You may know that I am a huge fan of planning. Today, I’d like to share one more method I find useful. It is called backward planning, backward goal-setting, or backward design (I filmed a video about it).
Backward planning is setting goals is a fantastic strategy where you start with the final goal, and then you set goals to reach the final goal.
It allows you to prepare yourself for success mentally and visualize it. For example, you are going to launch or rebrand your website. State your goal, write what you want to achieve, and set the deadline. By the end of the 15th of December 2021, I will have launched my website.
Moreover, it is a great exercise for your learners when you teach English. You can practice Future Perfect. You ask your learners to start a sentence with “By the end of + date, I will have + past participle.” Personally, I love doing this exercise with my learners. It makes them think in a foreign language, not only about what they want, but also about setting goals and working towards them. They will have an entirely new perspective on looking at a goal.
What the research says about backward planning
Also, let me quote a research study where this method was researched:
“Compared with forward planning, backward planning led to greater motivation, higher goal expectancy, and less time pressure and resulted in better goal-relevant performance. We further demonstrated that this motivational effect occurred because backward planning allowed people to think of tasks required to reach their goals more clearly, especially when goals were complex to plan. These findings suggest that the way people plan matters as much as whether or not they plan.”Park J., Lu F.C., Hedgcock W.NM.
Have you ever tried this method? Let me know in the comments below.
Park J, Lu FC, Hedgcock WM. Relative Effects of Forward and Backward Planning on Goal Pursuit. Psychol Sci. 2017 Nov;28(11):1620-1630. doi: 10.1177/0956797617715510. Epub 2017 Sep 14. Erratum in: Psychol Sci. 2018 Feb;29(2):312-313. PMID: 28910234.