There is no time like the present to highlight the importance of planning and setting realistic goals with your learners. Goals help us to achieve the things we want in life. They are different from dreams and wishes in that we need to take active steps to achieve our goals. Share this informative read with your learners and help them to set goals one step at a time.
Types of goals
Short-term goals can be achieved quickly. An example of a very short-term goal is to finish a project you are working on by the end of the week. In general, short-term goals should take less than a year to achieve, such as learning the basics of ballroom dancing.
Medium-term goals take a little longer to achieve, generally between a year to five years. A medium-term goal could be learning a new language.
A long-term goal is a goal you want to achieve in the next five to ten years, or even longer. For example, your long-term goal could be to become an engineer. This will take you six years to achieve: two years to finish school and four years of studying after school.
Planning and setting goals
Setting goals helps you to determine where you are headed and can help you to succeed in tasks and projects. Goals can also help you to fulfil your dreams through planning. Follow this criterion to help set goals:
- Make sure the goal you are working towards is something that you really want to achieve. If you want to learn Japanese, for example, think about why you want to speak Japanese and how it will benefit you.
- Your goals must be consistent with your values. If your goal is to make enough money to buy a motorbike, you would not steal the money – honesty should be part of your value system.
- A goal cannot stand in the way of another goal. For example, if you want to do well at school this term and also sing in a choir competition, what will happen to your studies if you have choir practice three nights a week and over the weekend?
- Write down your goals. This focuses your ideas and helps you plan so you can achieve your goals. It also helps you to establish your priorities if you have to choose between two or more goals.
Putting your goals into action
Once you have set your goals, you need an action plan to achieve them.
- Write down the benefits of achieving your goal. (‘What is in it for me?’)
- Set a deadline for achieving your goal.
- List the obstacles you will have to overcome to accomplish your goal.
- Identify the people and groups you will have to work with to reach your goal.
- List the skills and knowledge you will need to reach your goal.
- Plan the actions needed to reach your goal. What do you need to do?
Remember achieving your goals require focus, persistence and constant re-assessment in meeting your goals. Follow these easy steps and you’ll soon be on your way to realising your dreams.
Source: Oxford Headstart Life Skills Grade 6 Learners Book