Be Your Own Life Coach/Why Set Goals

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This topic will help you to:

  • recognise reasons for setting goals
  • identify situations in which goals can be set

Time: this module should take 2 hours to complete.

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You wish to apply for a grant to pay for a goal setting course that you want to attend. The grant application requires you to list 5 key reasons why you should be given the funding. You need find out more about the course and come up with 5 reasons why goal setting will be helpful to you.

You may ask your class mates to help you.

Your Role: Researcher

Suggested Proceedure: What you need to do:

  1. Talk to people and research the reasons why people find it useful to set goals.
  2. Read (listen to) the stories of James and Stella below.
  3. Research the web resources provided at the bottom
  4. Develop key ideas. Narrow the reasons down to 5 key reasons
  5. When you have your 5 key ideas report back to the class in discussion or a discussion forum. The class is then to work together to consider all of the ideas and to develop a class list of 5 key reasons for setting goals.

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Case Study

James' Story


James has lost all interest in school. He wants to leave and get a job. He has spent a lot of time recently arguing with his parents who want him to stay at school and to get some qualifications. James is confused and lacking in energy. He does not know where to start looking for a job and he has lost focus on his school work. His mother has suggested he could stay and school at get a part time job.

The counsellor at school suggested James has a talk with Sam, an older student, who has recently finished a goal setting course.

One week later...

The school counsellor got Sam and James together for a chat. Sam talked to James about the goal setting course. “I’ve been trying to save up for a car for a long time, and was not getting anywhere fast, and I had started to give up all hope of getting my own wheels” he said. Sam talked about how when on the course he wrote down what he wanted to achieve and worked out how much money he would need. He looked at ways he could go about saving the money, and made an action plan so that he could reach his target. He explained that most of all the goal setting exercise helped him to focus on what he really wanted and to sort out what was important. He now feels more motivated and he can see how his dream of driving his own car can be a reality. He feels great that he now has a plan for the future. James wrote down the details of the course.

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Case Study

Stella's Story


Stella was a confident, popular and happy young person who enjoyed playing netball, basketball and just hanging with her friends. All that changed when her mother got a job in a new city! Stella feels that the shift to the new city has wrecked her life; she misses her friends and feels that she does not fit in at her new school. She has lost confidence in herself and finds it hard to get motivated to do anything. Her school work is suffering and her fitness level has dropped dramatically as she has not played or trained for sport for at least three months. She feels that her old friends have forgotten her and she feels left out of the social goings on back in her old town.

Stella’s aunty Maria is a life coach and the family have called her in to talk to Stella.

Maria is shocked by the change in Stella but reassures Stella and her family that she knows how to get Stella’s life back on track. Stella and Maria start by sitting down and making a list of all the good things that Stella has going for her. She as a network of friends back in her old town, she has a supportive family, she is good at sport and she has Maria help to work out what she want’s, to set some goals and to create an action plan. Maria explains that once she know what her goals are and has an action plan the future will look much brighter. Once we have the action plan she explains you will be able to move beyond your self-doubts, overcome your fears, you will begin to think positive and your self esteem and confidence will increase.

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Try these matching activites to help you to identify the different situations in which goal setting can be used. Matching activity

Draw a line or lines to match each goal to at least one situation
To arrive at school 15 minutes before the start of the school day for the rest of this school term Career
To eat 3 vegetables and 2 pieces of fruit each day for the next month Physical well-being
To write down one positive thing that I have done each day for the next month Schoolwork
To get some budgeting advice before the end of the next month Social well-being
To write a one page curriculum vitae Mental and emotional well-being
To learn two assertive language techniques so that I can better express my feelings before the end of the next month Spiritual
To sit down and eat dinner with my family on at least three evenings each week for the next month Financial
To enrol in swimming lessons before the end of the next month Health

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Self Assessment

Complete the self assessment activity by filling in the table displayed below. This will help you to focus on what you have learnt in this module. Talk with others to share your ideas and to check your understanding. Remember you can always repeat any activities.

Question Reflective thoughts. Think about the answers to these questions and share your thoughts to show how much you have learnt.
Why is it helpful to set goals?
What situations can goals be set in?