Thursday, February 2, 2012

Writing Goals

goalsI know that I might have written about this before but I am writing about it again because some people need a refresher on how to write goals. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have had to have people rewrite goals because they just don’t get it. When I was in college, it was drummed in my head so much that even after 30 years; I still remember how to write them. This came in handy for work and personal goals.

Goals need to be behavioral, observable, and measureable.

First I need to identify the behavior that I want to target. For example, I want to lose weight so I plan on walking on my treadmill. This is a behavior that can be observed.

Now I plan on walking 60 minutes on my treadmill for a minimum of 3 times a week. That is measurable. I can keep a chart on the times I walk.

So, my goal would be written as:

I will walk 60 minutes on my treadmill at least 3 times a week.

Words like “try”, “seem”, “improve” sound great but they are not observable or measurable. It seems like some teachers don’t want to make a solid commitment and think that if they use these vague words, they won’t seem like a failure if they don’t succeed. But these types of words can no show success because even though they seem positive, they are concrete. Goals need to have action words. These words show an action that I can see someone do.

The big thing that many leave off is the criteria that make it measurable. This tells me how much. How many times will the person do something? How often will it be done? Examples can be: 4 out of 5 times, 80% of the time, 10 times without errors etc. I see the result as a mathematical number that can be charted.

I have used goals like these for my students IEPs. In my teacher evaluations, I have used goals like this for my yearly evaluations. In my personal life, I have used goals like this to help me achieve things that I wanted to do. Not only do teachers need to be able to make goals like this, but we need to teach students how to do this. This is something that they will do later in their life with many different things.

What kind of goals do you write and how do you write them? Please share.

Image: 'Goals'

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good post, thank you. I needed to be reminded.

Can't tell you the goal at the moment, but I have to complete a project by the end of February...

I'll tell you the goal on the 28th February...I know, it's a leap year, my completion date is 28th Feb.