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Student Goal Setting

Setting goals is a great skill to have in life, but it’s often learned and tested while you are a student. So, it’s imperative that you learn to set goals, keep goals, evaluate performance against goals as a student.

Below are a few tips on how to do that. So, put your ipod away, quit thumbing your iphone, and get your eyes off the netflix movie on tv and pay attention the tips below I’m calling “Student Goal Setting”.

  • Prepare. Before the conversation, tell your child that you’re going to be discussing school goals tomorrow afternoon at 4:00. Giving a specific time is good. Tell him that he should come with three ideas. Or four. Or five. You select a number. Again, be specific.
  • Evaluate. This means evaluate your needs and, if necessary, find a local tutor to help you with your student goals of doing well in school, that SAT test, that ACT test, or the LSAT, MCAT.
  • Listen. When you’re together, let him go first. Listen to what he suggests. His ideas are going to be a good clue about what he cares about in school. Academics? Friendships? Sports? Show by your body language that you’re hearing him, but don’t interrupt.
  • Talk. Now it’s your turn. Let him know what you’re interested in. No doubt the two of you will have some similar goals. Tell him why you’ve chosen your goals. Let him see that your main objective is to keep those grades up, his knowledge growing, his skills improving.
  • Come up with rewards and consequences. Small, reasonable rewards for good effort and results are ideal. Some extra curfew time. A little money to set aside for a big purchase. Same with consequences. Agree on a couple of penalties – nothing overly harsh but noticeable. Chances are he’ll be harder on himself than you’ll ever consider.
  • Keep it light. Try to make this conversation informal and grounded in the notion that you want him to be successful and confident in school. Let him know that you don’t expect perfection, that you know there will be some glitches along the way – but that you expect him to do his best.
  • Have follow-ups. Periodically and regularly have follow-up discussions about these goals. This shows you haven’t forgotten, and it gives the two of you some valuable minutes to talk just about school.
  • Change goals when necessary. When he’s completed a goal, celebrate the success. Add a new one.
So, any questions? If not, get going and set those goals. And, WIN!


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