Goals help YOU:
- to commit to a particular outcome
- to help you turn your goal into a plan of action
- to help you create a standard to achieve your goal
FOR EXAMPLE, Sam is a grade 10 student who is starting to think about what his life will be like after high school. At this point, his courses have been a compilation of required classes for graduation. Now he is aware that the courses he will select for the next two years will dictate a path toward a future career – a daunting task! He talks to his parents, friends, teachers and guidance counsellor. With a goal, to become an accountant, Sam is able to feel more confident about the choices he makes. He is aware of what courses he needs to take, what his overall average needs to be, which universities he would like to apply to, and what career opportunities are available to him upon graduation from university.
GOALS, a definition: goals provide criteria or standards upon which self-regulated learners can monitor or self-check their performance and progress during and after learning1.
As learners, we strive to set goals, plan for, execute and refine and adapt from the situations we find ourselves in. This process is called self-regulated learning and for some it is easier, or comes more naturally, than others. Self-regulated learning involves deliberately adopting strategic approaches to make progress in our learning.
It is like we are constantly in a cycle of experimentation1. Although this applies most easily and readily to academic learning it can be applied in all areas of lives.
A component of self-regulated learning that particularly affects our daily lives is our ability to self-set and achieve our goals – whether they be for the immediate task or are aimed at a larger, more long term goal.
1Hadwin, A. F. (2008). Self-regulated learning. In T. L. Good (Ed.), 21st century education: A reference handbook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.