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Goals for Middle School Students

Goals for Middle School Students— Welcome! Here you will find goal setting, keeping, and “how-to” resources for Middle Schoolers. There’s even some bonus content on Goal Setting for School Success. But first, let’s start with some goal writing prompts ideas.

Setting goals and then working to achieve them is an important skill to develop in life. Without goals in life, we tend to flounder and stay still instead of moving forward. Middle schoolers are at the perfect age to begin defining their goals and then finding ways to accomplish them. 

Journal Prompts for Goal Setting

Whether it’s setting a goal academically for the school year, an athletic goal, or even a bigger goal for a career later in life, kids need to learn how to define what they want and how they’ll achieve it. Without clarity, there’s no change, and without goals, there will be no growth. 

Figuring out what goals are deserving of attention can be tough for middle school students, but writing can help them find some clarity. We’ve put together a list of goal writing prompts for middle school students that will help. 

Goals for Middle School Students
25 Writing Prompts

  1. What do you plan to do differently in the coming week, month, or year? 
  2. What can you see yourself doing a year from now? What about in five years? 
  3. What times of day are the most productive for you? 
  4. What really motivates you in life? 
  5. What do you love about your life now, and what would you like to change?
  6. Am I passionate about the goal that I have for the future? Will I follow through on it? 
  7. Why does reaching this goal really matter to me? 
  8. Does reaching my goal matter to anyone else? 
  9. Why do you believe that you can accomplish this goal? 
  10. What things inspire you to achieve the goals that you set?
  11. How long will it take for me to achieve this goal? 
  12. What steps do I need to make sure I achieve my goal daily, weekly, and monthly?
  13. What things will I need to meet my goal? 
    Goal Setting Writing Ideas for Middle School
  14. Who can help me to accomplish my goal? 
  15. Who inspires me to achieve the goals that I set for myself? 
  16. Will I miss out on anything by choosing to pursue this goal?
  17. What will happen if I don’t achieve this goal? 
  18. What’s your biggest fear when it comes to reaching your goal? 
  19. What will you do if something doesn’t work out as you had planned? 
  20. What characteristics do you have that can help you to reach this goal? 
  21. What goals have you already reached? What can that teach you as you decide on and work towards a new goal? 
  22. Is there a goal you had in the past that you no longer want to pursue? 
  23. What will happen if you do not reach your goal? 
  24. Do you have a specific time frame for accomplishing your goal?
  25. If you fail to meet your goal, how can you use that failure to help move your life forward towards new goals? 

Here’s to your child’s goal setting success, and, as always, keep on writing!

Goal Writing Journal Ideas for Kids

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And now… Here is the bonus content on Goal Setting and School Success I mentioned in the opening paragraph of this page. Enjoy!

Goal setting is a great habit for kids to learn and master.  Goal setting and following through on established goals are two different things! This is where journaling comes in handy.

Goal setting

There is simply no better tool out there to help remind a person how far they’ve come and how much they’ve achieved toward their chosen goals than a written record in the form of a journal.

By maintaining a special journal dedicated to goals, children will be able to see their progress, and seeing progress is what will encourage and motivate them to keep working toward the achievement of their chosen goals.

Meaningful, insightful and useful goal setting occurs when the focus of the goal is on self-awareness, personal development, and growth. In other words, goal setting is about the child’s interests, wants, desires… not on what others want the child to do or be.

Goal setting is simple, really, and can be broken down into three parts.

3 Simple Goal Setting Steps

1. Identify a Goal

2. Record the Goal (write it down!)

3. Monitor Progress toward the Achievement of a Goal

Unfortunately, part three of the goal setting steps is often forgotten or set aside, and as we’ve already explored, it is journaling that can help motivate kids to follow through on their goals.  The key is to engage the child in their goal journal. To do this let’s discuss how to help kids identify meaningful goals that will capture their interest through all three goal setting steps outlined above.

