Are you a drifter or a go-getter? Do you think life ‘just happens’ or that ‘we make it happen’? For myself, I can say that I tend to move between passive and proactive stances to life’s big issues and challenges (e.g. career, jobs, relationships etc). I guess I’m not alone in that. I also know that for most of my school and university career I did drift…apart from one time, when I really set a goal for myself. I wanted to go to a particular university (the local football team was what swung it!) and they wanted specific grades to enter; I had specific goals! I was so passionate about achieving these academic goals that I truly immersed myself in my learning. When the dreaded A levels were on the horizon, put together a fearsome and highly structured revision plan. Which I stuck to!
Lo and behold, when my A level results came out, I had achieved my grade goals and got to the university.
I felt empowered. I learnt a few things about goal setting. One of the things I learnt was that goals setting is like structured ‘dreaming’; when we set goals, we structure our hopes and dreams and shape them into something tangible and concrete. The more concrete and tangible the better! Hence the use of the acronym SMART for goal setting (Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Timebound). It’s very important that the goals we set come from us, they need to be our own goals-ownership is so important (this is where Relevant-above comes in). Once a relevant goal (this means motivating, exciting, important to us!) is identified, then we can plan out how to achieve them.
It is a well-known, and well understood principle that we are more likely to achieve positively and be happy if we set goals in our life, and this particularly applies to setting goals for academic achievement. Many of the students and families that I work with have done just that and that’s why they have requested a tutor-someone who can support with the achievement of these goals.
Please review our tips here, for setting goals!