Exploring Goals with Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! It is officially that time of year, where we all make resolutions and set goals for the upcoming year. It can also be a reminder of the resolutions that didn’t stick or how our goals may have shifted throughout the past year. Regardless how you feel about setting New Year’s resolutions it is important to note that as Girl Scouts, setting and accomplishing goals can be done any time of year, not just in January!  

To start off 2021 we wanted to share some tips and tricks to help you explore and accomplish goals with your Girl Scout troop!  

  • Determine the goals that drive your troop! A large part of what makes Girl Scouting great is that we keep everything GIRL LED! So, whether you are talking about goals for your troop or an individual Girl Scout it is important that girls are involved and interested! It can be difficult to accomplish a goal that you are not personally invested in, right? So be sure to talk with your girls about what they hope to accomplish!  
    • Try getting your girls thinking with a fun and goal oriented ice-breaker such as wishing stars! In this activity the stars will be things that each girl does well, maybe selling cookies or STEM activities. They should each come up with 3 stars! Now that they have their stars, it is time to make a wish! The wishes should be thing the girls would like to work on throughout the year. If you want to add to the fun you can make this a drawing or guessing game with the girls as well! Once each star and wish has been discussed, talk with the girls about HOW they accomplished their stars and WHAT can be done to make their wish (goal) come true!  
    • Another way to gauge the girls’ interest in goals is by setting aside some time to rank their ideas. Start by creating a list of goals (potential accomplishments, activities, etc.) then have the girls choose their top 3-5 they want to work on this year! It can also be a great way to find common interests amongst the girls which can be helpful in goal setting and in choosing journeys, badges, Service and Take Action projects! 
If meeting virtually, prep a list of goals like the one pictured, share your screen, and have girls rank their favorites.
  • Be SMART with your goals! A well-known method for goal setting is using the SMART goal formula. It can be used with long- and short-term goals and is a great way to build goal accomplishing skills!  Set yourself up for success by following the SMART method and asking yourself these questions:   
    • S: Specific– can you clearly define or identify the goal?  
    • MMeasurable– How will you know when you accomplished your goal? What are the measurable terms of your goal?  
    • AAttainable– Is this a realistic goal? Do you have access to the needed resources to accomplish the goal? Are your expectations realistic?  
    • RRelevant– Does this goal make sense for you? Is it something that is important to you?  
    • TTime-bound– When will you achieve this goal by? What time frame do you have for accomplishing this goal? 
  • Map your goals out! Big goals can feel like a long daunting journey, but they don’t have to be. A new goal can be an exciting adventure full of learning experiences and endless opportunities. Get creative and explore goal setting with your Girl Scout(s) by creating a goal map! 
    • A goal map should start with an easy prompt for individual girls or troops as a whole. All you will need is paper and writing tools. Start by drawing a winding road across the paper, ending at the goal you have in mind! Would reaching your goal be a long or short trip? What will you need to get to your destination? What stops are needed along the way? Can you think of any roadblocks that might interfere with your route? Use the map to brainstorm and plan how you will reach your goal and what you can do to stay on track!  
  • Plan the steps needed to accomplish your goal! Another creative way to plan out what is needed to reach goals is by designing a goal ladder! Start by having your Girl Scout(s) write their goal in a star and below that, a ladder with 3-5 steps. Identify what steps are needed to climb the ladder and reach the goal. 
    • For example, if you want to sell 500 Girl Scout cookies, maybe the steps would be: 1) (first step at the bottom) make a list of 30 people that may buy cookies; 2) Make a list of 5 places to host cookie booths, 3) Get approval for cookie booths 4) plan and schedule time for making sales and cookie booths; 5) Design a poster/flyer promoting cookie sales. 
  • Vision boards! Get creative and visualize your accomplishments by making a vision board, which can be a fun activity for all ages! You can create a vision board for the upcoming year in general or a specific goal. Vision boards can be done as an individual or a group! If you are creating virtually you can have the girls design a vision board on google slides or PowerPoint. It is important to give the girls creative freedom when creating. Vision board materials can include cutouts from magazines, pictures, quotes printed out, clip-art, paint, and whatever else represents your ideas. Once the vision board is finished hang it somewhere that you will see often.  

Post by Gabby Dietrich

Goal Setting

As the year draws to a close, we are greeted with many things, such as holidays, snow, relaxation and much more! We are also greeted with the promise of brand-new year, a fresh start and a time to prepare for the upcoming year.   

While it can be easy to create a list of all the things we hope to change and do different, but we want to encourage you to take it a step further. It can be very hard to stick to our New Year’s Resolutions throughout the year. So, I think it is important to try by reflecting on the previous year first! When I start considering the things I want to change I first think about the past year and create a list of all the things I have learned. Traditionally, I will title my lists something like: “20 Things I Learned in 2020” because having a concrete number can be helpful to get your mind going! One thing to keep in mind is that not everything on your list needs to be serious, they can be fun too! An example from my list includes: “never underestimate the power of an adorable lunchbox”. Once you have reflected on the past year and created your list it makes setting goals easier and more meaningful.  

Once you have a few goals in mind it is important to look at them critically. Ask yourself: is this a realistic long-term goal I can stick to throughout the year? It is important to set attainable goals that can be accomplished over time rather than a long list of goals to start at the beginning of the New Year. If they are not, it is harder to stick to them and you may lose steam after the first few weeks into January.  

So, what are your goals? Are you interested in learning a new skill, reading more books, or getting active? Whatever it may be we wanted to share a list of tips & tricks to help you set your goals moving into the New Year! All of these can be applied to goals you may have professionally, personally or with your Girl Scout Troops!  

  • Reflection 
  • As we mentioned, start by thinking about all the things you learned over the past year and how that can help you in the New Year!  
  • Setting Realistic & Measurable Goals 
  • When setting a goal, it can be very easy to keep it vague, but often times getting more specific can really help you attain those goals! So, if your goal is to read more, instead maybe your goal should be: “Read 21 Books in 2021”. Now you have a concrete goal that you can track throughout the year!  
  • Create Your Action Plan 
  • Once you have chosen your goal it is important to determine how you will get there! Try starting by determining your starting point and where to go from there. You can do this in a variety of different ways, including creating smaller steps to complete along the way or adding something to your daily/weekly routine.  
  • Identify Obstacles 
  • It is important to keep in mind that after you have set a goal, things might get in the way. So, one thing you can do is brainstorm things that might impact your goal and how to overcome them along the way.  
  • Reevaluate Along the Way 
  • When setting goals, it is easy to write a list of all things you want to accomplish, but they can be easily forgotten along the way as other things come up. So, it is important to not only set goals, but to continue to check in throughout the year. And don’t be afraid to change them along the way, make your goals work for you!  
  • Be Kind to Yourself 
  • While setting goals can be useful and helpful, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes we don’t meet our goals and that is totally okay! You can reflect on the progress you’ve made and try again next year!  

We can’t wait to hear all about your goals, so be sure to share them in the comments!  


Post by Rebekah Stefl