101 Goals for the School Year – Printable Template

smart goals template
Use This Template! (Available at the end of the article)

Setting goals at the start of the school year can get you off on the right track. Here’s how to do it.

First, set one big goal – this is the long-term goal that is going to be the north star, guiding your path throughout the year. It might be getting a certain grade, reading a certain number of books, or achieving something more personal like inner confidence.

Next, set smaller short-term goals. These goals should be relevant to that big long-term goal. They’re the milestones you will have to pass on your way to the ultimate goal you’ve set yourself.

Short-term goals for the school year might include studying one hour per day for the next month, reading a challenging book for half an hour before bed each night, or having catch-up meeting with your teacher once per week.

Below are some examples of goals you can aspire towards for this school year. Copy and paste them, or edit them, and make them yours. I recommend expanding them into SMART goals. I’ve provided a template for you at the end of this article that you can print out and use when setting your school year goals.

Goals for the School Year

Goals for Primary School

  1. “Improve reading skills by studying at least two new books each month.”
    Type: Long-term (by the end of the year)
  2. “Enhance math skills by mastering basic addition and subtraction facts.”
    Type: Short-term (by the end of the month)
  3. “Gain confidence in public speaking by participating in class presentations at least once per term.”
    Type: Long-term (by the end of the year)
  4. “Boost handwriting legibility by practicing neatly written assignments each week.”
    Type: Short-term (domain of a few weeks)
  5. “Raise understanding of world geography by identifying and learning about five new countries every semester.”
    Type: Long-term (over the school year)
  6. “Develop an appreciation for arts by engaging in one art project each month.”
    Type: Long-Term (across the whole year)
  7. “Comprehend the basics of computer coding by completing one hour of coding exercises per week.”
    Type: Short-term (within a few months)
  8. “Learn to play a new instrument by taking school-based music lessons regularly.”
    Type: Long-term (by the school year’s end)
  9. “Enhance physical fitness and teamwork by participating in a sports activity each term.”
    Type: Long-term (during entire school year)
  10. “Expand scientific knowledge by conducting one new experiment each month. (For instance, a vinegar and baking soda volcano)”
    Type: Long-term (over the school year)
  11. “Cultivate your leadership skills by taking on roles within group projects or school clubs.”
    Type: Short-term (spread over a semester)
  12. “Demonstrate an understanding of responsibility by maintaining perfect attendance for a full semester.”
    Type: Short-term (in a semester)
  13. “Cultivate patience and focus by maintaining undistracted homework habits for at least an hour each school day.”
    Type: Long-term (for the whole year)
  14. “Enhance research skills by completing a mini-research project each term.”
    Type: Short-term (within a term, repeated)
  15. “Improve problem-solving skills by tackling logic puzzles or brain teasers each week.”
    Type: Short-term (weekly)
  16. “Develop critical thinking by engaging in a debate or a constructive arguing exercise once per term.”
    Type: Long-term (across the academic year)
  17. “Enhance your time management skills by creating a homework schedule and adhering to it each week.”
    Type: Short-term (weekly)
  18. “Grow in self-discipline by setting personal rules about TV or video games and adhering to them.”
    Type: Long-term (over the academic year)
  19. “Cultivate a growth mindset by identifying one area of improvement each week and taking steps to improve.”
    Type: Short-term (weekly)
  20. “Master a new vocabulary word each day.”
    Type: Long-term (throughout the year)

