â€śRecently, there was a young man who graduated from college and decided to seek employment. He hoped to find a job somewhere away from his home town. He walked into the local bus station, approached the ticket counter and asked the clerk for a bus ticket. What do you suppose the ticket clerk asked the young man? He said, “Where do you want to go?” The young man said, “I don’t know. Just give me a ticket to somewhere.” It is not surprising, but he didn’t get a ticket! If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.â€ť (Story taken from http://www.uni.edu/~maclino/bm/book/sec4.3.pdf)
Goal setting is a process designed to build a map to travel down such a road. In the story above, the young man highlighted had no set goals and was unable to get started on his path to employment. Perhaps had he done some reflection and research, he would have been able to articulate where he wanted to go, both literally in terms of his train destination, and figuratively in terms of his future employment. Too often youth today get sucked into the trap of moving through life because others, usually parents or administrators, express pre-determined expectations. Goal setting has been proven to help students achieve high learning outcomes in and out of the classroom by developing a plan of action to suit the youthâ€™s interests. If students are more invested in their own futures, they will be more successful and have more fun along the way.
In the past month, BAM-Sports has rolled out a goal setting process guide for its mentors so that they can set their own goals and help their students do the same. My goal for this project is to teach mentors and students the importance of making goals and making them SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. SMART goals allow the goal-setter to measure and reflect on their success, giving an accurate assessment of their goal accomplishment. SMART goals also lend themselves to a higher success rate because of their specificity and built-in mechanisms for review and evaluation. The process guide also teaches mentors and students the importance of distinguishing outcome goals and process goals, with process goals making up the steps one takes to achieve an outcome goal. This process guide will help both mentors and students dig deeper into their goals, create a plan for success, and ultimately find meaning in their accomplishments.