Setting goals and building aspirations

Setting goals and building aspirations Setting goals and building aspirations Setting goals and building aspirations Setting goals and building aspirations

Explain that setting goals and planning how to achieve them helps us to aim high and be proactive, further developing skills that are transferable from school to work and beyond.

Start this activity by asking your young person if they know what the term ‘aspiration’ means, and discussing the definition as follows.

Aspiration: An ambition or goal that we hope to achieve; these might be short term or long term, ambitious or easily achieved, detailed or rough


Ask students to identify a few aspirations; things they would like to have or achieve in the future. An aspiration is something that can be brought about with a combination of motivation, effort, and effective planning. Explain that they might be able to achieve some aspirations sooner, like settling into a new school, making friends, taking exams, while others maybe further away, like starting a career, but there are ways to make all aspirations more achievable. Using the worksheet, break their aspiration down into smaller goals that they want to achieve by at least two of the following time points:

  • The end of the first term at their new school
  • The end of the third year at their new school
  • The time they leave school
  • The time they have their first job

Discuss what your young person could do to achieve the goals they have set themselves, particularly in terms of their schooling, hobbies and interests. E.g. if they want to join a club, they could start by looking on the school website to see what is on offer or speaking to an older sibling or neighbour at the same school.


Explain that setting goals to reach a longer term aspiration helps us to keep aiming high and be proactive over time, by breaking down what we have to do into easier steps. Celebrating achieving each goal helps us keep a positive attitude and stay motivated to keep working hard towards the next one.

Consider sharing an example from your own life of when you broke an aspiration down into smaller goals to achieve it. Use the example on the worksheet to help get them come up with short-term targets for their goals.

Does your young person already have a work related goal or dream job? Help them think about the steps they need to take to get there using the poster template on the worksheet. They should suggest a job they might like, and as an extension could research the pathways to getting there.