It’s January, now what? Your guide to Reflection & Goal setting!

We hope you’ve had a restful holiday season and are excited for the return to study and life in the virtual King’s community. Fighting the post-holiday slump is not easy and the pandemic isn’t helping – so in today’s blog, we’re talking about reflection and goal-setting to the new semester ahead.

person standing on top of a mountain looking at a cloudy covered horizon
Photo by Alessandro Erbetta on Unsplash

Wellbeing and reflection go hand in hand

Feeling slow to get back to the uni life? It’s very normal – and may be a sign that you could do with some gentle activities to get back on the studying mindset. To help students, researchers and staff at King’s, The KCL Wellbeing Month calendar offers a number of virtual events daily to help us all reflect on our wellbeing, feel a little rejuvenated and help set small, manageable wellbeing goals for our daily lives.
Reflection and goal-setting, as well as being a great tool to check up on your mental and physical wellbeing, is also incredibly useful for the wellbeing of your university life and career planning.


Reflective activity (5 minutes)

Let’s have a reflective moment. During the next few minutes, have a think about your last semester. Use a notebook or a phone to write down answers to these self-reflection prompts:

• What three things would I highlight from the last term that stand out as a positive or an achievement?
• What new things did I experience or try out? Or if I didn’t, was I particularly impressed with what a friend did?
• What did I struggle with last term? Were there unhappy surprises? What did I do (or what could you do) to support yourself with it?
• Where, or through what activities, did I feel connected to others and the King’s community?

These types of questions, and more, you can talk about with your personal tutor or you can also book an appointment with a career consultant to discuss. They will help you map out where you are now, ahead of a new semester.


hopscotch tiles
Photo by Michel Porro on Unsplash

From reflection to….goal setting!

After spending a moment thinking about the above questions, you’re already well on your way to making the most of the new semester. Why? Reflection is a tool that we can use to help goal-setting and connect to intention and purposeful thinking. Remember that it’s okay to find negative experiences and struggles during reflective thinking – even if it doesn’t always feel good to admit our faults it is good to look at yourself objectively. Reflecting on what went well and what didn’t will help you navigate your next steps more clearly so that you can build success on your university and career journey with small steps into the right direction.


If you’d like further support to explore your interests, values and passions in the world of careers, check out our quick “Who am I” and “What do I offer” -online courses. Also, King’s Careers have a LinkedinLearning video series about Developing a Growth Mindset which can help you apply reflective thinking and self-awareness to everything you do at King’s.


Goal setting activity (5 minutes)

When you feel that you’ve got a pretty good idea of your last semester, it’s time you have a think about the next few months. Again, ask yourself the following questions or write them down on a notebook or your phone:

• What positive aspects of last semester do I want to bring into the new semester or develop further?
• What three new things would I like to try out this semester?
• Are there struggles from last term that seem more achievable this term? What knowledge or actions can help me cope better if there are unhappy surprises?
• What small actions can I take to be even more engaged, to help me connect with peers and the King’s community?


person using a pen to look at a map and note down a route

Practising goal-setting for your career

The reflection that you have just completed to help you plan your next steps into the Spring term, can be done to help your career planning too! Often, the words ‘career journey’ can feel like a complicated, big concept – but here at King’s Careers & Employability, we help students and recent graduates to realise that every small step has value to the big picture.

Planning for ways to learn about careers, focus your self-development and gaining employability starts with reflection about where you are now. Then, all you need to do is find some small steps forward, such as attending a King’s Careers Festival event, speaking up at a career workshop (bookable from KCC) or maybe doing an online learning quiz. What are your small steps forward?


To help you goal-setting for your career journey, you can explore our Decision making online course on KEATS with strategies on how to make decisions, develop your self-awareness and set small, tangible goals in your career journey. To explore what diverse opportunities you can take part in at King’s and find ideas for new goals this semester, take a look at this KEATS section about developing your employability.