> One thing that I've found to be helpful in goal setting is to ask for some student goals and put them on the board.  They will usually come up with things like "to pass," "to be rich," "to be successful," and every once in a while they will mention a specific degree or career.

Barbara's suggestions are excellent! (Or at least resemble what I wish I'd done.)

When getting students to come up with their long-term aspirations, I often have them write not on the board, but on a piece of paper, individually. When they write on the board, they often come up with the more stereotypical answers. I also prompt them with a series of questions, e.g.,  What do you want your life to look like 5 years from now? What kind of house or apartment are you living in? Where in the world are you? What job? Are you married? Do you have kids? Do you live near family?

That way, they begin to connect short- & medium-term goals with a real,  fleshed-out dream that they've developed themselves and may continue to think about and refine.

I also stress that goal-awareness is something you have to keep paying attention to, not just something you think about occasionally. Fun exercise: You need a fair amount of open space for this. Ask for a volunteer to be "it." Ask for another volunteer with a watch to keep time. You and the student who is "it" will play a strange game of tag. You will each be able to take one step per second. The student has to try to catch you. The difficulty for the student is that he/she can only change direction every 5 seconds. You, however, can change direction whenever you want. The timekeeper will tap the table once per second, and will say "turn" every five seconds. Given enough space (the center of a classroom with chairs cleared out ought to be enough), you should be able to evade the student indefinitely. Explain, after a sufficient amount of play, that you are the goal, and the student who is "it"
is someone who only checks on their progress toward goals occasionally.

Goals are a moving target. Discuss with students what the student who was "it" had to do in order to compensate for his/her deficiency. Students often take larger steps, cheat (take more than one step per second), or try to reach as far as they can whenever they manage to get at all close. You can draw parallels between these actions and the kind of things students do when they suddenly realize they're behind: trying to cram more into a day than can fit, telling themselves lies about how much time they have, stretching themselves beyond their limits and collapsing with stress....

You can also have some really fun and productive discussions with sports teams. I had great fun with the men's soccer team here (1st in Division III, by the way) about how goals in soccer are kind of like goals in life: imagine a soccer game with an unlimited field and goals that move. How would that affect your game? They recognized instantly they'd have to communicate even better, pace themselves, and look around more often.

Steve Runge