One important step in achieving success both in school and out in the world in general is to learn effective organization, study and work habits. The first of these habits is how to approach any task from an organized perspective. Some questions to consider when approaching any task might include the following:
• What are your intentions for the project?
• What resources will you need to make it successful?
• What actions will you perform to achieve the results that you desire?
• Do you have a calendar or appointment book to schedule and prioritize necessary daily activities?
• Do you journal? If not, you should try it…journaling helps to organize your thoughts, and record daily challenges, insights and breakthroughs.
• Who will you ask to keep you accountable to do what you say you will do?
• Who will you ask to mentor or coach you?
• What reward will you get for achieving your goals on time?
• What costs or consequences will you bear if you fail to do what you say you will do?
When you get accustomed to developing sound study habits, the likelihood of your success will increase which in turn increases your self-esteem. And, the more organized you become, the less stress will ensue. Here are some questions to consider that will support effective study habits:
• Are you clear about what your assignments are, and what is expected of you?
• Do you write down dates in an appointment book/calendar when the assignments are due or each exam is scheduled?
• Are you clear about what resources are available to assist you in your work?
• Do you begin each assignment well ahead of its due date, or do you have a tendency to procrastinate?
• When reading, do you read once to familiarize yourself with the material and highlight important points, then a 2nd time to memorize key facts and get a solid grasp of the material?
• Do you request assistance with any challenging areas or subjects you have difficulty understanding fully?
Developing a plan to create good study habits while in school will really help you in realizing the importance of starting at a young age in getting good at goal-setting.
The importance of goal-setting…
Writing down your goals, in a step by step plan, makes the actuality of realizing and attaining your goals much easier….than just thinking or saying them out loud, which many times makes your subconscious mind think that you are not serious about achieving those goals. If you have a written plan of action, you will be able to review your progress and accomplish your goals with laser-focus. By achieving your goals, this will boost your self-confidence and belief in your ability to produce a desired result.
How can your plan work….if you don’t work your plan?
But, if this is your first attempt at setting (and achieving) goals, celebrate your starting point of taking the time to think about what you want to achieve and putting pen to paper. Having the belief that little is impossible for you to achieve, just knowing that the process of setting goals and learning along the way is just as, or more, valuable than the actual attainment of the goals themselves.
Elements of goal-setting:
• Goals should be clear, specific and measurable.
• They should be attainable, not ‘pie in the sky’, “hope it happens” ideas with little chance of realization.
• They should be measured in time, meaning you should strive to accomplish your goals by certain dates to avoid procrastination.
• You should be crystal clear about exactly what action steps you need to take to realize these goals you have set. If you are not sure on what steps to take, get some assistance from your parents or someone who you look up to for guidance.
• Having an accountability partner or someone to coach you in the actions you have committed to doing is very helpful in staying consistent in achieving your goals. There is so much value in being consistent and persistent in your action steps to your desired results. Having a log or planner to utilize in recording your progress really helps in staying on task.
• When you realize, and appreciate, the power of consistent (day-in and day-out) action combined with persistent action (following up as needed to ensure the desired result), you will develop success habits that will enable you to produce the results you desire and build self-confidence.
If goal-setting is new to you, I think it is a good idea to start with “action” goals rather than “results-oriented” goals. This is kind of like a practice run….by developing the habit of following through on the actions you commit to doing (and continually looking at what might be missing to realize your intended results), you can play full out without being attached to the results.
Many aspects of your life’s vision will be well-served by identifying goals that align with your vision. Throughout your lifetime, your goals will constantly change…..that is a good thing. That means you are always moving forward and evolving, striving to continually better yourself and your life. Having goals tells you that your life matters, and you look forward to the learning process and achieving those goals!
All this ‘homework’ will only continue to boost your self-esteem and belief in your ability to produce a desired result…
Go on…celebrate all your hard work and reward yourself – you deserve it!