Goal Setting Simplifies Your Life

by | Dec 14, 2019 | Tips & Tricks

By Susan Jerrell, TOFT Founder

Goal setting steps for you

It is easy to look at all the tasks you have to complete while you are teaching and to be overwhelmed. However, goal setting can be simplified.

The old joke goes: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So how do you tackle those tasks? One step at a time.

I am a goal setter and a list maker. I admit, I have even added an item to my list just for the satisfaction of marking it off as completed. Anyone relate? Organizing that To Do list is my jam. It makes me happy, and I love a completed list full of accomplishments.

Breaking down a large task makes it manageable, but I have learned that many students and adults struggle at learning how to get started and prioritizing what needs to be done. 

How to start goal setting

  1. Create categories for your goals- this month, this week, this day.
  2. Put each task into the correct category.
  3. For each day, put the tasks in the order they need to be completed, putting the most urgent at the top. That way if you do not get to something, you have done all the most important.
  4. Be specific, and if something has a date or time deadline, make sure you have it recorded. (My goal is to meet deadlines at least a day ahead of time. But that is just me.)
  5. Each morning look at your To Do list and plan your day. At the end of the day, double check that you have accomplished the required tasks.
  6. As new tasks come up, add them to the appropriate category so you do not forget anything. (For example, return parent call, send emails, meet with admin for evaluation meeting, etc.)

Sample goal setting list

Long term week goals 

  • Grade 31 research papers 
  • Create new 3 week project for 9th grade English
  • Write 3 scholarship recommendations (Due Friday by noon)
  • Weekly journal checks
  • Check 13 yearbook page deadlines
  • Edit newspaper stories for 3 deadlines

As a whole, those are ambitious goals, so break them down into short term goals. (I admit, I like checklists because I like marking off the goals I have accomplished.)

Daily goals


  • Grade 6 research papers
  • Write project driving question and complete pages 1-3 of project planning form
  • Make sure I have all the info I need from students for recommendations
  • Edit stories for newspaper deadline 1
  • Check 2 yearbook pages


  • Grade 6 research papers
  • Complete Project Benchmarks pages 4-5 of project planning form
  • Write one recommendation
  • Check 2 yearbook pages


  • Grade 5 research papers
  • Complete project calendar
  • Write second recommendation
  • Check 2 yearbook pages
  • Edit new newspaper stories deadline 2


  • Grade 8 research papers
  • Write last recommendation
  • Check 3 yearbook pages
  • Journal checks


  • Grade 6 research papers
  • Check 4 yearbook pages
  • Edit new newspaper stories deadline 3

By the end of the week all your goals are met and you have managed to spread out the work so it isn’t as overwhelming. This same plan can work for larger semester goals as well. Chunk the big goal into smaller goals to help make it manageable and so you can also see that you are making progress. 


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Susan Jerrell, TOFT Founder


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