All of us have goals and dreams in life. For a young person like myself, most of them have involved education. I’m entering Grade 9 in high school this September, so it’s going to be a big change and a very important year for me, as I’m sure it will be for all of you.
There are some very helpful methods I have used that allowed me to become a straight-A student and member of the honour roll at school during the past few years. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t arrogance talking. I work and study hard, but I also use a time-honoured strategy that keeps my education on track: goal-setting.
As I wrote in the second part of my book, Making Change: Tips from an Underage Overachiever, to achieve success, you need to know your destination and how you’re going to get there. And as none other than the greatest athlete of all time, Muhammad Ali, once said simply, “What keeps me going is goals.” We need to first understand what our goals and dreams are really all about.
The most important aspect of setting goals is that they must be personal. What do you want to accomplish this year, in and out of school? Becoming an “A” student, the student council president, captain of the basketball team, getting a better job, becoming more involved to make a difference in your local community, or improving your grades from last year?
This is why it is so important to write your goals down – and in detail. Be as specific as possible. When you write them down, they become real. You can imagine them on a conscious and subconscious level. Have you ever heard the saying “Get Real”? Well do yourself a favour. Don’t! Instead, dream about the possibilities. Reach for the sky. Make your goals drive you to be the best you can be.
It is also important to have goals that not only satisfy one aspect of your being, but that encompass everything you experience in life. What’s the point of becoming a top student if the rest of your life is being neglected? You should have goals in each of the following areas: spirituality, personal relationships, learning, social contribution and community service, leisure and hobbies, fitness and well-being, academics, and finances. Notice that learning and academics are two different categories. Academics include your goals for school grades, but learning includes new skills and experiences you want to attain outside of the classroom.
After this, you want to summarize everything by writing a mission statement. It can be three to five sentences long and should be clear, simple and positive in outlook. It should really answer the question “What do I want to succeed at this year,” and define how you want to live your life both in and out of the classroom.
I hope this process helps you as much as it has helped me. I know it will put you on a better path. So start putting pen to paper and write down those goals and that mission statement. Your dreams start today!
“Together We Can Make A Difference”