Goals for Middle School

  1. “Achieve academic success by maintaining at least a B average across all subjects.”
    Type: Long-term (over the course of the school year)
  2. “Improve writing skills by creating weekly compositions.”
    Type: Short-term (weekly over the school term)
  3. “Master organizational skills by maintaining a structured planner for all assignments and activities.”
    Type: Long-term (for the school year)
  4. “Increase vocabulary by learning and utilizing a new word each week.”
    Type: Long-term (every week for the full year)
  5. “Complete all assignments on time to cultivate good time management skills.”
    Type: Long-term (throughout the school year)
  6. “Demonstrate leadership skills by taking up a leadership role in a school club or team.”
    Type: Long-term (during the school year)
  7. “Improve digital literacy by learning a new tech-related skill every two months. (Perhaps coding or video editing basics)”
    Type: Long-term (across the academic year)
  8. “Enhance public speaking skills by participating in school debates or speeches.”
    Type: Short-term (each semester)
  9. “Develop a new hobby by joining a school club or activity.”
    Type: Short-term (within the school term)
  10. “Deepen understanding of the scientific method by conducting science experiments each term.”
    Type: Short-term (every school term)
  11. “Improve research skills by conducting a properly cited research paper every semester.”
    Type: Short-term (semester-based)
  12. “Grow fitness levels by actively participating in gym classes and school sports activities.”
    Type: Long-term (all through the school year)
  13. “Accomplish improved reading comprehension skills by reading a challenging book each quarter.”
    Type: Long-term (quarterly)
  14. “Lower screen time by having tech-free days twice a week.”
    Type: Short-term (weekly)
  15. “Cultivate a better understanding of world geography by learning about a new country or culture each month.”
    Type: Long-term (monthly over the year)
  16. “Increase math problem-solving skills by solving extra practice problems weekly.”
    Type: Short-term (every week)
  17. “Enhance social-emotional skills by expressing feelings and resolving conflicts in a healthy manner.”
    Type: Long-term (over the school year)
  18. “Learn to play a new instrument or improve in an existing one by taking and practicing music lessons regularly.”
    Type: Long-term (throughout school year)
  19. “Achieve perfect attendance record for a full semester.”
    Type: Short-term (semester-based)
  20. “Improve focus and concentration by sitting disconnected from electronic devices for study and homework sessions.”
    Type: Long-term (for the entire year)

Goals for High School

  1. “Achieve academic excellence by maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA each semester.”
    Type: Long-term (all year long)
  2. “Broaden your writing skills by completing one essay in a different style each month.”
    Type: Long-term (over the academic year)
  3. “Increase proficiency in a foreign language by practicing speaking and writing skills daily.”
    Type: Long-term (the full school year)
  4. “Develop advanced mathematics skills by mastering a new concept each week.”
    Type: Short-term (every week)
  5. “Have a balanced lifestyle by committing at least an hour daily for physical activities.”
    Type: Long-term (goal for the school year)
  6. “Lead and manage an extracurricular team or group for a school year.”
    Type: Long-term (for the school year)
  7. “Prepare for college applications by researching five universities of interest per semester.”
    Type: Long-term (every semester)
  8. “Perfect your understanding of scientific methodology by executing a unique science project each term.”
    Type: Short-term (domain of a few weeks)
  9. “Improve digital literacy by learning a new tech skill every quarter. (Could be web development or video editing)”
    Type: Long-term (across the academic year)
  10. “Enhance artistic talent by producing and displaying one piece of originals every term.”
    Type: Long-term (all year)
  11. “Promote community service by volunteering at least twice in a semester in community programs.”
    Type: Short-term (bi-semester)
  12. “Master a musical instrument by practicing for at least an hour everyday.”
    Type: Long-term (over the academic year)
  13. “Develop a robust understanding of social, economic, and political systems by closely following and discussing current events.”
    Type: Long-term (across the school year)
  14. “Prepare for a future career by engaging in job shadowing or summer internships.”
    Type: Short-term (over the summer)
  15. “Enhance problem-solving and critical thinking skills by participating in academic Olympiads or hackathons.”
    Type: Short-term (when applicable)
  16. “Increase environmental awareness by participating in or organizing eco-friendly activities or projects at school.”
    Type: Long-term (school year)
  17. “Cultivate public speaking skills by participating in a debate competition or drama club.”
    Type: Short-term (over the term)
  18. “Develop skills in budgeting and money management by managing a savings account.”
    Type: Long-term (over the school year)
  19. “Build a strong foundation in coding by learning and applying a new programming language.”
    Type: Long-term (across the academic year)
  20. “Expand your cultural literacy by studying one foreign culture each semester.”
    Type: Long-term (semester-wise)
  21. “Cultivate adaptability and resilience by handling unexpected challenges positively and learning from the experience.”
    Type: Long-term (all year)

