A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

Goal setting and reflective thinking are powerful components of a growth mindset classroom. We need a concrete idea of what we want and a plan to get there. Without this, it is easy to fall back to fixed mindsets. As you teach for a growth mindset, the belief that talents can be developed and all have the ability to grow and achieve, students need to learn about grit, perseverance, and resilience.

Once a goal has been set, a plan created of how to get there, students need grit – a sustained, consistent effort toward
taking the steps in the plan to get to the goal, regardless of the time it takes. Grit combines resilience, ambition, and
self-control in the pursuit of goals.

Perseverance is a steadfastness on mastering skills or completing a task; having a commitment to
Grit is the tendency to sustain interest and effort towards long-term goals. It is a passion and
perseverance for long-term goals, associated with self-control and deferring short-term gratification.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after adversity or disappointment; being able to manage and
adapt to sources of stress or adversity.

Take the six minutes to listen to Angela Duckworth talk about her research on grit:


Below are her closing remarks…

“So growth mindset is a great idea for building grit. But we need more. And that’s where I’m going to
end my remarks because that’s where we are. That’s the work that stands before us. We need to take
our best ideas, our strongest intuitions, and we need to test them. We need to measure whether we’ve
been successful, and we have to be willing to fail, to be wrong, to start over again with lessons learned. In
other words, we need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier.”


Lucy Canotas is the Director of Elementary Curriculum in the Timberlane School District, as well as the NHASCD Board of Directors Secretary.