Did your middle or high school student set academic goals for the school year? The promise of a fresh, new year is the perfect time for reflecting on and redefining goals, academic and beyond. Here are some tips older students can consider as they approach the second half of the year.
Rather than fixating on the objectives you haven’t achieved quite yet, take pride in the goals you have accomplished. Acknowledging and celebrating success is more than just an ego boost; basking in the positivity associated with success can be motivation for setting and pursuing more and more ambitious goals.
It is okay to fail. The important thing about failure is to learn from it and to attempt success at a new angle. Redefining goals should follow assessing the path you are on. If it is your dream, for example, to attend an ivy league university, play college soccer, or become fluent in French, you should be willing and at least somewhat excited to put in the required work. It is okay if your interests have shifted, just be sure that the steps you are taking are aligned with your current goals.
What goals are you carrying over from last semester? Are you closer to accomplishing your goals or have you made several attempts without success? Our favorite crazy-haired brainiac, Albert Einstein, defines insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” What could you be doing differently?
Make a Plan
There is no goal too big or too outlandish- just break it down. Attain your big goals one mini-goal at a time. If your end game is to earn straight As next semester, you’ll probably need to earn As on your biggest tests and assignments. You could create a calendar, having a different color represent each class, and record the dates of upcoming exams. Your first mini-goal could be earning an A on your first exam of the semester. Plan your studying accordingly—do you have all of the books, supplies, and support you need to do your best?
Do your homework. And not just your teacher assigned homework. Think about your goals and about the accomplishments you have achieved in the past. Think about what study habits, training exercises, and memorization tools tend to work for you, research what has worked well for others who have reached goals similar to yours, and plan accordingly.
Be sure to follow through with all of your plans and mini-goals. Stay on track, stay organized, and don’t give up!
Need some motivation? There are several apps to help you keep your resolutions and goals as well as other accountability tools. While digital tools are one way to stay on course and keep motivated, don’t forget about using your family and peers for accountability as well.
What goals did you accomplish this last semester? What are you hoping to achieve by the end of the academic year? Share your process of redefining goals in the comment section below and be sure to keep us updated on how your mini-goals are coming along. To find out how online learning can help you achieve your goals, visit k12.com.