Goal: Stay Focused

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 29

When I was in high school I made a goal to run daily. After a few weeks I quit. I admitted this to my friend who volunteered to run with me. Every morning we ran for miles. I wish I could tell you that it was always a happy time but he had this annoying habit of pushing me. He would not let me lose my focus and running became a habit I kept for many years. From this experience, I learned that I stay focused and accomplish more when others are with me.

I was reminded of this throughout this series. Instead of one friend, I have many who have joined this journey. Reading your tweets, responses, and comments has pushed me beyond my initial expectations. When I began this series it was an experiment. Every year I undergo an elaborate ritual to accomplish many goals and create lifelong habits. I categorize my goals and sketch out detailed plans. Within a few weeks I lose my focus. I wanted to see if inviting my Personal Learning Network (PLN) to join me in accomplishing short-term goals would keep me focused. It worked.In the last 30 days I have woken up  with a goal in mind to accomplish, because I knew I would have to post the goal.

The process was not always easy. Some days I struggled. Teaching, projects, distractions, and laziness got in my way. Then I would read one of your posts, tweets, or responses and I was energized to continue this journey. These are how goals are achieved. Obstacles will always get in the way, but we have to stay focused on the goal. Thank you for giving me that focus and helping me train my mind to become  goal-oriented.

Tomorrow is the last day of this series, but not the last goal we accomplish this year. Let’s stay focused. This is just the beginning.


Create a plan on how you will stay focused to complete your long-term goals for the year. Suggest ways to help our students to learn to stay focused on long-term goals like graduating from college.

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This is goal 29 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

How do you stay focused? How can we teach our students to stay focused on long-term goals like graduating from college

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations


  1. I came in late to your goals, but I have looked back and have worked hard to incorporate them into my life. Thanks for being such a great example to teachers and bloggers everywhere. Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to see what you have next.


  2. I have been working hard at the goals you set forth. They haven’t always been easy but like you said, we were all in it together and that made it more manageable. Thank you for this series and for the challenges set forth to make me a better educator, learner, and collaborator!

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