Goal setting is fundamental to long-term success in middle school and high school. After all, it’s difficult to get to a desired destination if you do not clearly define the ultimate destination and how you will get there. In this article, you will learn more about the importance of setting goals, as well as discover some practical goal-setting tips.
Having goals helps students focus and create a set of achievements during a specific time in school. Through goal-setting, you will learn to focus your time and resources more efficiently. In addition, by referring to the goals, you will gain motivation when you may lack motivation or simply want to give up.
From an educational perspective, academic goals for high school and academic goals for middle school improve performance by ensuring students remain accountable for their own decisions, habits, and successes.
This propels middle school and high school students forward through a selection of small achievements designed to break down a larger purpose. For example, at boarding schools, students typically set academic goals to improve grades, study habits, and college planning.
What’s more, it is important to set goals to gain confidence and personal efficacy, once a goal is achieved.
Goals Keep Students Moving Forward
Writing down specific goals gives students something to work toward. When written down, goals form an external representation of inner desires and establish a plan for actual achievement.
For example, if a student wishes to get a higher grade, improve athletic skills, or achieve a new leadership position, they must firstset goals for success. They must then figure out and break down a way to accomplish goals through a series of strategies and tactics.
In short, goals are a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish. Goal setting will fuel your ambition and offer you a sense of pride when success finally arrives.
Without set goals, you know how you can float from one area of school life to the next. Establishing a goal creates a sense of clarity and correlation between the process of working hard and accomplishing something significant. Because of this, you will access the motivational energy you need to work through periods when your focus and motivation may begin to wane.
For instance, at a San Diego military school for boys in grades 7-12, goals are integral to all aspects of campus life. Teachers, coaches, and residential life staff all cheer students on to meet academic, athletic, leadership, and character goals.
Goals Break Down Insurmountable Mountains
Most teenagers today have huge dreams that sometimes seem impossible to reach. It’s easy for you to feel discouraged when you’re staring at a future that may appear overwhelming.
However, proper goal setting can break those larger, more intimidating aspirations down into achievable stepping stones. Not only does planning toward smaller goals make it easier to formulate a plan of how one achievement can lead to another, but research suggests that achieving smaller milestones offers greater levels of stress-reduction and motivation.
In short, make sure you work towards short-term and long-term goals that interconnect. This will give you more focus, time, and energy. Through the pursuit of those smaller goals, you will learn more about yourself and others: strengths, weaknesses, and ways to continually improve.
Keep in mind the goal-setting process can be employed and reinforced in all types of schools: public schools, private schools, boarding schools, military schools, and even in home schools and tutoring centers. Also, make sure your whole family supports and encourages the goal-setting process.
Goals Hold Students Accountable
Having goals makes you accountable for your actions and efforts, as well as your time management. Setting a goal stimulates an individual to take action, regardless of the obstacles that may be in place. As such, it can encourage you as a student to develop critical thinking skills, new problem solving techniques, and a better understanding of how to overcome issues.
In many private schools, this ties in with the idea of mental fitness and a growth mindset. You can read some tips on how to develop a growth mindset in this article.
What’s more, the accountability built into goal setting encourages you to look back over trials and tribulations, evaluating areas where you need to improve. In a growth mindset, you adopt the belief that you can learn and improve, and not just rest on inborn abilities and talents. As such, it pushes you to tackle challenges directly to produce better chances of overall success.
In addition, it can also help you look inward at your character, values, and all aspects of your life. This allows you to be conscious and accountable for the whole of who you are and your future direction.
In particular, at some private schools and military schools, goals will be emphasized to ensure the development of your intellect, as well as your character and leadership. You will develop your values, intellect, and fitness as you gain tenacity, determination, and perseverance.
Goals Make Students Want to Be Better
There are numerous experimental and correlational studies showing that setting goals increases success rates in almost every setting, including education. Part of the reason for this is that setting goals pushes young adults to articulate the things they want out of life, so they live more consciously.
Without goals, students subject themselves to a default or natural set of actions that are there to keep them feeling safe and comfortable, without offering any opportunity for growth.
By setting goals for success, you can discover more about yourself and work towards becoming the best version of yourself. In other words, goals allow students to tap into their inner potential by giving them targets to strive toward. These targets will help you venture into new situations, contexts, and challenges that place you in the right position for growth and development.
Goals Prepare Students for Adulthood
Through goal setting, students learn that hard work and good habits are critical keys to success. Because of this, students discover a level of respect for the dedication and determination required to achieve important goals to prepare for college, career, and life.
Goal setting is important to help students, not only get more out of their middle school and high school experiences, but it also means that they may apply the same skills in the future. As you graduate from college and then move into adulthood, having goals will help you face the job application process, apply for promotions, or even become an entrepreneur.
As an adult, having goals will assist you in developing specific ways to create balance between mental, physical, and social pursuits. In life, you will be called upon to give back to your family, community and your country through various levels of participation. With goals and aspirations in mind, you will be able to introspect about how you can make an impact.
So, as a teen, you may have been asking “why have goals?” In response, goals will help you measure your progress through life and provide you with an important tool to navigate personal development and change. This all requires a synergy between the setting of goals, taking action steps, and developing practical life skills. In middle school and high school, make sure you work on areas such as: critical thinking, decision-making, time management, prioritization, and determination.
Goal Setting Tips
- Create a Place to Track Goals – You can use a journal, calendar, notes on mobile devices, action bulletin board, list next to your desk, or any format you choose. Make sure it is visible and you look at it every day.
- Break Down Action Steps – Make sure you compartmentalize and understand the steps to reach the goal. Make each step achievable and within a set timespan.
- Send Yourself an Annual Letter – In the letter, include all the goals you set and acknowledge your progress and/or final achievements. Celebrate your many successes.
- Hold the Goal in a Vision – Holding a vision will help you realize goals by envisioning it as complete. For instance, if you are running a race, imagine yourself at the finish line coming in first place.
- Use Positive Self-Talk – Begin everyday with an intention. Think about your main focus and priority for the day and give yourself a pep talk.