Heroes at Acton Academy look to the horizon, set specific and meaningful goals and strive to reach them.
Early on in the Discovery Studio, a Hero might set two to three goals each day. Later on, the goal setting horizon expands to a week and then a few weeks and even sessions.
By late middle school, daily, weekly, session-length and annual goals become a deeply embedded habit; and by high school, even multi-year goals should be common.
The key tool for all goal setting at Acton Academy is SMART goals:
Time-bound milestones and deadlines.
Heroes set SMART goals for each session, in order to focus attention and effort, provide Growth Mindset praise and allow Squad Leaders and fellow travelers to hold each other accountable.
Learning (and practicing) to set, evaluate, and refine these goals is done throughout each session. Weekly SMART goals are set with Running Partners or in Squads each Monday morning and progress is measured each Friday afternoon. Sometimes, a Wednesday check-in is added, especially for Heroes who may be struggling with procrastination or intentionality.
The goal is to engage Heros in a weekly discussion about their goals and their work habits. Doing this in a group gives them exposure to more ideas and experiences and leads to some peer accountability. Often individual, Squad-based or studio-wide extrinsic rewards can be tied to SMART goals, either by referencing Weekly Points or Badges earned.
The questions below are just a few SMART goal related questions that your Hero will be discussing throughout the year:
- Which aspect of SMART is most important: specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented or time-based? Why?
- Do you believe the best way to encourage Heroes is through meaningful launches, using extrinsic rewards or providing Squad Leaders with the right processes to follow?
- Do you believe pairs of Running Partners are best for setting SMART goals and reviewing progress?
- Is it more important to reach 100% of all SMART goals or to set more ambitious goals and only reach a few?