Set Small Goals For Big Results


The end of the school year is almost here; when students focus on small goals rather than big goals, they focus on actions that can help reach the bigger goals.

At this time of year, most students might focus on final grades and the end-of-the-year report card. But, according to one study, focusing on end-of-year grades might not be effective. The best way to get an ‘A’ on the final report card is to set small, daily goals. 

Two Types of Goals:

The study looked at two typical types of goals: performance goals and task goals.

  • Performance goals: goals used goals to earn a certain grade in the class, such as getting an A in math class.
  • Task goals: small task-orientated goals such as doing homework every night or making study notes between classes.

Research shows that when students made goals specific to the tasks required to earn the grades they wanted, the student performed better overall, even though that wasn’t the main goal. 

Small Goals Lead to Big Success

Often, when students set goals for themselves they set big-picture performance goals without being fully aware of all the steps they need to take to achieve that goal. Task-based goals help students focus on the actions they know they are capable of and can control.

Task-Based Goals for Student Success:

Here are examples of some task-based student goals that students can use to help build better learning skills in a variety of school subjects:

  1. Math. Work on math skills for 10-20 minutes every night, even if math homework has not been assigned.
  2. Reading. Re-read a key part of an assigned reading passage and make notes or read ahead for 10 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  3. Writing. Find one writing prompt online—try one of these—and write for 15 minutes every day.
  4. Science. Review notes from science class every night and look up the subject matter online for more information.
  5. History. Review notes after every class and make study notes at night. Try memorizing one history fact at night.

Help with Small Goals and Learning Skills

Oxford Learning can help students learn more about setting small goals every class. Whether it’s staying focused on the task or not making any errors on a page, by learning the small, manageable goals, students become more able to achieve their big dream. Contact a location near you to learn more.

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