Goal Setting


A famous study at Yale University polled graduating seniors in a class in the ‘50s. The students were asked what their specific and written goals for their careers and finances were. Unfortunately, only 3% of the graduating class had specific and written goals.

20 years later, the class was studied again. The 3% that had specific goals at graduation had amassed more wealth in the 20 years than the other 97% combined! Goals make that type of difference.goal-setting

What’s stopping you from writing specific goals? Goals will make all the difference in your life! Turn your dreams and aspirations into specific, measurable, and written goals. You will achieve more.

Make sure to set goals and time lines for all the areas of your life, physical, mental, personal, spiritual, social, family, financial, and career. Dan Miller from 48 Days has a great worksheet on goal setting. Check it out here.

When it comes to preparing for college, goal setting is extremely important. Having a clear, concise plan is essential to success, and this is a skill that will serve students well throughout life. Public and private schools have a plan for their students, unfortunately, most often it is the opposite of the plan that we would prefer for them. Nothing wrong with creative, unstructured learning, sometimes this can be the best kind. But in order to accomplish goals and objectives, there must be a method to the madness, some type of order and structure that will facilitate the best learning environment.

Proper planning prevents poor performance. Begin to map out where you want your student to be during 12th grade and work backwards. Through this simple process, it makes the end goal much more realistic and plausible.

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4 Comments

Filed under Planning

4 responses to “Goal Setting

  1. Lynda

    Interesting story, but when I searched for the original study, I quickly discovered it’s folklore:
    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/06/cdu.html Sure wish it were true; it sounded like such helpful advice to pass along to my son before graduating.

    • Lynda,

      I read through the article and it may be correct, the study may be a work of fiction. Even so, it doesn’t diminish the importance of goal setting in order to accomplish what you want in life. Thanks for commenting, glad to see you research so thoroughly.

      • Lynda

        hmm, well if there is no evidence that goal-setting is helpful, (just gut instinct that it could be) then it *does* diminish the advice. Perhaps there is a study that points to goal-setting as counterproductive, in that it sets you up for a string of disappointments. People (maybe most) will set unrealistic goals – our society tells kids to dream big, “you can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough for it”.

      • Well, it seems that the alternative to goal setting would be to wander aimlessly through life without purpose or direction and just hope to get lucky. I’ve always thought the old adage you mentioned, “you can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough for it” is only partially true. If someone is 5’0″ tall, it’s highly unlikely he will ever play professional basketball, no matter how naturally talented he might be. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t do his very best and work to accomplish his goals, but he should be realistic about the probability of attaining them. All that aside, logically it seems that the benefits of goal setting far outweigh the negatives.

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