This post originally appeared on the blog Algebra and Beyond.

We often talk about SMART goals with our students and make some for ourselves each year. The whole idea and process of organizing your goals and writing them down is fantastic! But then what? 

First, it is critical to make a list of what you want to complete each day in order to work towards that goal. Your list also needs to include additional things that you need to complete that affect other areas of your life, career, etc. Including those things on your list will help you budget your time better and stay organized. I have always been a list maker and love crossing off items as I go through the day. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and purpose. Which leads me to my second thought. How many quality tasks am I actually accomplishing every day, week, month, etc.? 

Thank goodness for sticky notes! I keep a stack handy to write down all my to-do’s and then throw each one away as the task is completed. Sounds logical, right? This video made me think a little differently. Perhaps I was going about it all wrong. Watch the video and then read about how it helped me.

This video made me really think about true grit. It helped me realize that just writing down tasks, completing them and moving on was only a percentage of what goes into achieving goals. I started to realize that I should be documenting my strides and also keeping track of what I am actually doing to accomplish my goals. In other words, how gritty am I?
 
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to assess your to-do lists and grit:
Did I challenge myself with difficult tasks?
Did I stay focused in order to complete many tasks?
Did I problem solve effectively and efficiently?

Let’s get out there and not only make SMART goals this year, but also…

  • keep track of our to-do lists daily
  • evaluate our level of grit
  • reflect on how much is really being accomplished
  • work on maintaining or improving our grit from week to week
Weekly To-Do List Template
Write down your weekly tasks, evaluate your grit, and reflect!

 
Above is the template I will be using this year. It can be used for any area of your life: career, family, home, savings, etc. There are eight bullets for each day. If necessary, you can always add a sticky note on top of a section. Then each completed to-do list will go into a binder. How rewarding will it be to reflect on what has been accomplished, not only weekly, but for the entire school year!
Click on the photo below to download the To-Do List sheets and go get gritty!!!

Just writing down tasks, completing them, and moving on is only a percentage of what goes into achieving goals. Documenting strides is key as well.

 
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Just writing down tasks, completing them, and moving on is only a percentage of what goes into achieving goals. Documenting strides is key as well.
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Just writing down tasks, completing them, and moving on is only a percentage of what goes into achieving goals. Documenting strides is key as well.  Tyra has over 10 years experience in education. She has worked at both public and private schools teaching middle and high school math and business. She enjoys helping students connect the knowledge of math with the understanding of why we do it. Tyra has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a graduate degree in Secondary Education. She is currently the Curriculum and Learning Director at a U.S. accredited college preparatory school in Costa Rica. Discover fun and unique teaching strategies and resources at her blog and TpT store – Algebra and Beyond.