Goals for College

  1. “Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 each semester to ensure academic prosperity.”
    Type: Long-term (duration of college)
  2. “Master time management by setting a weekly study schedule and sticking to it.”
    Type: Short-term (week by week)
  3. “Develop strong research abilities by actively engaging in at least one research project each year.”
    Type: Long-term (across each year)
  4. “Enhance your professional network by attending at least two networking events or career fairs per semester.”
    Type: Short-term (each term)
  5. “Be financially responsible by creating and sticking to a budget each month.”
    Type: Long-term (for your college years)
  6. “Hone critical thinking skills by participating actively in class discussions.”
    Type: Long-term (persistent through college)
  7. “Improve physical health by incorporating regularly weekly workouts. (Like playing intramural soccer or gym workouts)”
    Type: Long-term (continuous throughout college)
  8. “Expand cultural competence by engaging with diverse social groups on campus.”
    Type: Short-term (each semester)
  9. “Fine-tune your resume and cover letter by attending career center workshops.”
    Type: Short-term (single semester goal)
  10. “Secure a summer internship by researching and applying for internship opportunities.”
    Type: Long-term (across the academic year) – see also: internship goals
  11. “Deepen knowledge and understanding in your major by reading beyond the prescribed syllabus.”
    Type: Long-term (throughout your college years)
  12. “Increase proficiency in a foreign language by regularly attending language exchange meetups.”
    Type: Long-term (over college years)
  13. “Win a scholarship or grant by applying to at least five each year.”
    Type: Long-term (each year)
  14. “Render at least 10 hours of community service each semester.”
    Type: Short-term (during the semester)
  15. “Establish a strong online presence by maintaining a professional LinkedIn profile during your college years.”
    Type: Long-term (throughout college)
  16. “Gain practical experience by identifying and securing part-time work related to your field of study.”
    Type: Long-term (during entire college course)
  17. “Learn self-care and stress management strategies by attending wellness sessions and workshops on campus.”
    Type: Short-term (single semester goal)
  18. “Improve public speaking skills by participating in student seminars, debates, or presentations.”
    Type: Long-term (all through your college tenure)
  19. “Manage academic stress by establishing a routine that includes timely sleep and study breaks.”
    Type: Long-term (throughout the college years)
  20. “Write and submit at least one academic paper for a conference or journal publication.”
    Type: Long-term (during your college tenure)
  21. “Increase your initiative by taking leadership positions in student organizations.”
    Type: Short-term (each semester goal)
  22. “Reduce your carbon footprint by adopting sustainable practices like recycling or using public transportation.”
    Type: Long-term (during your stay at college)
  23. “Improve cooking skills by learning how to prepare at least five nutritious meals.”
    Type: Short-term (single semester)
  24. “Ensure career readiness by taking aptitude tests and career-guidance counseling.”
    Type: Long-term (across entire college)
  25. “Retain mental health by managing stress effectively and seeking counseling if required.”
    Type: Long-term (duration of college)

