Goal Setting

Reach Your Goals
Do you have learning goals?

Begin with the end in mind, counsels Stephen Covey, author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989). The object of beginning with the end in mind is to focus on where an individual wants to be, whether that is in one month, one year or one decade. By envisioning the goal, people will find themselves arriving exactly where they desire. They keep their eyes set toward the future by achieving the goal through smaller daily steps. Without concentrating on the end goal, each uncertain step only leads to the wrong destination with increased expediency.

The idea of setting goals and intermediate steps has been repeated throughout the decades. It is not an unfamiliar adage to set goals and to work toward them, but how do goals correlate with critical reflection? Simply speaking critical reflection (Wilson, 2008) achieves the same result. This reflection has been well documented in use on both the past and the present critical rumination, but more research is being completed on the importance of critical reflection-on-the-future. As an individual carefully evaluates both past and present experiences, they develop sets of strategies to handle future situations. However, this principle can be further implemented when looking toward the future as one considers “trends and future scenarios (p 179).

Further connections have been made between envisioning techniques and self-fulfilling prophecies. Tauber (1997) reports that even a name can have adverse effects for individuals on their interactions with their instructors and peers. However, when educators have a goal in mind and can envision what they want to learn, they are more effective of overcoming prejudices by concentrating on their results. They are also capable of implementing knowledge with efficiency, knowing how it may effect their futures and goals. This prophecy can be positively altered through careful reflection on the future.


Covey, S. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc.

Tauber, R. (1997). Self-fulfilling prophecy: a practical guide to its use in education. Connecticut: Praeger Publishers.

Wilson, J. P. (2008). Reflecting on the future: a chronological consideration of reflective practice. Reflective Practice, 9(2), 177-184.

York-Barr, J., Sommers, W., Ghere, G. & Monthie, J. (2005). Reflective practice to improve schools: An action guide for educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the mid-west with her husband. She loved storytelling and sharing her stories with her children. As they grew, she started writing her stories down for them. She is a teacher, having taught from elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, masters in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. Her husband, Kerry and Tracy breed miniature dachshunds and love to spend time with their growing family. She has published several books including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel's 8 and Securing Your Tent.

%d bloggers like this: