Teaching Students Goal Setting
As an educator, I find it critical to teach students how to set goals in order to be successful academically. There are many things that I have learned about setting goals and intentions in my own life. From yoga, self-help literature, multiple magazine articles, internet forays, and too many conferences to remember, I have picked up on some techniques that I have merged together to make the following lessons.
Here is what I know for sure about goal setting and I share with students:
- You should fall short of about 50% of the goals you set, if not, you are setting the bar way too low.
- Not very many people just pick a random destination and hope they end up there with no map or plan. If you say that you want to go to Washington, D.C., then you will need to figure out where you are now, consult a map to find a possible path to D.C. that would work for you personally. What is true is sometimes on a trip, you decide on a detour to see the Largest House of Mud and realize that you are farther away from your final destination. Occasionally, you have to act like a GPS and recalculate your way back to the freeway and start from there. Even if you lost time – you still know what your final goal is - Washington, D.C.
- Writing your goal in present terms, “I am healthy,” instead of “I will be healthy,” is the best way to reach your goal. Visualizing yourself with your goal achieved is a powerful tool. There is plenty of research to support the results of positive thinking. Where you place your attention becomes your intention.
- Having your goal in front of you day after day keeps you accountable and motivated!
The accompanying power-point is provided to help show students step by step how to set up a goal and stay motivated. It takes at least a week to have students set-up a goal and create a vision board. I did all of this in our “enrichment” class which is a 30 minute class meeting 4 days a week. I had the students start graphing their progress 2 weeks after creating the goal. The students graphed their progress once every two weeks using scores assigned to actions they determined would move them closer to their personal goal. I used the goal sheets/vision boards as student name-tags so that they would see/interact with their goal daily. I used the 6 word summary activity about 9 weeks after creating the goal. **Please notice that I added teacher notes and tips under each power-point slide.**
Powerpoint File: goal_setting (pptx)