Set School Goals for the Year

Many things can distract students from their school goals. But, with the proper focus and determination, you can set goals to stay on track all year long! In this post, we’ll talk about how to set goals for yourself to get the most out of your education.

The idea of setting goals for school is to take the things we want out of school and break them down into specific, achievable steps. Setting a goal for yourself doesn’t mean it has to be something huge or complicated; you can make your personal goals anything you like! It’s just about setting a clear vision for what you want to achieve and staying committed throughout the school year. 


Why are goals for school important?

Setting goals is a beneficial way to stay focused and on track with what you want out of school. It’s always important to have some focus or a goal, but it is crucial when we have various things we’re involved in and distractions nearby.

The idea of setting school goals is to take the things we want out of school and break them down into specific, achievable steps.

Setting a goal for yourself doesn’t mean it has to be something huge or complex; you can make your goals anything you like! It’s just about setting a clear vision for what you want to achieve and committing to achieving it.

Your goals for the school year can be anything – from finishing that book report, starting an online course for school, or just working on a new skill you’ve wanted to learn.

Tips for setting goals for the school year

How do you get started with setting goals? It’s a lot easier than you might think. Take a piece of paper and write down all the school-related things you want to achieve. Think about why they matter to you. What’s stopping them from happening right now? And do you have any good habits that might help with these goals or not?

If you’re ready to start working on your goals, here are some tips to help you stay accountable and focused.

Write Down Your Goals for the School Year

Take time to write down your goals for the year. It can be helpful to know exactly where you’re heading and what it will take to get there. Write down what you want to focus on so it’s clear and you can revisit your plans often.

Break Your Goals into Smaller Tasks 

Break your goals down into action steps or smaller tasks that are more manageable and achievable. By breaking your big goal into smaller tasks, you can make a step-by-step plan to stay on track. From there, you can create an outline or plan for how you will achieve each task on your list.

Set Deadlines

Having your goals be time-bound can help you stay focused and on track. It’s important to keep track and know how you’re doing in achieving your educational goals. Keep a record, either written on paper or electronically, so that you can look back at where you’ve been and your progress.

There are also several online tools you can use to track your personal goals. Evernote is a popular one.

Consider Resources

Think about what resources you need to achieve your goals? Do you need a tutor for math? A laptop with a particular software program? Certain books or an educational course?

Post Your Goals Somewhere Visible 

Keep your goals in a place where you’ll see them every day. You can also set up reminders on your phone or computer to keep yourself accountable and aware of what needs completing. It always feels good to check off tasks and see your success.

Set Aside Time

Determine when is a good time of day or week to work on each goal, and how long should it take each day/ week (e.g., 30 minutes, 2 hours).

Seek Support

Find someone who will help hold you accountable and root for your success. Consider asking a parent, teacher, or friend. You could even consider getting a group of friends together for a goal-setting party!

Celebrate your successes. You’re doing great! Remember to review accomplishments and be proud of yourself.

How can parents help their students reach goals?

Parents can help by providing a space for their students to work and be productive. Parents can also encourage students when they are completing tasks, or show positive reinforcement for the goals student has reached.

You may even want to consider working on goals as a family. Consider making it a fun activity you do together. When students see the adults in their lives working on their goals, they are more likely to keep working. It can also help teach them a framework for goal-setting they can carry far beyond classes and into their long-term educational journey.

How can teachers help their students and classes?

Teachers should consider working on goals as an entire class. Many students don’t come from homes where adults model goal-setting. For students coming from difficult family backgrounds, it can be challenging to see the benefits or even know where to start. The positive support from a teacher in learning how to set goals can change a student’s world.

Ask students about their interests, what they want from school and how they want to feel when the year is over. Demonstrate how they can brainstorm and purposefully organize their thoughts.

Walk them through the above steps, helping them develop the skills they need to set goals on their own in the future.

Teachers must make straightforward, achievable tasks throughout the year so their students know what they need to do to reach goals. This knowledge and structure will allow them consistency and clarity of focus.

Common Areas of Focus for School Goals

Goals for grades

While you always want to strive for a good grade, some classes are more complex than others. Goals for grades should be realistic and achievable to reduce the stress of not achieving goals. You don’t want this goal to create excessive pressure, but having a target in mind can help you prioritize your homework and put forth the effort needed for success.

Extracurricular Activities

Students are most likely to set goals in this area. You can set both achievement goals and goals to develop your skills in certain areas.

Learning goals

This area focuses on a knowledge outcome. Perhaps you want to read three books on a specific science topic or finish an online course on coding. Set your sights on what you’d like to learn this school year.

Future goals

Especially if you are in high school or college, it’s important to set short-term goals that will set you up for future plans. What classes will look good on your transcript when applying for college? Do you want to commit to more volunteer hours or do an internship? Think through goals you can work on today to set you up for future success.


A popular way to set goals is to use the SMART Goals framework.

Each letter in SMART stands for a way you should look at each goal.

The S stands for SPECIFIC. What exactly do you want to accomplish?

M stands for MEASURABLE, which means that there should be a way to measure your progress towards this goal each day or week. If the goal isn’t something that you can measure with numbers, don’t worry. It’s ok if not all goals are measurable, numerically. Seek to find alternative benchmarks that will clearly indicate when success is achieved.

A is for ATTAINABLE. This means you should be able to reach this goal with the time and resources you have now.

R is for REALISTIC, which means it’s something that can happen in the next few months or year. It’s not an impossible task but rather one worth investing your energy into right away.

T stands for TIMELY, meaning you set a clear and definite deadline for when you should complete this goal.

SMART Goal Examples:

-Learn how to play Blackbird on the guitar in three months

-Improve my grades by 20% by the end of this semester

-Write a novel with at least five chapters before December 31st.

You have the power to set goals for yourself that can help make your school year more successful and enjoyable. Think about all of the ways in which setting clear, achievable goals could benefit you this coming semester!

From boosted confidence, increased motivation, improved grades, and less stress, many powerful benefits come with goal setting. With deadlines fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what YOU want out of this next academic term. How would achieving YOUR specific goals look? Set them today!