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Planning For Success: Goal-Setting Resource

The I’m Determined (IMD) project, a state-directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities, to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.  A wealth of resources and tools for educators, parents, and youth may be found on the IMD website (  The goal planning tool encourages students to plan while teaching them the connection between their goals and authentic implementation to reach those goals.

Most of us have tasks we want to accomplish, but how often do we fully plan out the steps needed to reach those goals?  As schools move into 2nd semester this is a good time to reevaluate established student goals or to set new ones.  Goals can provide focus, and when well planned, they outline action steps and supports that lead to goal completion.  Goals help to answer the questions of “Why is this important?”, “How is this going to help me?”, and other questions students often ask, directly or indirectly, concerning tasks presented to them at school.  The Goal Plan (Fig. 1) helps students create a thoughtful goal with all necessary components.  An implementation guide (Fig. 2) is available to support teachers, counselors, or parents in working with students to complete this tool.

Listen to students describe in their own words how they have used the Goal Plan and what prompted them to get more detailed about goal achievement.

“Importance of Goal Setting” video:

Goal Plan Tool:


Figure 1


Figure 2

How do I get access to the Goal Plan tool?

For more information, examples, and videos about the Goal Plan and it’s accompanying Implementation Guide, go to the Goal Plan page.


A large part of supporting students to become the most self-sufficient version of themselves is teaching them how they can make things happen in their lives.  Support includes not only providing them with the tools, but walking them through and modeling how to use those tools, as well as how to customize them to meet individualized needs.  The Goal Plan is one of three resources designed to create a foundation upon which self-determination can be built for developing young citizens.  Please take some time to explore the IMD website for self-determination resources that can be used in the classroom, at home, or in the community.

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