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Journal Writing Project - Goal Setting

Fri, Oct 21st, 2011
Posted in Journal Student Writing Project

Goal setting. It is one of the most valuable lessons you will learn and develop throughout your life. We start setting goals for ourselves back in elementary school when our teachers ask, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" As many children answer a teacher, a police officer, or even the President of the United States, they are already setting their very first goals. We even set goals for ourselves when we are not thinking about them. Goal setting can be a powerful tool in being successful and living an enjoyable life. And when we are conscious about setting high standards and reasonable goals, we can achieve things that we may not have even imagined.

A little over a year ago as I was getting ready to enter my junior year, I was thinking about what career path I would like to follow in the future years of my life. I knew I was interested in writing and English. I was also very interested in current events and the news. I realized journalism was a good mixture of both areas. Getting some experience in the field was my objective, so I began scanning local newspapers for youth internships. This was when I came across an advertisement in the Fillmore County Journal seeking freelance writers. Before I knew it, I was covering school board meetings and writing columns similar to this one. When I first started, I remember my nerves caused me to think to myself, "What I write better be good, it's actually for a large audience of readers. How am I going to do this?" Looking back on those days now, I can tell you that I learned to set goals. Meeting deadlines, writing drafts, and prioritizing tasks were all achieved through goal setting. To this day I constantly set personal goals: at work, at school, and when I write.

Now that we are into the second month of our new academic year and my last year of high school, my goal list is more extensive than it has ever been before. Establishing college plans and focusing on my advanced and post-secondary classes all take a considerable amount of effort. Each day I fill out a special designated notebook of what I wish to get accomplished ... Some may consider this a bit obsessive, but it keeps me organized.

A few years ago, Lanesboro High School started a new homeroom program that focuses on instructing positive initiatives to students. Repeatedly, a lesson on goal building has shown up during these sessions. Even last week we were having a discussion on identifying our goals and how we were going to achieve them. This is especially important to me and my fellow seniors. Take advantage of lessons such as these and begin practicing setting goals. Everyone should consider goal setting as a daily exercise.

For those who are in need of a little inspiration, I will use a quote that I discovered as a freshman in my life skills class by William Arthur Ward: "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it." Ever since I found that quote on December 10, 2008, I can consider it to be very inspirational. Anytime I need some inspiration, I look at my bulletin board and read this all-important quote. Practice goal setting in your day to day activities and be proud of your accomplished achievements.

Mitchell Walbridge is a student at Lanesboro High School. He is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its thirteenth year.

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