How to set goals for the academic year

If you are a parent – what is your goal this academic year?

You could be thinking “My goal for my child at school  is that she should get an A+ in all the weekly assessments.”

Or your goal could be that your child top the class in some subjects this year.

It is wonderful to have these goals. But how can you help your child achieve these goals?

In this article Praggatti Rao elaborates upon the fine art of setting goals.

About Praggatti Rao

praggatti rao

Praggatti Rao

Praggatti Rao is an avid learner, a practically ambitious person and a true friend who has been in love with knowledge for ages. Technically she is a Boichem graduate from DU and an MBA gold medallist with a diploma in Software exports and Systems management. She has a Trainer level NLP certification and has earned an Advanced Life Coach certificate from DJL-UK.  She has specialized as a Child and Adolescent Psychologist and an REBT professional and a Psychometric Analyst. She can assess and analyse 60 plus psychometric testing from Personality, EQ, Intelligence, Differential Abilities, Parent Child relationship, Family environment, Study Habits and many more. She has conducted trainings in numerous corporates around leadership, NLP, psychometric testing and change management. Her trainings have been awarded by Dr Kiran Bedi and her work has been reviewed in various magazines and national channels.She is the founder of “Educoncepts India Initiatives which is a leadership training and skill development institute with 3 centres in Delhi. She is also a blogger who writes on the domains of her expertise for companies like Motorola, Intel, Nestle, Mirinda, Micromax, Aviva,Amway and many more.

A Goal Without Action Is a Dream And Action Without Goals Is a Nightmare !!!

This statement is powerful reason enough to have a vision because’where there is no vision, people perish’- Proverbs 20.18 .

Academic goals remain the stepping stone to the well cherished college goals if they have to materialize. This, in turn , manifests the future that one has visualized for one self. Hence to have academic goals is the first step to turn the imagined into reality and the perceptions into cognitive growth. It remains to be the foundation of all the successes in life.

While all that is written above is pretty motivating, let me warn you that just by setting goals won’t make it happen .

praggatti rao on academic goal setting

Praggatti Rao on academic goal setting

How to set goals

All goal setting needs to be followed up by both the development of a plan and a consistent action towards its fulfillment. Being an NLP- expert , I propose a multi sensory approach to goal setting. It goes as stated below:-

  1. Get yourself into an OK state. It’s a state of congruence where your mind envisions and your body cooperates.
  2. Ask yourself‘ WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?’ and make a note of all that you want and clearly avoiding  what you do not want.
  3. Check if the list of goals are within your reach and control.
  4. Imagine the time when you plan to achieve it. Outline the steps you’ll take to accomplish them all.
  5. Explore what it is with your eyes/ears & feelings (Visual Auditory Kinesthetic approach)- it helps to internalize goals and make them more compelling.
  6. Think of significant resource people in your life and take them by hand into the desired state Believe me it pays to have the back of a buddy.
  7. Feed energy to your goals by asking yourself how the realisation of these goals will lead to bigger goals or a life purpose.
  8. Think of what steps to take , what price to pay and which steps will give you most results. Also think about any internal/ external barriers to academics , what behaviours are required for each goal and look for role models who have already achieved what you are aiming at.( NLP concept of MODELLING)
  9. Now implement the step by step plan with joy, passion and commitment.
  10. Review periodically and course correct at multiple occasions.

A goal can be about getting A+ in a weekly assessment to choosing a stream in the senior school. While the former is a short-term goal , the latter is a long-term goal.

Also read 8 tips to make your child a smart learner

how to set goal for teenagers

How to set goal for teenagers

Short Term Goals

These include learning and scoring in a particular subject in a UT or assessments, to study certain number of hours per week , practising maths daily , reading / writing  regularly , and so on.

Long Term Goals

These would could be skills desired in academics , developing personality-traits , conquer the feeling of  public speaking  , course stream to opt for in high school , college to get into and more.

Be it short-term or long-term goal , SMART is the way to be!

goals for academic success

Goals for academic success

SMART is the protocol to set goals all the while!

 S – Specific Be clear about what you want

M – Measurable Decide how will you measure the outcome of your goals

A – Achievable Depend on yourself and not on people or situations outside you for your goals

R – Realistic Be practical and think practically

T – Time Bound Decide in what timelines would you be achieving what goals

These are the five ingredients of a perfect goal. The more details the more is the efficiency.

Skipping steps without analysing each parameter would be like window shopping- YOU GO HOME EMPTY!!

secret smart goals

Secret to smart goals

Academic Goals for Elementary School

  • Required to counting of objects and recognize colours,
  • Asked To sing and recite rhymes,
  • Be trained to reply to simple questions,
  • Be trained to sort objects by their shape, size, colour and utility,
  • Be taught to play simple musical instruments,
  • Be taught to observe things,
  • Be made to describe things and situations,
  • Parents should focus on replying to all questions put by the child, even if they are embarrassing at times,
  • Be trained to recognise animal noise , fruits , food stuffs , tree and other
  • Be trained to complete an unfinished story from time to time
  • Dramatisation of various situations like the vegetable vendor’s acts and make the child to repeat.

Also read 6 Ways to help your child settle in Pre-school

Academic Goals for Primary School

  • Giving suitable picture books,
  • Reading to the child,
  • Focussing on ideas around mathematics especially using real life examples,
  • Focussing on concepts and ideas of science around us,
  • Focussing on right pronunciation of words and weaning away from any baby talk,
  • Enrich child’s vocabulary,
  • Involving children in fruitful and educative daily conversation to facilitate problem solving , critical thinking and language development,
  • Usage of whole sentences rather than brief comments or phrases,
  • Children should be rained to ask questions and develop powers of observation to explore aspects of water, utensils , floating objects, ball bouncing and lots of biology, chemistry in our houses.

Academic Goals for High School

  • Developing insights into ideas and experiences,
  • Developing literary appreciation,
  • Developing independent reading ability,
  • Abilities around slow, intensive, and concentrated reading(study-reading),
  • Graded general reading material , word games , sufficient conversation practise needs to be provided,
  • Sufficient illustrations, maps, pictures and diagrams need to be explained.
  • Presenting ideas in a logical sequence,
  • A beginning can be made on developing the ability to use reference materials wisely and critically,
  • Experiences should include planning , experimenting ,observing, reading, discussing, constructing, field trips, expression activities, growing plants, collecting, analyzing and so on.

How to Achieve Goals

how to achieve goals

How to achieve goals

While there are enough pointers in the guidelines above about how to set them , I suggest to tap the gold mine between your two ears (The subconscious mind) to achieve them all. Biologically, it means activating your Reticular Activating System (simply put YOUR MENTAL POWERS) and align it with your goals. As part of it, take two  minutes and write( it helps create muscle memory for your goals!!).


What are you absolutely committed to achieving as part of your goals?

Why is this compelling for you?

What will you gain by achieving it? (This Creates Pleasure)

What will you miss out by failing to achieve it? (This creates Pain to not doing your best)

Are these strong enough reasons to get you to actually follow it?

If not, Please come up with better goals or better reason!

goal -Setting

Goal setting

So in a nutshell have a huge ‘WHY’ to achieve your goals and an equally huge ‘HOW’ to do it.

While your goals may motivate you, knowing your Whys & How will help you persevere!!!

Also read What Are You Teaching Your Child About FAILURE

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