Introduction to Goal Setting For Students

Top-level athletes, successful business people and achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals gives you long term vision and short term motivation. It focuses on acquisition of knowledge, and help you to organise your time and resources so that you can make the most out of your life. 

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals;

  • You can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals
  • You’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. 
  • You will also build self-confidence as you recognise your own ability in achieving the goals that you’ve set.
effectively set goals for students | Tutor2you

The Problem with Goal Setting

One of the most common reasons goals create friction for students is that they are often binary. This means that there is no room for flexibility, you either achieved the goal or you didn’t. MTO goal setting method involves setting three sets of goals to build momentum. 

The three goals can be defined as follows:


The minimum which you can be counted on to achieve


What can you realistically achieve given current circumstances )


As the name suggests, your most outrageous goal, importantly you must make sure it is still achievable.

For example, if your last maths grade was a C- your goals might be as follows:

  • Minimum      –  C
  • Target            –  B- 
  • Outrageous  –  B+

SMART Goal Setting

When setting your goals it is important to make sure you’re setting them correctly. Whilst MTO method is a powerful tool, you don’t want to be setting the wrong goals. SMART is another framework for goal setting that helps you determine whether the goal is framed correctly.







 Don’t let them become too complicated


They must be measurable (e.g. do 2 hours of study each day this week)


The goal must be under your control, don’t make them contingent on others


The goal must be realistic (see MTO method above)

Time Sensitive

 There must be a time limit to the goal

Leading Indicators

It is important to not only set goals for overall results but also leading indicators are the measurements that lead to results, examples include:

  • How many hours spent doing homework?
  • How many subjects did you summarise?
  • Number of ASWC keys completed?
goal setting for students - leading indicators | Tutor2you

Remember if you haven’t done 10 hours of homework per week don’t assume you will do it straight out of the blocks. It is important to build strong habits over time. Keep your goals nearby and in open view for the best impact.

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