Teach Students to Build Bold Goals

Is there any reason your students shouldn’t be excited to learn about work?

Let’s ignite a spark in your students, encouraging them to dream big and work toward their goals with passion and dedication. One of the most powerful tools we employ is the art of building bold goals. These goals are not only ambitious but also deeply personal, aligned with students’ core values and crafted through systems thinking and first principles thinking. The First Principles Work Goal is a transformative approach that helps students achieve bold goals.

The Only Question of a Bold Work Goal

How would you—Yes you! —answer this question: If you could “do activities that engage and excite you in an environment that aligns with your values and beliefs, supported by a system that meets your needs and wants,” what would this look like for you? This question isn’t just a starting point; it’s a catalyst for profound self-discovery and goal setting. And this is what your students need to explore.

Develop Goals Through Systems Thinking and First Principles Thinking

When goals are developed using systems thinking and first principles thinking, students make better decisions.

We teach students to approach their aspirations through these advanced thinking methods. Systems thinking involves understanding how different parts of a whole interact and influence each other. This holistic view helps students create strategies that are both effective and sustainable.

First principles thinking, on the other hand, encourages breaking down complex problems into their most fundamental parts and then building up from there. By focusing on these basics, students can innovate and find unique solutions to their challenges, free from the constraints of conventional wisdom.

Articulating Goals with a Framework

Encourage your students to articulate their goals using a framework of both systems thinking and first principles thinking. When students articulate their goals using this framework, it can then be used as a formative and summative benchmark of their personal growth, career planning, and readiness.

For example, a student passionate about environmental science might frame their goal as: “What if I could work on innovative solutions to reduce plastic waste in the ocean in a research team that shares my commitment to sustainability, supported by resources that allow us to make real-world impacts?” This articulation is not only motivating but also provides a clear direction for their efforts.

This is a fantastic start! But what’s missing from their goal? Use the following exercise to better understand how you can help this student improve their goal.

A Quick Start to the First Principles Work Goal

Here’s a quick start to showing you the power of setting a bold work goal. We call it the First Principles of Work goal. All you need to do is download the First Principles of Work worksheet and do two things:

  1. List every open-ended question that you would have to answer to create this goal (remember, open-ended questions are questions that can’t be answered with “yes or no”).
  2. Consider how your students would benefit from being able to develop career goals through this framework.

Of all the things to consider about work, careers, and career planning, a BOLD work goal is the most important. By helping your students create bold goals, you empower them to take control of their futures, align their ambitions with their core values, and pursue their dreams with passion and dedication.

Take Action: If you want to learn more about helping your students create bold goals, get on the waiting list for our First Principles of Work workshop. Together, we can transform the way students approach their futures and ensure they are equipped to achieve their most ambitious dreams.