One way of helping individuals is to use visualization to encourage them to set personal goals. Encourage them to imagine that they have achieved their goals and to describe what it feels like. Ask them to really explore how it feels and what is different about this new vision from where they are currently. Encourage them to write about this new place and make notes about how it could be. Then ask them to think about the key steps needed to get them from where they are now to where they want to be.
This goal setting should be undertaken in a context of the short, medium and longer term. Again help individuals to succeed by encouraging them to set small targets that are achievable as well as more aspirational and long-term goals. Use techniques such as SMART to help them identify the specifics. You may also need to have some examples to help them build their own set. By asking open questions you can help individuals begin to identify areas that they wish to work on.
Remember, if they are unused to setting goals, seeing different alternatives will take time. Asking an open question such as 'What would you like to do in the future?' of an adult can be as threatening as asking a young person, 'What do you want to do when you leave school?' They simply may not know. It can be more helpful to start with some specifics.
As well as working through goal-setting SMART objectives and helping individual learners shift their paradigms you will also have the opportunity to work with individuals who really want to take responsibility for their own learning. As they grow in confidence you can encourage them to build on SMART by setting goals that are more stretching, but in trying to help individuals develop you need to help them achieve some success. As highlighted in Chapter 3, one other factor is to do with individual motivation. Usually what makes a significant difference in the achievement of goals is that the individual really wants to do it.