How to Help Kids Create Goals

When it comes to goal setting for middles schoolers, it is essential to help them set goals that excite passion, interest, and enthusiasm. It is also essential that children learn to write goals from a personal development perspective.  The single easiest way to get a child to identify a meaningful goal is to ask this key question:

“What talent, gift or capacity gives you joy and
how can you grow it?”

Help a child dig a little deeper by exploring the question in greater detail.  Here are some suggestions on how to do so:


What unique talents do you possess that bring you joy? Are there hidden talents just waiting to emerge? If so, what are they and how can you grow them?


What gift (usually a skill) do you already possess that you can offer to this world?  How can you use this gift in new, fun and exciting ways?


Are you able to be patient with others? Do you find yourself motivating others or encouraging them to do better?  These are special capacities that you possess. How can you grow your special capacities and benefit from them?

By helping a student set goals based on their talents, gifts, and capacities they will be more engaged and motivated to follow their stated goal through to achievement.  Basically, this is about identifying strengths and building upon them, not trying to overcome one’s weaknesses. This is an important distinction!

Journal keeping is a great tool to help children not only set goals but also monitor and, ultimately, achieve their goals. Journaling in a notebook, a printed book or an online journal is a great way to help a child track, monitor and see the progress s/he is making toward their goals.

Journaling and goal setting (and keeping) is a perfect partnership.  Have your middle schoolers try it. They’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. I guarantee it!


“There is no single effort more radical
in its potential for saving the world
than a transformation of the way we raise our children.”

~ Marianne Williamson

Goal Setting for School Success

School success is vital to a child’s present and future happiness, and goal setting can help enhance a child’s chances of succeeding in school. Goal setting, however, is hard for most of us.

Sometimes it is difficult to clarify for ourselves what our goals are and how we intend to achieve them. This is especially so for young students and their school success aims. Like adults kids also face challenges when it comes to setting goals but if they learn to write down their goals and to record each step of their goal process the job can be much easier. Journal keeping is a great tool to do this.

School Success - Goal Setting

Children who keep regular journals might automatically write about their goals and how to achieve them. But kids who don’t keep a journal or who don’t keep journals which are that specific might not know how to go about journal keeping as it relates to goal setting and school success. This is true especially if a student tends to keep a journal focused on the boy or girl they like or the music they’re currently into.  Suddenly switching their journaling gears and focusing on goals can be a bit of a shock to the system.

To ease a student’s transition from general to specific journaling we suggest an emphasis on hobbies or special interests, to begin with, and eventually graduating to a focus on specific school success or academic goals. To do so just use the following tips.

Goal Setting for School Success Tips

Here are three steps to teach kids how to use a journal as a tool for goal setting for hobbies and, eventually, for school success goals.

School Success Tip #1 — Make a list

One unique and useful aspect of a journal is that all the ideas, thoughts and other things included in the journal are in one place and likely won’t get lost. So making a list of goals is an ideal way to start learning how to track them. On one page of the journal, a child might decide to make a list of five goals for the next year or the next six months or the next five years. The list initially might seem unrealistic or it might seem a little too safe, but the idea here is to get the ideas on paper in some organized fashion. Once the list is made, a child can look at the list and determine which of the goals are realistic and which aren’t.

Perhaps a child will title a page “goals I want to reach in six months” and it will become clear from looking at the list which ones will take much longer than six months. Writing goals down in a journal like this gives the child an opportunity to see what can be done, what can’t be done and where changes need to be made in the overall plan.

Tip #2 — Make a list of how to achieve a goal

On a separate page of the journal, a child might take one of the goals he or she has identified and devote an entire page to it. Here, the child might make a list of how to achieve the goal. For example, if a child sets a goal to make the school baseball team, a list might include things like “practice swinging bat 10 minutes a day”.

By making lists, the child is not only learning how to dream about the goals but how to put steps in place to make the goal a reality.

Tip #3 — Begin to chart progress on goals

On another page of the journal, a child might chart the progress that he or she has made by writing down things he or she is actually doing to achieve the goal. For example, the child might note when and where and how he or she practices that baseball skill. The child might note when private lessons are acquired or when casual play takes place with friends. All of these things, when charted out over time, will allow the child to see how things come together.

