Goal setting is a topic that transcends the traditional curriculum. It is a key life skill that if learned and used daily can truly make a difference in your students' lives.
Goal setting materials are abundant, yet many students fail to receive adequate instruction in goal setting for two reasons. First, most teachers cannot afford to neglect their subject matter for several weeks, and second, purchasing textbooks with the intention of using only a single chapter on goal setting is hardly a justifiable use of limited educational funds. Unfortunately, publishers do not allow photocopying of goal writing chapters, and goal setting worksheets are not currently available on the Internet for you to download and photocopy.
To address this problem, I am devoting this article to a unit on goal setting which might be completed in a week, or a little longer. While we retain the copyright for this unit, you are welcome to photocopy the material for use in your classes.
Many teens need be taught to dream for themselves, for, if they are not, they are apt to accept goals foisted upon them by adults and thus miss the joy of seeing personal dreams fulfilled.
1. Introducing Goal Setting
Since visualizing the future is often difficult for teens, it is helpful to begin the unit with daydreaming. To integrate goal writing into your course, introduce the unit with material related to your content that refers to dreams or goals. This might be a poem, a story, a biographical sketch or a news article. Be sure to distinguish between "dreams" as sleep experiences and "dreams" as aspirations.
2. Defining Goal Areas
Explain to your students that it is easier to think about our lives in categories than it is to think of all aspects at once. Then ask them how they might categorize the various aspects of their lives. If they have difficulty getting started, prod them by asking them to list people and activities that are important to them and to see if they fit them into from five to eight categories. It is more important that students devise their own categories than that they create perfect classification systems. Allowing them to share ideas will be help students realize that a variety of categorization schemes would work.
Sample Life Categories