Ready, Set, Goal

Former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said once: “Dreams aren’t those which you see while sleeping, but dreams are those which don’t let you sleep!”

However, the major difference between a dream and a goal is, a goal is a dream written with a clear deadline, that defines what to achieve, how to achieve and most importantly when to achieve it?

Back in 1979 at Harvard Business School, a group of researchers conducted a study on the graduating MBA class of that year. The research was to assess how written and well-planned goals impact later outcomes in life. The graduates were asked to write down their goals on a blank sheet of paper:

  • 84% of the entire class had written no goals at all
  • 13% of the class had set some written goals, but had no concrete plans how to execute them
  • And only 3% of the class had written both, the set goals and concrete plans

10 years later, in 1989 the researchers interviewed all those who participated in the study and the results were astonishing:

  • The 13% of the class who had goals without planning were earning twice as much as 84% who had no goals at all
  • And the most staggering outcome was the 3% who had clear written goals were earning ten times the amount earned by the 97% of the class put together

So, the message is very clear. Goal-Setting is an important tool that will help students to get off to a better start, be it academic or career.  This should be inculcated very early in the schooling system. Adolescence is a difficult but constructive age.  It is the period in which teenagers are being prepared to face the bigger challenges of life.

The Department of Student Development and Counseling of St. Andrews School has introduced the concept of SMART goals as a way of gradually building students’ capacity to tackle the increasing challenges they face.

S-Specific (What exactly do you want)

M-Measurable (Are your goals backed up by numbers. e.g. how much percentage)

A-Achievable (Make sure you set feasible goals. e.g. don’t start of by aiming to land on moon)

R-Realistic (Be real, be practical. e.g. avoid aiming to find a new planet)

T-Time Bound (Most important, by when do you want to achieve it e.g. a clear date)

The recent Bollywood movie ‘Hichki’ portrayed a very interesting method of Goal-Setting. Rani Mukherjee playing a teacher in the film was entrusted the task of teaching a class full of underachievers. The students had no interest in lessons or school.  She stuck upon a brilliant idea of using an activity that fascinated each student to help them learn. For e.g. a student in the movie who was good with a deck of cards, she opened his mind to a career in the stock exchange as he could predict the outcome of each game.

The Department of Student Development and Counselling of St. Andrews School, one of the most sought after CBSE schools in Hyderabad and Bangalore conducts regular sessions to help students develop positive attitudes towards study and work and to help them evaluate their own strengths and build on their areas of development.  The most important skill imparted by this department is helping students frame SMART goals and the willingness to tweak them to get SMARTer.

At St. Andrews we believe each child is special; we are deeply committed to giving wings to their creativity and turning their dreams into goals.

About the Author

St Andrews

St. Andrews School was established in 1985 to fulfill the vision of its founder, the late Mr. Louis Emanuel. He believed that 'education is a service' and his mission was to instill in young people the value of 'education for life'. Throughout its history, the school has striven to do just that. St. Andrews is committed to strong academic standards and holistic education as demonstrated through an incredible range of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.

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