Happy New Year to you..
We all tend to shudder with distaste at the expression “New Years Resolutions”. The phrase brings to my mind pulling myself up by my sorely lacking in self-discipline, boot strings and dredging up basically the same old and tired lists of resolutions I make every year. You know the ones: lose weight, be more organized, spend more quality time with my family, worry less, etc. Oh my intentions and motivation are always sincere, but somehow I seem to lose steam even before the end of January.
As teachers, we are in a constant stage of planning, and implementing goals and objectives for our students. That task is an ongoing process that goes with our instructive territory. I’m speaking primarily of personal goal setting for both educators and students. I’ve found that if one becomes consistent in goal writing, application, tracking, and most importantly, follow-up, the process will result in greater proficiency in writing goals for our students and teaching them the skill.
Just as structure brings security to the classroom, planning goals can give students an ability to visualize and verbalize their own hopes and dreams in a very uncertain, volatile world. The first part of the goal setting process is basically brainstorming, going from general to specific, and determining short range and long range goals. I usually don’t have a problem coming up with goals for myself. On the contrary, I usually have an overabundance of goals… so many, that it’s often very overwhelming. An ongoing challenge is the narrowing down, becoming very specific about exactly what I want to accomplish.
The following are excerpts from “The Top Ten Best Ideas For Setting Goals” by Hilton Johnson.
- Make A List Of Your Values
What’s really important to you? Your family? Your religion? Your leisure time? Your hobbies? Decide on what your most important values in life are and then make sure that the goals you set are designed to include and enhance them.
- Begin With The End In Mind
Tom Watson, the founder of IBM was once asked what he attributed the phenomenal success of IBM to and he said it was three things:
The first thing was that he created a very clear image in his mind of what he wanted his company to look like when it was done. He then asked himself how would a company like that have to act on a day-to-day basis. And then in the very beginning of building his company, he began to act that way.
- Project Yourself Into The Future
The late, great Earl Nightingale created a whole new industry (self-improvement) after a 20-year study on what made people successful. The bottom-line result of his research was simply, “We Become What We Think About.” Whatever thoughts dominate our minds most of the time are what we become. That’s why goal setting is so critical in achieving success because it keeps us focused on what’s really important to us. He then said that the easiest way to reach our goals is to pretend that we had ALREADY achieved our goals.
- Write Down The 10 Things You Want This Year
By making a list of the things that are important to you, you begin to create images in your mind. It’s been said that your mind will actually create chaos if necessary to make images become a reality. Because of this, the list of ten things will probably result in you achieving at least eight of them within the year.
- Create Your Storyboard
Get a piece of poster board and attach it to a wall in your office or home where you will see it often. As you go through magazines, brochures, etc. In other words, make yourself a collage of the goals that excite you…knowing full well that as you look at them everyday, they will soon be yours.
- The Three Most Important Things
Decide on three things that you want to achieve before you die. Then work backwards listing three things you want in the next twenty years, ten years, five years, this year, this month, this week and finally, the three most important things you want to accomplish today.
- Ask Yourself Good Questions
As you think about your goals, instead of WISHING for them to come true, ask yourself HOW and WHAT CAN YOU DO to make them come true. The subconscious mind will respond to your questions far greater than just making statements or making wishes.
- Focus On One Project At A Time
One of the greatest mistakes people make in setting goals is trying to work on too many things at one time. There is tremendous power in giving laser beam focused attention to just one idea, one project or one objective at a time.
- Write Out An “Ideal Scenario”
Pretend that you are a newspaper reporter that has just finished an interview about the outstanding success that you’ve achieved and the article is now in the newspaper. How would it read? What would be the headline? Write the article yourself, projecting yourself into the future as though it had already happened. Describe the activities of your daily routine now that are very successful. Don’t forget the headline. (Example: “Jane Doe Wins Top Network Marketing Award Of The Decade.”)
- Pray and Meditate
As you get into bed each evening, think about your goal before you drop off to sleep. Get a very clear colorful image in your mind of seeing yourself doing the things you’ll be doing after you’ve reached your major goal. (Remember to include your values.) And then begin to ask for these things through meditation and prayer.