your classes are, when you are going to study, when you are going to sleep (this is very important, if you are going to learn) and last but not least you need some fun activities for relaxation.  By setting a schedule, you will be able to make sure that you get everything done and will have a more balanced, more rounded experience.

     Third, you need to re-evaluate every so often.  Whether it is when you feel like the schedule is out of control, maybe you aren’t getting all the homework done, or even going through between semesters or terms.  You have to review your goal to keep yourself motivated and headed towards to desired target.

     Fourth, Set, dates of when the goal is going to be achieved.  You can do this by figuring out when your course of study will be over, when individual semesters are completed.  Showing the dates of the accomplishments will help you see that you are getting to your goal.  This helps you to see that you are reaching it.  It will make you feel better when you can see that you are getting somewhere.

     Fifth, When, you reach small goals, give yourself credit.  If you pass a hard class, frame the test with the grade on it.  Keep a bulletin board with all your accomplishments on it.  Take yourself out for ice cream or dinner when you get through the semester.  You can find all kinds of things to award yourself for doing a good job.  That will make it easier to go on and complete the next step.

These steps will work on any goal you want to set.  Whether it is completing school, learning a craft, or losing weight.  Once you achieve one goal, set another one.  Most importantly have fun and get direction in your life.

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Financial Aid, Grants, Loans and Scholarships

dollars-100x365  We all know that to make more money, we need to have some sort of education.  Whether we go to a trade school, or college, it is important to learn so that we can earn enough money to take care of ourselves and our families.  So, how do we get money to go to school?  There are a lot of different ways, to get money for school, however, you may have to look for them.  Sometimes it takes more than one form to get enough money to pay for it all. books-441866_1920

The first place to start is with the federal government.  They have money for students who come from low income families in the form of grants and student loans.  Grants are free money that does not have to be paid back.  Grant money usually will not pay for your education completely, but it helps pay for some of it, so that when you do have to take out loans, you don’t have to borrow as much and you won’t have as much to pay back.  Federal Student loans are loans guaranteed by the federal government. They percentage-27424_1280usually have lower fixed interest rates and payments can be set by income.  They also allow you to wait to make payments until 6 months after you graduate or stop going to school.  (It is important to note, that even if you don’t graduate, you still must pay the loans.  Make sure you graduate so that you will have the income to pay the loans.) You can fill out the paperwork to see if you qualify for these options at the Government website www.FAFSA.gov.  Another great site to visit is:  https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans.  This site will give you some information about student loans.  It explains the differences between Federal student loans and private student loans.  When you go to the FAFSA website, you will need your parents tax returns, if you are still living with them, or your own tax returns if you are supporting yourself.  You will also need to know some schools that you plan to attend.

After you have submitted your student loan information, they will process it to see what you qualify for.  You will receive an award letter telling you what you qualify for. university-2540628_1920They will also send the information to the schools you have chosen.  The school will then take that information and see if they have other options that you also may qualify for.  Sometimes schools have their own loan or grant options where their alumni are donating money to help students get through school so there may be additional money there.  You might also want to check with the school to see if there are scholarships available that you can apply for.

us-850370_1920     Another way for money is through Private loans.  Loans through the school may be private loans.  Banks will also have student loans that they offer.  Before you agree to any loans, you need to make sure you understand the rules of repayment.  Some private loans may require repayment while you are in school, so you need to be sure you can afford to make those payments while you are in school.

A third option for money is through scholarships.  Scholarships are given for all kinds of things from sports, to academics, to hobbies, to genealogies.  You will just have to look.  Almost everyone has heard about students getting scholarships for sports and academics.  However, there are also scholarships for other types of things.  If you are globus-2534766_1920Mexican-American, African American, Native American, Hawaiian, Jewish, Irish, etc. there are scholarships for you.  You can also find scholarships for math, science and technology. There are scholarships for adult learners, for moms, for specific degree programs or for hobbies you might be good at.  They are vast and could be for almost anything.  Some scholarships require you to write an essay, but there are many who do not. So, if you are not really good at writing, don’t worry, there is probably something out there for you.  I have listed some scholarship links below. However, this is not even close to an exhaustive list.  Go to www.google.com and type in scholarships and you will find a lot more.

www.scholarshipowl.com        www.scholarships4moms.net            www.scholarshipmonkey.com                                     www.scholarships.com             www.fastweb.com                               www.collegexpress.com

https://weirdscholarships.net/no-essay-scholarships/                          www.grantsscholarshipsandmore.org                 www.dosomething.org/Scholarships

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Last, but not least, there are many organizations that believe education is important and will give you money to complete your degree.  Arizona Career Pathways is one of these organizations.  After you have filled out the FAFSA forms contact Arizona Career Pathways to see if we can help.  Our goal is to lift families up and give them the tools they need to care for themselves.                                                                     http://www.azcareerpathways.org

New Beginnings

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I know that Spring is usually seen as the time of new beginnings, however, the fall is when school starts.  Children start and go back to school.  Adults take classes at colleges and universities.  I see fall as a time for new beginnings.  What better time to set a goal and begin a new life?

