Students will understand how to set smart goals and realize the importance each step toward accomplishment can be enjoyed and celebrated.
1) Have you ever set a goal to achieve something and then met your goal? How did you get there? How did it feel along the way?
1) The next hope tool we will learn is the importance of setting goals and ways we can enjoy the journey as we move closer to our goals.
Goals are tools for having hope because they give us something to look forward to and encourage us to work toward our future. We can enjoy the steps we take to get there and feel a sense of accomplishment along the way.
Our goals may change over time and the good news is you can always set new ones.
2) In order to use goals as hope tools, we have to set realistic goals.
We can make sure our goals are realistic by outlining all of the specific action steps we need to take in order to help ourselves move forward toward that goal. Action steps are pathways that help take us to our goal. With each step, we can feel a sense of fulfillment and enjoy each success along the way.
One way we can achieve this is by creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal. This is a tool we can use to create a plan to improve our chances to reach our goals and feel a sense of accomplishment.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
S Specific Be specific and think about the following questions when creating your goal. Who needs to be involved? What are you trying to accomplish? When is your time-frame? Where and if there is a location? Which requirements may be involved? Why do you want this goal?
M Measurable Do you have a way to measure your progress? Perhaps, set some milestones if it is a goal that may take a period of time to reach.
A Achievable Does you goal inspire motivation within you? Do you have the tools or skills you need? If not, do you know how to attain them?
R Relevant Does your goal make sense with what you are trying to achieve?
T Time-Bound Is your timing realistic? Can you achieve your goal in the time period set? Think about what you may want to achieve at the halfway point.
3) For example, if someone wants to be an athlete in high school, there are specific steps they can take now and in the near future in order to get to that goal.a) They can practice the sport they enjoy three days a week after school.
If their goal is to practice every day, this might not be realistic. This student also has homework and chores to complete after school. By knowing that they have certain obligations, they can plan around these commitments when they map out their pathways. It might be better to choose to practice three days instead of five days. Setting a realistic action step makes that goal attainable.
a) What are other action steps the student can take to be an athlete in high school? (Instructor may provide examples
“It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.” Unknown
4) In order to use your goals as hope tools, it is okay to set small goals and work toward them slowly. Every goal you achieve helps you stay hopeful. Setting big goals is exciting, but accomplishing the steps along the way is just as important. Celebrate each step.
You can set goals around anything that you want to do in order to continue to have hope.
StoryKendra’s Realistic Goals
Kendra always dreamed of running in the Olympics, but Kendra had never run a single race.
One day, Kendra’s Aunt asked what Kendra wanted to be when she grew up.
“An Olympic runner,” Kendra told her Aunt.
“Well, have you ever run even a mile?” the Aunt asked.
“No,” Kendra responded, feeling defeated.
“I heard that the community center in town has a running club for middle school students on the weekends. What do you think about you and me going over there one Saturday?” the Aunt proposed. “Why don’t we start small, Kendra? Let’s get you running half a mile, then one mile, and then if that goes well, maybe we can make it a goal for you to go out for the track team next year. Let’s take it one step at a time and worry about the Olympics in a few years.”
The plan her aunt proposed gave Kendra hope. She had established concrete action steps that were attainable and that she could begin immediately.
Kendra created additional pathways to her goal by continuing to make new and realistic action steps. By the time she was in 8th grade, Kendra was able to run 10 miles.
Having running goals gave Kendra hope. The goals were something Kendra looked forward to, could plan on, and were ones she felt successful about achieving. These goals are an important part of Kendra’s hope foundation.
1) If Kendra’s aunt had not made a plan for Kendra, how else could Kendra have made realistic action steps toward her goal?
Think of a goal you would like to reach. Write it on your hope sunflower. List the action steps you need to take to get to that goal.
Additional Teaching Tools for Lesson 7
*The following list of stories and activities are recommended to enhance student learning, experience, and to encourage and promote further discussions related to each lesson’s content. Please choose what fits best for you, your students, and classroom environment. You may locate the resources listed below from the Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom.
p. 53 Bopsy
p. 56 Follow Your Dream
p. 59 The Power To Shine
p. 125 Ask, Ask, Ask (may also fit in Lesson 9 Hopeful Community)
p. 238 Winning Isn’t Everything
p. 313-314 99% is Tough, 100% is Easy
p. 332-334 Writing Affirmations
p. 361-362 Setting Goals/Creating a Goal Book or Poster