“ You’ve got to be careful about where you’re going, because you might not get there.”- Yogi Berra
Many of us have fallen victim, at some point, to not setting goals. Did you know that most people don’t set goals? Of course you did (because you’re probably one of them). The following statistics were found in a study conducted by David Kohl (professor at Virginia Tech):
80% of Americans say that they don’t have goals.
16% of Americans have goals but they don’t write them down.
4% of the 16% that have goals write them down.
Less than 1% of the 4% review their goals regularly.
It’s really easy to get into a slump focusing on what we are doing and not on where we are going. Every year we make it our business to do our part in making sure our students meet certain benchmarks to move forward in their lives. We take small steps every day, which turn into leaps every week, and eventually results in a kindergartner becoming a graduating senior and possibly the CEO of a company. Without teachers, it’d be awfully difficult for students to become something great.
Year-to-year, educators have the honor of watching students work their way through an organized system that produces well-educated and useful individuals. As a profession, our job is to give every student a chance to become something, as we encourage them to be “lifelong learners.” While many of us have succeeded in being a “lifelong learner,” is it that enough?
As an educator, are you growing in a specific way? What are your goals professionally, relationally, religiously, physically, etc…? As for me, I’ve been so devoted to my classroom I’ve failed to give myself a fair opportunity to continue to grow on a personal level. It’s been challenging to find a way to further my education, spend enough time with family, to take the time to develop teaching techniques or to make time to follow on up on worthwhile goals. There have been more years I’ve looked back and thought, “What did I do with my time?” Surely young people will one day be old, surely as seasons come they will go, and surely as the sun rises it will set without our help. The question is, what do we do?
My wife and I actually had a “meeting” over this past weekend to set goals for 2013. We set yearly goals, then quarterly goals, and finally monthly goals for this first quarter.
Here are a few obvious things we plan to do to make this goal-setting thing work for us:
1. Consider every part of our life. (career, financial, education, family, artistic attitude, physical, having fun, public service, etc…)
2. Write them down, not being afraid to be specific. We start with a larger goal, and then break it down into smaller intervals. My wife and I did one year, but why not do five year goals?
3. Have some form of accountability—each other. You can make goals with a friend or a spouse. You can even start a blog, or register at teacherparlor.com and post your goals in our forum and as a community, we’ll help you stay on track.
4. Decide when we will take the time to review our goals. We may want to make adjustments because we did more than expected or because we didn’t quite reach our benchmarks.
My fulfillment comes from being able to look back in my life and seeing that I’ve done something worthwhile. We’ve all been happy because of something we accomplished in one day, one week, or one month. Wouldn’t it be awesome to look back over a year and be able to say “I truly used my time to make a difference”? You know, even if we don’t reach our goals, moving forward in a definite direction is the most important part.
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this post or in the forum. As a community we can play our part in keeping you accountable. I will start by posting some of my personal goals and goals for Teacher Parlor in the forum. You’d be surprise at how your words of encouragement, your experiences, and your wisdom can have a lasting effect in someone’s life.
“ You’ve got to be sure about where you’re going, because you just might get there.” – Charles Bridges