How to Set Effective Goals for Success in Learning

Setting goals can be a challenge especially when we are unsure of what we want to achieve down the road. Making your child set their daily goals can be extremely challenging especially when they are not aware of the importance and purpose of it. Many students may have been taught that setting goals is simply figuring out what they want to accomplish by the end of the day, or by a specific time period. However, a goal without a plan is not effective and will not be able to bring out the desired outcome — a successful learning. 

A study done has shown that people who carefully plan and write down their goals are 20% more successful in accomplishing them than those who did not! Furthermore, goal setting improves academic performance as students are held accountable for their own failures and successes. Setting and achieving goals may also boost the confidence of students, leading to greater productivity.  

In order for students to achieve their goals, they will first need to know how to set them effectively! Simply stating that “I want to achieve an ‘A’ for my next Science exam!” will not guarantee students the result they desire. Instead, we need students to start asking themselves questions which will help direct them to understand the reason why they set a certain goal. Here are some examples: 

“Why do I want to achieve this goal?”

“Is this goal that I am setting achievable?”

“How much time do I need to achieve this goal?”

“What do I need to do to achieve this goal?”

After answering such questions, students will have a better understanding of the rationale, as well as the complexity of the goals they have set. This leads them on a more purposeful journey of reaching for their goals, motivating them to accomplish what they have set for themselves. 

At EduPivot, we firmly believe that our students need to develop the skills and habit of setting goals for a more productive and efficient learning. 

Here are 3 tips to help your child set effective goals for success in learning! 

Focus On Specific Areas

A surefire way to NOT succeed is to try and make progress in too many areas at once. It would be more beneficial for your child to divide their life into different spheres – academics, social life, sports and exercise, family and friends, hobbies and interests, amongst others. They should then decide on THREE spheres they would like to focus on — more than three, and progress becomes difficult to track. Become a better football player? Spend more time with friends? Get an A1 in Elementary Mathematics? Encourage your child to put them down on paper! It is also important that they prevent demoralising themselves by setting overly ambitious goals that are out of reach – achievable yet challenging is the sweet spot!

Format Your Target-Setting Process

Keep their goals SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Perhaps your child would like to be better at physics. Encourage them to use the SMART guide to clearly envision what being better at physics means to them. Here is an example:

“ I want to get better grades for physics in 2021. To do so, I’ll start by taking careful notes during classes and review them at least two days before class tests. This will give me time to ask the teacher anything I’m unsure about, and I won’t have to study everything at once right before big exams. Since I got a B4 for my final exams last year, I’ll aim for a B3 for mid-years, and work hard to get an A1 at the end of the year. More than just studying for grades, I want to fully understand the importance of what I’m learning so that I can enjoy myself in the process.”

Frequently Revisit Your Initial Targets

Once your child has set their goals with clarity and efficiency, it would be a waste not to make sure that they’re actually being achieved. Instead, revisit the targets they have set at the end of each week. Celebrate the small improvements that they have made on the way to achieving their target. Perhaps they have progressed, but not as fast as they anticipated. Don’t fret — allow your child to take some time to reflect on what they have done to date and any necessary tweaks required for maximum results will reveal themselves!


As stated by Bill Copeland, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” Setting goals and putting in great amount of effort to achieve them sets you on the path of living a purpose driven life. Students need to not only know how to set goals, but also how to set them effectively so as to achieve an optimal outcome. 

Want to understand your child better and learn more tips to help them grow? Feel free to reach out to us!

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