Ready, Set, Goal! 
January is the time of year when we all try to set goals for the new year.  Setting goals is important for all of us because it forces us to think about the things that we want to obtain in life and evaluate the behaviors we want to change.  Once those things have been established, we can devise a strategy to take the action necessary to obtain those goals.        

Why is Setting Goals Important?

*    Motivation: The process of setting goals allows students to choose where they want to go in school and what they want to achieve. By knowing what they want to achieve, they know what they have to concentrate on and improve. Goal setting gives students long-term vision and short-term motivation.

Self Confidence: By setting goals and measuring their achievements, students are able to see what they have done and what they are capable of. Seeing their results gives them confidence and assurance that they need to believe they can achieve higher goals.

Sense of Accomplishment: Having sharp, clearly defined goals, which students can measure, will allow them to take pride in accomplishing their goals. When students accomplish the goals they set for themselves, they will be motivated to set and attain more goals.

Kids who have goals- whether academic, personal, or social ones- will do better in life than kids with no plan at all.

Tips on Helping Kids Set Goals

To keep this as simple as possible, think about goal setting as a four-step process:

First - ask your student to write down one to three goals. 
     Goals should be: specific, measurable and attainable.

Second - ask your student to write down some actions they can take that will help them  achieve their goal.

Third - Establish a date that the goal should be achieved (and establish a reward). An example might be: 

My Goal is: to make a B on my next math test. 
In order to do that I will: talk less to my friends during class, listen to my teacher when she is talking and complete my homework assignments. I will complete my goal by:  January 31st    


Fourth -Evaluate. Its important to keep in mind that the emphasis should be on the process itself, not just on the end result.  The idea with goal setting for kids is to get them started in the life-long frame of mind for thinking, planning and taking action to achieve results.
If your student has achieved his or her goal, its helpful if you can reward them (i.e. let them pick a game that you play during your next session or purchase them a small gift).   If he or she hasn't reached their ultimate goal, you should discuss the reasons why they weren't able to obtain it and make a new plan with those things in mind.  As the adage says "If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again."
Regardless of whether your student obtains his or her goal, they will learn valuable lessons about planning and goal setting.

Here's a sample goal sheet similar to the one above: click here.

You can also find a wide variety of goal setting worksheets appropriate for different age groups here.



Talking Points / Conversation Tips
  • What was your biggest accomplishment in 2014?
  • What was your happiest moment in 2014?
  • What's your number one goal this year?
  • What is your biggest dream?
  • Do there is a difference between dreams and goals? (Explain that many dreams can become goals once students have an action plan as to how they are going to make their dream a reality).
  • What is your biggest worry?
  • If you could change anything about last year, would you? If so, what would you change?


    Remember to Share Your Answers!    


Book of the Month

The Girl Who Spun Gold

"Stirring...with a rhythm just right for reading aloud...a West Indian version of the universal little-man (Rumpelstiltskin) folktale. Quashiba's mother...boasts that her daughter can spin and weave a whole field of the finest gold thread. Dramatic words and pictures." - Booklist, starred review. "A charming and visually stunning tale of cunning, greed, and quixotic good fortune." - School Library Journal, starred review.


Notes and Reminders


January is National Mentoring Month!


We encourage you to post about your mentoring experiences on on your own social media pages or on the Education Elevators Facebook Page using  #Education Elevators,#SomeoneWhoMatters.  If you prefer, feel free to email your stories and photos to:


"Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant."

                            - Robert Louis Stevenson    

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