So, what do you want to do?  There are many tests out there that give some guidance on what you might be good at.  There are also tests to help you decide what you like.  I have included links below to some of these things.  I would suggest looking at things you have done in the past.  What has made you happy, what kinds of things make you feel good.  Do you like to help others? Do you like doing crafts? Do you like to be creative? Do you like to see how things work?  Do you like science?  The answers may help you in finding a career that you will love.

It also is important that the career give you enough money to live on, and support your family.  It is very satisfying to know that you can take care of yourself and the family that you love.  There is nothing wrong with having something better.  People who can take care of themselves are much happier.  You have more control of your life.  You school-2051712_1920can do things that make you feel good.  You can buy the things you need.  This goes much beyond the basics of food, shelter and clothing.  This means you can go out to dinner when you don’t feel like cooking.  You can buy nice things to put in your home to make it a nice place to be.  You can pay for things such as dance lessons, karate lessons, gym memberships and music lessons that give you a little exercise and make you and your family feel better.  This contributes to your mental and physical well being.  It makes for a better life.

I have always felt that learning new things is fun.  There is nothing I enjoy better than sitting in a class and learning something new. Whether it be something about how your brain works, how a computer works, how to build a web page, how to make something still-life-851328_1920or how to cook something new.  I really enjoy learning.  I think this is something that most humans do, once they have had the opportunity to do it.  Think of something you would like to learn.  Do you like to help others? (nursing, doctor, psychology,) Do you like to build things?  (computers, engineering, architecture) Do you like to be creative? (web design, architecture) Do you like to organize? (project management, legal assistant) These are just a few.  There are so many other things.    How can you change what you like into a career?

Take some of the tests below.  Check out some career choices and decide what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Start now to make a life you love.  If you need help, get in touch with us at Arizona Career Pathways to see what we can do.  http://www.azcareerpathways.org/

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Choosing a career:

https://www.thebalance.com/steps-to-choosing-career-525506

http://www.careertest.net/

https://www.123test.com/career-choice/

http://www.businessinsider.com/great-careers-college-kids-often-ignore/#court-stenographer-2

https://www.free-online-aptitude-test.com/career-aptitude-tests.htm

https://www.careerfitter.com/free_test/careerbuilder

https://www.sokanu.com/

https://www.livecareer.com/career-test

Freedom

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In the month of July, we celebrate the birthday of our country.  A free country that gives us as citizens many freedoms that others in the world do not have.    The declaration of Independence, set up by our forefathers says:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

 

In the pursuit of happiness, we are able to do things that will make ourselves better.  When I look at what truly makes me happy, I see that it is the things that allow me to grow and learn.  It is being able to take care of myself, reaching goals.  The ability to read and learn.  I’m proud of my education and what I have been able to accomplish. These are the things that make me free. The more you are educated and the more you understand, the more you are able to make decisions for yourself and your family.  The more educated you are, the better you understand what is good for yourself and society.  You are also much better at being able to contribute to society.  We should be thankful that we live in a free country and take advantage of the choices we have.

Never take your freedoms for granted and always fight hard to keep these freedoms.

Kaylie Love Success Story

KaylieLove-200        I’d like to start by giving thanks to every individual who has made Arizona Career Pathways (ACP) what it is today.  I would also like to thank these individuals for blessing me with the opportunity to be a part of this program and provide me with many of the tools necessary for academic achievement. The success I have had in this program is a direct reflection of the program’s success, itself.

To begin, ACP has made the load of being a full-time Dental Hygiene student a million times lighter for me, by eliminating a great deal of financial stress.  ACP is an amazing foundation that has provided me with a support group to help me stay motivated throughout the demanding Dental Hygiene Program.  Kerrie,  ACP’s Director/Counselor is one of the most caring, outgoing people I have ever met.  She is so warm and welcoming and extremely easy to talk to!  In fact, after talking academics at Peer Support Group Meetings, we often find ourselves sharing recent restaurant or entertainment experiences with one another.  Peer Support Group Meetings are the perfect little discussions to help get me refreshed and ready to take on another segment of the Dental Hygiene Program.  I would like to, again, thank each and every individual who has helped mold ACP into such an amazing foundation, to help students in need of a little extra help here and there.  I would not have the academic success I do today without this amazing program!

Confidence

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It is time again to  re-strengthen my confidence.  I have done plenty in life, finished high school, got a college degree, taken care of myself for many years.  I know I can do it but every, once in a while I have to reboot the system and rebuild my confidence.

What is confidence?

The Dictionary: A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

“Self-confident people tend to see their lives in a positive light even when things aren’t going so well, and they are typically satisfied with and respect themselves.”

https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/5-powerful-ways-to-boost-your-confidence.html

So, what do you do, if you don’t happen to be one of those self-confident people?  How do you make yourself a self-confident person?