Goals for Teachers

  1. “Build a positive learning environment for all students regardless of their backgrounds.”
    Type: Long-term (over the school year)
  2. “Plan and implement a holistic and inclusive curriculum that caters to different learning styles.”
    Type: Long-term (over the academic year)
  3. “Ensure regular communication with parents about students’ performance and behavior.”
    Type: Short-term (continual, weekly)
  4. “Help each student improve by at least one grade level in your subject.”
    Type: Long-term (over the school year)
  5. “Make classes more interactive by incorporating technology-based teaching tools.”
    Type: Short-term (next semester)
  6. “Increase attendance rate by creating engaging lesson plans that entice students.”
    Type: Long-term (over the academic year)
  7. “Continually upgrade your teaching methodologies by attending at least two professional development workshops every year.”
    Type: Long-term (every year)
  8. “Promote extracurricular participation by organizing or sponsoring clubs or activities related to your subject.”
    Type: Long-term (over the academic year)
  9. “Use data-driven practices to improve student learning outcomes.”
    Type: Short-term (next grading period)
  10. “Build conflict resolution skills and maintain discipline in the classroom.”
    Type: Short-term (ongoing throughout the year)
  11. “Create a supportive environment for special needs students. (For instance, by developing individualized education programs)”
    Type: Long-term (throughout the year)
  12. “Develop a diverse and culturally sensitive classroom by recognizing and celebrating international holidays or cultural events.”
    Type: Long-term (over the academic year)
  13. “Involve all students in classroom discussions to enhance active learning.”
    Type: Short-term (for the upcoming weeks)
  14. “Incorporate activities that cater to different learning abilities and styles.”
    Type: Short-term within the rest of the semester)
  15. “Boost your digital fluency to adapt to the evolving digital classroom environment.”
    Type: Long-term (over the year)

See Also: 121 Goals for Teachers

Set Smart Goals!


SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (Doran, 1981).

The SMART framework is a goal-setting model designed to guide individuals or organizations in the goal-setting process. The following is an exploration of each component in the SMART framework:

  1. Specific – The goal must be clear, concise, and well-defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide adequate direction. When a goal is specific, you know exactly what to do. For instance, if your goal is to increase reading proficiency, a specific goal could be “read two new books each month”.
  2. Measurable – The goal should have criteria for tracking progress and determining when the goal is met. By making goals measurable, you can track your progress and stay motivated. A unit of measure can be time, percent, frequency, etc. For example, “Improve math grades by 5% by the end of the term” is a measurable goal.
  3. Achievable – The goal must be attainable, realistic, and possible to achieve considering your resources and constraints. This doesn’t mean that your goal can’t be challenging or ambitious. A goal is achievable when you believe it can be accomplished. For instance, “master basic addition and subtraction facts by the end of the month” is a realistic and achievable goal for a primary school student.
  4. Relevant – The goal should align with broader objectives, whether they’re personal ambitions or organizational targets. Relevant goals will drive you forward, even when the going gets tough. For instance, for an athlete, an appropriate goal could be “enhance aerobic capacity by running 5 miles every day”.
  5. Time-Bound – The goal should have a start and end date. This creates a sense of urgency and gives you a timeline for achieving your goal. For example, “learn 100 new vocabulary words by the end of the semester” is a time-bound goal.

The SMART framework can be used to set goals by first stating your overall objective and then breaking it down into the SMART components. This not only helps to clarify your ideas but also enables you to focus your time and resources more efficiently. Ultimately, this framework ensures that the goals you set are clear, actionable, and meaningful.

Print out this template below and use it to set your goals for this school year!

smart goals template

Get the Google Docs Template Here

See More: Examples of SMART Goals for Students


Setting goals at the start of the school year can get you off to a great start in your academics at a time when you can start fresh and put your mind to having a great academic year. Use the above examples for inspiration, but expand on them with the SMART framework template to make them specific for you and your own school context.


Donovan, J. J. (2008). Goal Setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals. Personnel Psychology, 61(4), 931.

Doran, G. T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives. Journal of Management Studies, 70-75.

Latham G.P., Locke E.A. (2018) Goal Setting Theory. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. London: SAGE.

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2013). New developments in goal setting and task performance. London: Routledge.

Nordengren, C. (2021). Step Into Student Goal Setting: A Path to Growth, Motivation, and Agency. New York: Corwin Press.

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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