Keeping your eye on the prize
Setting goals the key to improving results and something all students should be aiming for
OFTEN during the cooler months of the year, it can be hard to motivate ourselves to tackle the start of the work day, or the school day.
Often it is still dark when it is time to “rise and shine”, so how do you stay motivated when in all honesty, it would be much nicer to stay under the doona?
Setting goals has been proven to be a good strategy to improve results, no matter who you are, and students of all ages can get into the habit of aiming for the stars.
Looking where you are and asking yourself, ‘have I done my best?’ is the trick to setting goals. A student might decide that they are currently a C in English for example. They need to ask themselves ‘what do I need to do differently to get that to a B?’
That’s when looking at strategies is important, and you need to have those goals, and the skills you are going to implement to get there, on the desk at home. Of course it is all age appropriate, but it may be as simple as putting a piece of paper with ‘English B!’ above the desk, and that’s where parents can help.
Parents need to applaud students when they’ve done their best, encourage them, and get them into a growth mindset. Little steps like that will go very far.
A good acronym used in schools and the workforce (yes, we love acronyms and that’s because they work) is setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
S = Specific: What is it specifically you wish to achieve? Why?
M = Measurable: How are you going to determine if your goal has been achieved?
A = Attainable or achievable: Your goal needs to be realistic. It should stretch you but be possible.
R = Relevant: Is this worthwhile at this point in my life?
T = Timely: What length of time do I need to achieve this?
The more detail you can put in when setting a goal the better!
Even when we set goals for ourselves, we can still get overwhelmed! What can we try when this happens?
Break down tasks (projects – assignments or preparing for a test) down into manageable chunks. Consider the different aspects of the task in two ways eg: Macro level – consider all projects. Micro level – break down each project. Bite off, at any particular time, the amount you can chew!
In the cooler months it is inevitable your child will get the sniffles or even the flu. Let them take time for themselves. Build rest and relaxation time into their schedules. Build in time for those things they enjoy.
We talk with Year 12 students about their OP estimates, and what they need to do to reach their goals. This can be done at home too, and aiming for an OP to do a course at uni, or any other desired outcome, requires asking the question, what do I have to do to get there? You’re taking a big picture view, and breaking it down into smaller pieces in order for each student to put things in place to get there. It might not work the first time, but tweak things and in the end it is possible to get there.
As parents, you don’t want to put extra stress on your child, but setting goals will give them focus and a sense that they can be the best they can be.
Parents ❛❛ need to applaud students when they’ve done their best.