Goals are For Losers

For as long as I can remember I made goals. When I was a kid, they were goals for how many home runs I would hit or ‘A’s’ I would get on tests. As an adult, they were related to how fast I would run a mile or how much money I would save in the bank.

When I reached my goal (s), I felt great. I felt accomplished.

For the other 90% of the time where I never reached the goals, I felt like absolute s**@t. You see the problem with goals is that they are either too lofty or too limiting. They are based on the limited knowledge we have of ourselves and of our interests at the current time.

They fail to acknowledge that things change. Constantly.

Something Scott Adams, a very successful cartoonist and a self- admitted “failure” argues we create as an alternative to goals, is ‘systems.’ Systems he argues are repeatable. They are within our control. They allow us to experience gratification every time we enact them. And, most notably, when practiced regularly, they take us to places of success we might never have dreamed we achieve had we set goals.

How to create systems with students using a Vision Board

How to you start the year with students?

I’m betting like me you typically start they school year with goal setting. Students choose an academic, social and emotional goal. But I’m also betting that like me, you get frustrated when students aren’t interested or have a hard time finding them.

That’s because our brains don’t work this way. Goals are contrived. We form them because we were once told they are helpful in helping us achieve success.

This year I challenge you to start the year with something different that is guaranteed to have 100% of your students engaged. Rather than start the year with goals, start with helping students create a Vision Board of the kind of person they would like to become. This will have a profound impact on their engagement, discipline, and self- belief.

Most importantly, it will provide the inspiration for creating the systems, habits and routines that will bring about results.

Here’s an example of my own vision board:

This vision board has helped me create a life I would never dreamed of had I simply created goals. I now live in the center of Hong Kong where I help empower teacher leaders to create immersive and innovative learning experiences for kids. How awesome is that!

Vision Boards will have the same impact on you and your students.

I have included two handouts below to help guide you through the simple 6 step process in creating them.

Blank Template for Vision Board
Sample Vision Board and Template

Finally, to help support you, I have created a youtube video detailing each step of the process in creating my own Vision Board:

I hope you find them helpful.

With students ALWAYS first!