G-POWER Goal Setting

Middle SchoolHigh School

This intervention is intended for students and requires little to no additional cost.

Intervention Overview

A variation of the Hope Map intervention was used by Pedrotti and colleagues (2000) as part of the Making Hope Happen program for children and adolescents, called “G-POWER.” G-POWER is an acronym that will help students develop, plan and accomplish goals. G stands for Goals, followed by Pathways, Obstacles, Willpower, Evaluate the process, and Rethink and try again (Pedrotti et al., 2008,p.103 ). As students use this process in goal-setting, they will be more capable at achieving their goals and will experience increased hope in their ability to achieve said goals (Lopez et al., 2004).

Intervention Guide

Grade Level: Upper elementary- 12th
Materials: Paper, writing utensil, short story about goal setting
Duration: One class session, repeat as desired. 

1. Begin by introducing each aspect of the G-POWER acronym to your students.

2. Share with them a short story of a character who sets and accomplishes a goal.

3. As students read the story, have them consider and discuss the following questions:

  • What is the character’s Goal?  
  • Which Pathways does the character identify to use to move toward his or her stated goal? 
  • What Obstacles lay in the character ’s pathway? 
  • What source of Willpower is keeping the character energized in this process? 
  • Evaluate the character’s process. Which pathway did the character elect to follow? 
  • Rethink the process—would you have made the same decisions and choices? (Lopez et al., 2004, p.396)

4. Once students have a better understanding of the G-POWER process, instruct them to write down their own goal plan using each letter and assist them with each step.

5. Follow up with your students to evaluate their plan and encourage the formation of new G-POWER goals as each goal is accomplished.

Does it work?

The G-POWER intervention was implemented by Pedrotti and colleagues in seventh grade classrooms, as part of the Making Hope Happen (MHH) program(Lopez et al., 2004). The MHH program involved five, weekly, 45-minute sessions with small groups of about eight to twelve students, led by a graduate research assistant. The G-POWER intervention was the focus of one of these sessions. Baseline hope measures were taken of both the program participants and control group prior to the start of the program using the Child’s Hope Scale (CHS) (Lopez et al., 2004). At the completion of the program, CHS measures were taken again of all students in the program and control groups. It was discovered that students who had participated in the MHH program reported significant increases in hope following the intervention as compared to the control group. These higher levels of hope were maintained for up to at least six weeks following the intervention(Lopez et al., 2004).


Lopez, S. J., Snyder, C. R., Magyar-Moe, J. L., Edwards, L. M., Pedrotti, J. T., Janowski, K., Turner, J. L., & Pressgrove, C. (2004). Strategies for accentuating hope. In P. A. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 388–404). John Wiley & Sons, Inc..

Pedrotti, J. T., Lopez, S. J., & Krieshok, T. S. (2000). Making Hope Happen: A program for fostering strengths in adolescents. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Pedrotti, J.T., Edwards, L. & Lopez, S.J. (2008). Promoting hope: Suggestions for school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 12(2), 100-107. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.5330/PSC.n.2010-12.100

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