Student Features

My Goals
Student Pages

Background Information

Landing a fulfilling career doesn't just happen. It is done by making informed choices about education, activities and the jobs that you pursue. Reaching your career goal begins long before you start college. Setting goals now is important because things that you do in school will affect your future. If you start thinking about goals that are positive and reasonable to set, you'll be on your way to turning them into reality. Remember not to set goals that are unattainable; otherwise, you might become frustrated and give up.

One of life's most important lessons is that there are no big jobs, only a series of little ones. Any big job can be cut into several small jobs and activities. Dividing big goals into smaller ones -- and then achieving them -- is a great way to accomplish anything in life. Shape your goals into small, reasonable tasks that are attainable and you will be more successful.

It's important to remember that goals in life don't always have to be large, intimidating projects. Something as small as remembering to smile at people during the day, or helping a family member with a chore can lead to an improved attitude towards life -- and that's a wonderful goal!

Materials
  • Writing materials
  • 5" x 7" index cards
  • 3" x 5" index cards
  • Sticky notes

Procedure
  • List some long-term goals for yourself on the left side of a piece of paper. List goals that will take a month, a year and several years to achieve. If you're having a hard time thinking of what a goal could be, ask yourself how you could improve or change a situation in your life.
  • List your short-term goals on the right side of your paper.
  • Think about these things to help in planning your goals.
    Personal - goals relating to character development and personal growth.
    Health - goals relating to exercise, appearance, diet and overall well-being.
    Recreation - goals relating to relaxation, hobbies, vacations and fun activities.
    Family - goals relating to your parents, siblings and relatives.
    Friends - goals such as expanding your circle of friends and enriching existing relationships.
    Community - goals involving a commitment to serving others through your time, talents, heart and possessions.
    Career - goals relating to school grades, skill development and future ambitions.
    Financial - goals relating to earnings, savings and understanding the value and purpose of money.
    Household - goals relating to household chores and your contribution to building a happy home life.
    Spiritual - goals relating to faith, spiritual growth and the strengthening of your beliefs.
  • Look over your list and select the three long-term goals that are the most important to you. Write each on a 5" x 7" index card. List these on the chart under Long Term Goals to turn into your teacher. Take the cards home and place them where you can see them. Show these cards to your parents and discuss your goals with them. Your family may have more ideas, and if so, you can change the card; also, let them help you choose a reward for reaching the goal. Write it on the card.
  • Compare your lists to see if any of the short-term goals will help you achieve a long-term goal. Write any of the short-term goals on 3" x 5" index cards and place them beside the long-term goal that it will help you achieve. List these on the chart under Short-Term Goals. Remember, if you have to change a goal, just cross it out and write your new one under it.
  • Think about how you can break the short-term goals down into smaller activities that could be achieved daily or weekly. Write these ideas on sticky notes and post them beside the 3" x 5" cards. List these goals on the chart under the To-Do Lists. Again, if you have to add or take away activities because they don’t work, do so!
  • As you accomplish each activity toward your short-term goal, place a check mark and date on the sticky note. When you accomplish the short-term goal, check it and write the date. Remember, create your own cheering section and plan little rewards for when you reach a short-term goal!
  • When you reach your long-term goal, reward yourself with the treat you wrote on your card. Great job!

Goal Setting Chart

Long-Term Goals
Short-Term Goals
To Do List