For the teachers that missed our speaking club on Tuesday January 7th, we discussed goals and how to set and achieve goals. The handout below is an article that we read regarding goals and how to achieve them, it is meant to inspire you to create goals and achieve them in terms of your job as English teachers. It also serves to help you set personal as well and professional goals that you want to achieve in the new year.
WHAT ARE GOALS?
By Craig Jutila
Wikipedia says, “a goal is a desired result a person or system envisions, plans and commits to achieve.”
WHY SHOULD WE HAVE GOALS?
*We should have goals because they tell us what to do.
Goals help us narrow or define what we need to do in order to achieve success.
*We should have goals because they tell us what not to do.
We usually think of goals as defining what we should do but they also define what we shouldn’t do as well. Seems simple enough but this perspective helps us to inadvertently create a “stop doing” list.
*We should have goals because they encourage progress.
Goals are steps on our journey to the final destination. Think “baby steps.”
*We should have goals because they give us direction.
Goals are like directions you enter into Google Maps before you leave on a trip. They give you points of progress and keep you moving in the right direction.
*We should have goals because they change our behavior.
What would goals be if they didn’t change our behavior? Nothing!
WHAT CATEGORIES OF GOALS SHOULD I SET?
FIVE REASONS TO COMMIT GOALS TO WRITING
By Michael Hyatt
The secret to accomplishing what matters most to you is committing your goals to writing. This is important for at least five reasons.
Because it will force you to clarify what you want. Imagine setting out on a trip with no particular destination in mind. How do you pack? What roads do you take? How do you know when you have arrived? Instead, you start by picking a destination. The same is true with the milestones in your life. Writing down your goals forces you to select something specific and decide what you want.
Because it will motivate you to take action. Writing your goals down is only the beginning. Clearly writing your intention is important, but it is not enough. You must carry out your goals. You have to take action. I have found that writing down my goals and reviewing them regularly provokes me to take the next most important action.
Because it will provide a filter for other opportunities. New opportunities can quickly become distractions that pull you off course. The only help that I know of is to maintain a list of written goals by which to evaluate these new opportunities.
Because it will help you overcome resistance. Every meaningful intention, dream, or goal encounters resistance. From the moment you set a goal, you will begin to feel resistance. But if you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. The way to overcome it is to focus on the goal—the thing I want.
Because it will enable you to see—and celebrate—your progress. Life is hard. It is particularly difficult when you aren’t seeing progress. You feel like you are working very hard but going nowhere. But written goals are like mile-markers on a highway. They enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go. They also provide an opportunity for celebration when you attain them.
GUIDES TO GOAL SETTING by Michael Hyatt
Keep them few in number. Research shows that you really can’t focus on more than 5–7 items at any one time. Focus on a handful of goals that you can repeat almost from memory.
Make them “smart.” This is an acronym. When I refer to smart goals, I mean this. Goals must meet five criteria. They must be:
Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
Bad: Write a book.
Good: Write a book proposal for The Life Plan Manifesto.
Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
Bad: “Earn more this year than last.”
Good: “Earn $5,000 more this year than last.”
Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
Bad: Be more consistent in blogging.
Good: Write two blog posts per week.
Realistic—you have to be careful here. A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense. I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it.
Bad: Qualify for the PGA Tour.
Good: Lower my golf handicap by four strokes.
Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal. It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a by when date.
Bad: Lose 20 pounds.
Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.
Write them down. This is critical. There is a huge power in writing your goals down even if you never develop an action plan or do anything else When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
Review them frequently. While writing your goals down is a powerful exercise in itself, the real juice is in reviewing them on a regular basis. This is what turns them into reality. Every time I review my goals, I ask myself, What’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal. You can review them daily, weekly, or monthly. The key is to do let them inspire and populate your daily task list.
Share them selectively Do not share your goals with anyone who is not committed to helping you achieve them (e.g., your mentor, mastermind group, or business partner).