Many of us have become content with merely going through the routine of getting up in the mornings, going to work, coming back to do the house chores and never seem to be able to break the cycle. Yet, when asked, we usually admit that we have unfulfilled dreams that failed to become a reality due to fear or, simply, a lack of proper planning and application. At the same time the world is inundated with books and courses on goal setting and various strategies to accomplish our dreams and aspirations in life.

This then poses the question, would it not be beneficial to include the skill of goal setting in young children’s schooling? Unfortunately, the standard education model provides limited training in this regard due to its highly structured teacher-led approach where students have their plans and goals set for them by their educators. Students are not often challenged to determine their own goals and take full responsibility to accomplish them.

However, in the individualized A.C.E. programme, goal setting is basic to student success. Students must set reasonable goals, daily, in each subject that can be achieved in a prescribed period of time. This process is key and allows the child to visualize and plan their daily progress. It gives students the responsibility for learning by requiring that they learn how to plan their work and set achievable goals.

Students are trained to see daily assignments as steps necessary to maintain continuous progress, which is part of a life-training process. This is a valuable skill in the workplace and A.C.E. graduates often get noted by their employers for their ability to set and complete goals and for their self-motivation. These skills are as critical for tertiary studies where students are expected to work out their own study plans and take responsibility to complete assignments on time.

It takes hard work and application to complete goals, and the temptation is always there to procrastinate or even throw in the towel rather than “push through”. In A.C.E., students are often placed in situations which require them to attempt some challenging tasks – tasks which force them to set priorities, to persevere, to concentrate, to seek alternatives and to budget their time wisely. These factors build confidence and maturity as students will begin to understand that they can achieve their academic goals as a result of their own effort, energy, determination and making of right choices.

Equipped with this confidence and maturity that comes through years of training in goal setting, young people can have a head start in life that will set them up for future success.