Goal setting is an important skill for students to master. Having goals helps students focus and holds them accountable for their actions. If students are struggling with procrastination, goal setting is also a useful tool to give them a boost in motivation.
Often, one of the hardest aspects of goal setting is knowing how to create them in a way that leads to action, since without action a goal is just a wish. A lot of us have heard of the SMART goal setting model, but there are also many other important things to keep in mind, especially concerning goal setting for students. Here are a few more things to consider when encouraging students to set goals.
1. Goals should focus on the process of learning, not the final results.
Including goal setting as part of the learning process will allow the students to practice this important skill and to adapt it to their everyday learning. When it comes to school, goals should not be based solely on grades, instead, focus on the process of mastery. Higher grades will come automatically once the student gets the process right.
2. Set your own goals.
When students actively partake in their goal setting, they are not only more likely to achieve it but will also be more happy doing it. Goal setting can backfire and lead to unethical behaviors such as cheating or plagiarizing if it is enforced on students by somebody else, such as a parent or a teacher.
3. Focus on the overall progress rather than every result.
Students will not always be to be able to achieve everything they set out to accomplish, and that is completely okay. Focusing on progress will help students stay optimistic while allowing them to learn from their mistakes. Tracking one’s progress allows for a higher degree of overall success in the future.
4. Be clear and set specific goals.
Goals should be set within a specific timeframe with respect to specific actions. What part of the learning process do you want to improve? What exactly are you working towards? Achieving clarity and knowing what you are working for is an important element of the goal-setting process. Without a clear destination, you can’t find the path to get there. One way to achieve clarity is to write your goals down. Most people do not write down their goals, in fact, statistics show that only about 3 out of every 100 adults write down their goals on paper. Writing down goals allows the student to be clear about exactly what they want to achieve and when they want to achieve it by. Students who have written goals are 50% more likely to succeed at school than students who do not.
5. Share your goals.
Sharing their goals with friends and family will keep students accountable. It will help them to achieve their goals while also giving them a positive and encouraging environment to discuss what they need to work on and celebrate their successes.
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Do you have other goal setting tips to share? Write your comments below!