School success can be ensured through setting achievement goals, but goal setting can seem overwhelming at first. Yet when a child practices goal setting with their hobbies and interests, the specific aspects of achieving her goal and the goal-setting process becomes much more inviting to learn.  Thereafter using a journal as a tool for school success goals (and achieving them) doesn’t have to seem quite so overwhelming after all.

Journaling for School Success

School success takes effort, commitment, determination and motivation on the part of students.

Setting goals and staying motivated are particularly important to a child’s school success, and journaling can help in this area of a child’s life. Wonderfully, journal writing may be used by students of any and all skill levels.

Journal Writing Girl

We all know that journaling can change lives as well as the mind. It can help heal, create, and even clear one’s brain from the clutter and stress of everyday life. This is also how and why journal writing can ensure a child’s school success.

Journaling for School Success | Staying Motivated

In order for a child to experience school success, motivation and accomplishment are essential experiences that must occur, and journaling is a great tool to help students keep motivated.  This is helpful especially for students looking to commit themselves to a task or goal they seek to accomplish.

When a student is journaling for motivational purposes, they are able to make lists of things they want to do, things they need, the goal they truly seek, etc.  Students should be encouraged to write about any dreams or goals that they wish to accomplish either within the year or near future. But a student’s journaling efforts do not have to be words alone. Journal entries may also include doodles, pictures, or collages that the child feels will help and motivate her to attract the thing she wants in her life.

Say for example that a student is looking to try out for the next play at school. She could start her journaling by writing a list of words that relate to her goal such as “actor”, “lead role”, “play”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and so forth. She could also cut and paste pictures of a stage, drama masks, costumes, pictures of favorite actors or actresses, the title of the play she plans to audition for, etc.

Journaling for School Success | Achieving Goals

It is also important to write out a plan of action aimed at helping the child to achieve her goal or dream. In the previous example of a student wanting to get into the school play, the child might know of some members of the drama club that she would like to interview. On the other hand, maybe the student is looking to take some acting classes or take a few speech classes at school to help gain confidence in speaking in front of others. Or, she might just want to take some courses in literature that emphasize the study of Shakespearean dramas, attend plays at a local or city theatre, or other similar ideas. The point is to decide upon goal-supportive activities and then to do them!

When taking action to support a goal, the student may want to take her journal along in order to write out her thoughts or take notes for future use. Doing so helps the student stay on track in reaching her goals and dreams. It will take some time and a little bit of effort, but once a student reaches her goals she will feel like she has done her job well, somewhat in part due to the journal she kept to help her stay focused on taking actions that support the achievement of her stated goals. There are, of course, endless ways students may support their goal(s) through action.

Benefits of Journaling for School Success

Writing in a journal to achieve goals and dreams can help inspire a child. Anytime a student seeks to accomplish specific goals, however, a few roadblocks will be encountered along the way. Roadblocks such as a failed attempt, a task gone wrong, or people who say that the child cannot accomplish her goals and dreams are examples of some issues students may face as they pursue their goals.

Journaling is especially helpful if a student is feeling frustrated about or dismayed by their progress toward achieving her goal. Writing in a journal about those feelings is very helpful. Often it is during these challenging times a journal becomes a student’s best friend and biggest fan because it serves as a wonderful sounding board for those difficult feelings.  And because it’s her journal she can express her feelings in any way she wants without negative consequences.

These are just a few ways that students can use journal keeping to keep motivated, stay focused on their goals, and, in turn, support their overall school success.

Journal keeping will help a student to grow and pursue those passions they wish to pursue, and it doesn’t take much time or money to start one. Besides, once a student gets going, she will most likely find her journaling journey interesting. Even more exciting is that one day she can share with others how she reached the goals she wrote about in her journal, thereby helping to ensure her school success!

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2 thoughts on “Goals for Middle School Students”

  1. Adults would do well to ask themselves the above key question, too! For me? What talent, gift, or capacity gives me joy, and how can I grow it? Writing! Writing everyday!

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