In the current high-stress, uncertain environment, the idea of setting goals might seem overwhelming or pointless to some… and yet we know we need to achieve important things before the year is out. When it comes to education, 6 months can be a long time in a student’s life!
Feeling motivated to set and achieve goals comes with feeling like we can make a difference to our experience. Writing coach Shaunta Grimes recommends starting from your strengths and considering how you can use them right now. “Once you’ve figured out your strengths, think about how you can use them to your advantage.” Starting from our strengths gives us a boost of confidence to begin again with our goals.
It is likely that goals need to be re-set for our new reality, while we are still figuring out what that new reality will look like. A review of existing or ‘usual’ goals is a good place to start. What needs to change?
What goal setting must look like now
Life feels tough for most people right now, in one way or another. Even for those who feel quite lucky, we are bombarded with crisis news daily! Seeing images and hearing of illness, conflict and economic hardship, along with the stress we may bring home from work or school do take their toll on our mental wellbeing. So while striving to achieve goals matters, it’s also important to ensure they are realistic for the current times and our current mental bandwidth… our children do need to know the value of hard work, but they also need to know it’s ok to be human and have tough days.
With the world changing daily, it’s important to reflect on goals and your progress towards them more often than normal, so that you can adjust as needed.
School is just going back into some kind of ‘normal’ environment for most students, but things have changed dramatically in a short time and this affects our day-to-day experience and ways of understanding the world around us. It’s also uncertain what the expectations will be around schooling in the coming months. Making a plan for what you know now, and checking back in with it regularly, will help productivity.
Step by step
Ensure you start with clarity on what you’re trying to achieve, and gather the information you need to work out what the steps are to get there. Then, take it one step at a time, and celebrate wins along the way. This traditional goal-setting tip is more important than ever now, as we readjust and find our footing with new routines.
Seeking help and sharing experiences have never been so important for us all. Young students are looking to adults for guidance and they need to know that there is support for them when it is needed… and furthermore, that working towards goals can be a team effort – at home, at school and in the broader education community.