Setting Goals for Accountability

By Beth Brennan, Lower School Head

How come some of us are better at achieving our goals? I recently came across an article in Inc. Magazine that describes goal setting as a process that includes the creation and sharing of action commitments, and get this, a weekly progress report that outlines the steps you are taking to meet these goals.

For some of us, this may be second nature. If so, kudos to your parents for helping to set the bar high, so you can be a successful individual. But for most of us, we are all too familiar with having the best of intentions when setting goals, only to end up wondering why we were unable to meet them after a few days or weeks of trying. 

As with most habits of mind, we can develop processes to help train our brain to function in an optimal way. So how can you support your child’s efforts in reaching goals? The following steps may help: 

  1. Make the goal specific and write it down.

  2. Explore Understanding By Design (UBD) to work backward to develop an action plan, including a timeline that supports meeting a goal. 

  3. Guide your child to choose a trusted friend who will share this goal and action plan to help keep the process on track.

  4. Keep a journal or a to-do list to document the process.  


Accountability helps ground us in the day-to-day, and for those of us big-picture thinkers, it also keeps us focused on the actions we need to take in order to reach our goals. Developing a process that includes celebrating the little accomplishments along the way will help your child meet a goal that they truly wish to achieve.