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”  So, in other words we need to face our fears and that will improve our confidence.  Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”  We have to take control of our lives.  In doing that we take control of your self-confidence.

Found in a Huffington Post article, here are 8 Tips on How to Improve Your Self-Confidence

  1. Know Your Weaknesses and Strengths
  2. Accept yourself
  3. Remember Your Successes:
  4. Read Positive Affirmations:
  5. Think About Your Future
  6. Create Goals:
  7. Talk To Others
  8. Be Persistent:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stan-popovich/8-tips-on-how-to-improve-your-self-confidence_b_8021946.html

I have also found that it helps to do something that I know I am good at.  An art project, a craft.  The feeling of accomplishment helps me to remember that I can do anything.  Exercise also helps.  Gives your endorphins a jolt and makes you feel better.

So, get out there, set some goals, accomplish some things and improve your self-confidence.

Girls in STEM

I have a niece living in Australia pursuing a Masters degree in Marine biology.  I am very proud of her.  The entire family has learned about marine biology, but it has been a fun ride.  She has wanted to be a marine biologist since she was 2 years old.  She fell in love with Willie the whale and that was all she could think about was working with whales.  My sister was also very good at helping her dream the dream. My sister has worked very hard to help her see her potential.    She let her know that to work with whales, she would need to be a marine biologist.  They learned all they could about whales and marine life.  Many vacations were to whale watch, the ocean and places where they could watch marine life.  They played science games, entered science fairs and made elaborate science projects in school. It was all fun.  In high school, she took science and math classes that would get her into college.

When it came time to go to college, they researched schools and she ended up at Stetson University where she met many more people that helped her dream the dream as well as helping her broaden her horizons.  She learned how to scuba dive.  She spent a summer in  Bonaire learning about the barrier reef.  A summer in Africa learning about sharks.  In 2016 she graduated with a degree in Marine Biology.

She started school at University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia in March of 2017.  She is doing great and living the life. A life given to her because of science. She also has several girl friends who also have or are working on science degrees.  One is working on her masters in nutrition, others ins Psychology, Veterinary Medicine, and Medicine.

My purpose for telling you this, is to let girls know they can be anything they want to be. Even in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Parents, grandparents, teachers, friends can help to cultivate the dream. Do things that cultivate the excitement and thirst for knowledge.  Let them know they can do it. Go to science museums, attend science fairs, look for meet ups where kids can build robots and use the things they learn. There are a lot of things to do.  Just have fun and keep on learning.

Suggestions of degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Science – Clinical Laboratory Technician, Veterinarians and Veterinary Assistants, Environmental Scientists, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technician, Aviation science, Fire science, Nurse, Doctor, Phlebotomist, Microbiology, Psychologist, Epidemiologist, Biochemist, Forensic Science, Anthropologist, Archeologist, Geographer, Botanist, Microbiologist, Neuro-scientist, Herpetologist, Zoologist, Nutritionist, Biochemist, Ecologist, Naturalist, Oceanographer, Paleontologist, Archaeologist, Pathologist, Geographer, Physicist, Chemist, Geographer, Geologist, Petroleum Geologist. Radiology, Speech Language Pathologist, Marine Biologist, Researcher, Astronaut, Astronomer.

Technology – Computer Programmer, Computer Repair, Database Administrator, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Computer Security Engineer, Software Design, Software Analyst, Software Quality Analyst, System Administrator, Web developer.

Engineering – Aerospace Engineer, Agricultural Engineer, Architectural Engineer, Biomedical Engineer, Chemical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Computer Engineer, Construction Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Electronics Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Geo-technical Engineer, Industrial Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Marine Engineer, Materials Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Metallurgical Engineer, Mining Engineer, Network Engineer, Nuclear Engineer, Packaging Engineer, Petroleum Engineer, Process Engineer, Project Engineer, Quality Engineer, Sales Engineer, Safety Engineer, Software Engineer, Solar Engineer, Systems Engineer, Structural Engineer. Astronaut.

Mathematics– mathematician Statistical Analyst, Bio-statistician, Assistant Professor (Mathematics), Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Astronaut,Architect, Statistician, Researcher.

Places to find activities:

https://azscience.org, http://www.thebakken.org/science-studio, www.blossomscholastic.org/robotics, https://www.scientificsonline.com, https://www.sylvanlearning.com, http://engineeringforkids.com, https://www.eventbrite.com, http://www.nationalmathfestival.org, http://www.msri.org/web/cms, http://www.madscience.org/special-events.aspx, https://mitmuseum.mit.edu, https://www.childrens-museum.org, http://ashevillescience.org/education/kids/, http://www.sparksfoundation.org/, http://education.jlab.org, http://www.walkingmountains.org/, http://www.citizensciencecenter.com, http://www.fun4thebrain.com/science.html, http://seaaffinity.org/programs/homeschool.html, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/fun-with-science-games-16336594/.

Look up on google for many other ideas and online games.