Short- term goals can be reached in days or weeks. Long-term goals usually take months or years. But there is a third type of goal setting called enabling goals. Enabling goals support and make possible the long-term goals. Enabling goals are stepping stones toward the long- term goal. They enable us to fulfill our vision for the future. Out of each enabling goals comes a set of short-term goals.
Suppose your long-term goal in your homeschool is to educate your child to the eighth grade at home and you want your child to have the best level of education possible. That’s a big long-term goal.
Long-term goals are often the most important to us and grow out of our deeply held values. The difficulty is these goals are usually far into the future. As a result, we have trouble staying focused and maintaining a positive attitude toward reaching these goals. This is why it is helpful to set up enabling goals. Enabling goals are mid-term goals, written to help achieve a long- term one.
If your long-term goal is to prepare your child for college, you can set up enabling goals for yourself and your child that support this. These might include:
- Attending workshops at conference
- Participating in discussion groups
- Arranging mentoring opportunities
- Increasing the amount of personal responsibility for learning
- Researching online for available college guidelines for homeschool educated students
The short-term goals come in when you take one of the enabling goals and prepare to bring it about. In the example above each of the enabling goals would have its own short-term tasks to fulfill it.
The Five Steps
1. Write out a long-term goal as a simple statement, as if it has already happened. For example, imagine what you would like for your homeschool in the next year? Read more living books could be your long-term goal. Write out a description of exactly what that looks like when you are doing that with your children.
2. Describe four enabling goals needed to achieve the long-term goal. Keep it to four. It forces you to keep the big picture in mind. Remember to ask yourself, ‘What will enable me to accomplish this goal? If you chose to read more living books as your long-term goal, what then are the four things that would enable you to accomplish this? Leave the laundry to Saturday? Have the older children read to the younger?
3. Take the four enabling goals and write out enabling goals for each of them. This is the key to making this approach work. How do you accomplish the sub-goals.
4. Establish a realistic time table for the four major goals and sub-goals. Very important!
5.These sub-goals become your assignments to accomplish. Add them to your calendar or lesson planner and do it!
Using enabling goals together with short and long-term goals will produce far better success in accomplishing your vision for your homeschool.