As the new year begins, we are taking the opportunity to reflect with the girls in the program on their achievements and memories from 2016, what they are looking forward to, and the goals they have set for 2017. Part of this process is teaching and reinforcing SMART goals- a practice of making goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This method helps the girls identify goals that they have a greater chance of successfully achieving, because they are tangible and specific. Research shows that this technique helps individuals make more progress on their goals and also promotes a greater sense of satisfaction, and creates positive emotions.
SMART goals are an important aspect of the strength-based curriculum we are exploring with the high school girls. Through the Strengths Finder program, developed by Gallup, girls are identifying their talents and developing them into strengths, which improves engagement and interaction with their peer groups, school, adults, and other aspects of their lives. As part of this program, the girls discuss and develop their naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior which make up their talents. As the girls explore their natural skills and how they impact their behavior and relationships, they also gain tools to explore areas of interest, interact with peers and adults, and help set goals and plan for the future.