The Importance of Setting Goals

“A person with a clear purpose will make progress on even the toughest road.
A person with no purpose will make no progress on even the smoothest road.”

—Thomas Carlyle

Many of us sat around the dinner table on New Year’s Day and espoused our goals for the upcoming year. How many will come true?

Well, that’s to be seen. In the interim, here are some facts about what you’ve done that may surprise you:

  • 87% of people do not have goals
  • 10% of people have goals but do not write them down
  • 3% of people have written goals
  • The 3% accomplish 50 to 100 times more than others.

—Billy Mitchell, Power of Positive Students

We know the power of goal setting with students. When students write their own goals, they take responsibility and ownership for their learning. Goals describe success by painting a picture of the future. Then, it’s as if writing the goal morphs into a large magnet pulling us forward, compelling us to action. The same can be said for us. The mere act of writing down our goals is an act of commitment so strong that the goal can be actualized without ever looking at our list again.

There is wisdom in our deepest wants. Our experience is that most people, (especially educators), rarely speak about what they want. Our role of serving others often reinforces putting the wants and needs of others above our own. Our assertion is that knowing what we want and setting explicit goals for achieving that will accelerate movement toward living our ideal life.

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Karen Anderson, PCC, M. Ed.

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