Goal Setting for Students & Visioning Tools— Some kids are masters at making goals for themselves and creating a plan for achieving those goals, but the majority of kids – like adults – are not. Teaching kids goals setting (not goal but goals!) is essential because it is a skill that affects both a child’s school and life successes.
Goal-setting skills a child must learn include identifying their goals, learning how to make a game plan for each goal, and being able to visualize the accomplishment of the steps needed to achieve their plans. A child must intimately understand these essential skills in order to achieve their goals.
One of the best tools for student goal setting is the “SMART” goal formula. A child who uses this tool would set a goal that looks like this – “I plan to read three books by the end of March”, rather than a goal like this – “I’ll read more”.
Basically, an effective goal is a SMART goal. Here is what the SMART acronym represents:
- Specific — In the example above, it is evident which goal is specific and which one isn’t. Help kids revise and refine their goals and make them specific.
- Measurable — The number of books read is the measure tool. “I’ll read more” is not easy to measure because it is vague.
- Attainable — Is there a time frame? Can the child reach their goal in the time frame allotted?
- Relevant — Does the goal relate to life interests, skill development, or personal needs?
- Time-Bound — The timeline is set for the end of March in the SMART goal. The other goal does not contain a time frame of any sort.
Goals for Students Visioning Tools
There are a few ways in which various methods of journaling can help kids to visualize their future and work to achieve their future dreams. These visioning tools integrate perfectly with the SMART goal setting as outlined above.
Collages: Goal Visioning Tool #1 for Kids
Many kids would benefit from using collages because they are so visual. These are often used in art classes and in other projects to help kids identify what they like and what they don’t like.
Basically, a child can take a piece of poster board, small notebook, or bulletin board and attach pictures and articles from magazines and newspapers, snippets of comic strips, or quotes they have found and compile them all together in order to create some ideas for the future. For example, a 12-year-old girl might create a collage that includes pictures of her ideal college or dream car with an idea that this is part of her future vision.
Of course, many of a child’s future vision ideas will be a bit pie-in-the-sky and dreamy. But there’s certainly no harm allowing a child to dream big; it’s through big dreams that we begin to believe we can do anything. Collage making is a fun, creative angle to goal setting that balances the more linear, specific SMART goal tool.
Scrapbooking: Goal Visioning Tool #2 for Kids
Sometimes we can’t know where we are going until we know where we have been. Kids can see where they come from and how they have become the person they are through pictures. It’s through this they can have an idea of where they want to take themselves in the future. This is an essential step for kids that will help them to set clear goals. Using a scrapbook is an ideal tool to this end.
If kids make a scrapbook from pictures of when they were very young and with family members, on trips, or at special events, they can begin to understand how and why today they have particular likes and dislikes and what their plans might be for the future. They can take their scrapbooking efforts all the way through to their goal setting and back again. Identifying, setting, visioning, and analyzing goals is a never-ending and glorious part of life, and scrapbooking takes this process and makes it visual.
Goals Visioning Summary
Both the collage and the scrapbooking journal tools are useful when creating a future vision. Indeed they are based on a child coming to an understanding of where they’ve been and where they want to go. And it is this process that, in turn, helps them understand the value in learning to set goals (kids goals, that is :D).
When it comes to children, using a journal or some other method of recording their goals and ambitions can be an essential and helpful tool toward creating a solid path to success. By examining a bit more about what a child is all about and what their ideas are, they can begin to make choices that line up with these ideals and establish powerful goals that are further enhanced by visioning.
Be creative when teaching children this goal setting and visioning process, and above all be sure to have loads of fun working on these projects together!!!
Until next time, happy goal setting…
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