Goal Setting: A Key Piece of “The 5 Skills”

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

That’s a good point, and just one of many reasons why “goal setting” is a key component of Girl Scouting’s entrepreneurship programs. (Just to recap: The 5 Skills are goal setting, decision making, people skills, money management and business ethics.)

In our financial literacy programs, goal setting is the first step. Goals give us focus and help us measure our progress. A well-planned goal also gives us motivation, provided there is a reward once we’ve achieved our goal.

Professionals, athletes and students are among the groups of people who routinely set (and achieve) goals. The process of setting a goal focuses your efforts, helps you organize your time and resources and gives you that extra push to keep moving in the right direction.

When a girl learns about goal setting, something magical happens–optimism. Who among us can set a goal without envisioning actually reaching the goal? The feeling that a girl can achieve her goals is a cornerstone of the Girl Scout Movement.

Our sisterhood encourages girls to dream, while providing tools to achieve their dreams.

In Girl Scout entrepreneurship programs, we ask girls to set goals and to break down those goals into achievable steps. Those steps might include meeting new people, branching out her network, learning online marketing techniques or practicing verbal skills for more effective interactions during her sales “pitches.” The strength of these goal-setting lessons can be seen in the proud faces of girls who have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award–the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

While working on “goal setting,” Girl Scouts also develop team building and cooperation skills. Very few people achieve success alone and a girl’s participation in her troop gives her experience working as a team to reach their goals.

Goal setting is an important part of life, which is why it’s so important to us in Girl Scouting. Whether it’s improving her grades, making the varsity soccer team or saving for a college, goal setting is a key skill that contributes to her overall success. Girls with defined goals push themselves a little harder and spend time envisioning that moment when they reach those goals. They are also less apt to become distracted by things that do not meet their long-term or short-term goals.

Encouraging goal setting and the process of breaking down goals into manageable steps is a great way to encourage the girls in your life. To work more on goal setting, consider this exercise from the Lean In Foundation, developed in conjunction with Girl Scouts of the USA’s “Ban Bossy” program and the Girls Leadership Institute.


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