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The Importance of Goal Setting

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As we enter a new year, many of us establish resolutions which we wish to accomplish in 2012.  These resolutions are normally created because we desire to improve an aspect of our lives, which should result in a general improvement of ourselves.   Resolutions provide us with something to aspire to, and serve as an ending point as we attempt to create a path in order to reach these resolutions.

Similarly, students should take some time to make resolutions – or educational goals – for themselves.  Goal setting is an important part of a student’s overall success, as goals serve a similar purpose as resolutions – they provide something to aspire to, and help the student develop a path to reach their ultimate objectives.

In order for students to successfully reach their goals, they need to ensure that the goals themselves are attainable.  Students also need to set constant reminders of their goals throughout the year, so they can consistently confirm that they are on the right track.

Here are a few tips that students can use when developing goals for 2012:

Record the Goals
Creating goals is a great start, but students need to record their goals as well.  Recording goals serves multiple purposes.  First and foremost, it serves as a document that students can be accountable too.  The goals can be posted on a prominent area – perhaps, on the front of the student’s bedroom door – so they will always be reminded of what they would like to achieve.  Another reason to record the goals are as follows: so students simply remember what they are, and don’t modify them later in the year or even forget about them altogether.

Set Attainable Goals
Goals are meant to be reached; therefore, students should take some time to ensure that the goals they create are reasonable and measurable.  We have all experienced loss or failure, and these types of feelings can be difficult to overcome.  If students face setbacks early in the year, they may realize that they cannot attain their goal— at all if the bar has been set too high.  Instead of quitting altogether, setting achievable goals will allow students to better themselves while providing room for error.

Tell Others
If students keep their goals to themselves, they do not have anyone to be accountable to or support them along their path.  However, if students tell their parents, teachers, peers, etc., then these individuals can help ensure the student’s goals are on track.  Additionally, once the goals are achieved, the student will have people they can boast to about their found success.

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