New Year, New Semester, New Goals!
by Abby on
Happy 2017! We often look at the beginning of the new year as an opportunity for reflection and goal setting, we wanted to share some of our tips at Green Ivy for beginning the semester well. A recent article suggested that the key to success is ruthless self-examination (read: self-awareness) and goals and reflection are the touchstones of making such progress. At Green Ivy, we encourage students to use the beginning of the semester to plan their own foundations for success by having them write down their personal and academic goals.
Academically, we ask students to focus on changing habits around academics (like writing down assignments in their planner or making flashcards for a biology test at least a week ahead of time) as opposed to working towards a specific G.P.A. (We know from experience that when the habits shift in a positive direction, in most cases, grades do as well.) As for personal goals, the sky is the limit, whether they want to ride in a hot air balloon or learn to play guitar. What remains key is the “how” of achieving said goal, and asking students to outline the steps necessary to get there. For instance, learning guitar might require more time on the weekends, which in turn means scheduling productive homework blocks during the week and studying proactively.
The act of writing down your goals is a powerful exercise, and one related to Carol Dweck’s theories outlined in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, which revolves around the idea that our strengths and abilities are not fixed, but instead can improve over time with effort. Studies have also shown that simply writing goals down makes them more likely to happen, as opposed to thinking positively (but passively) and hoping that what we want to achieve will somehow materialize.
In the new year, we encourage parents to try this goal-setting exercise at home with the whole family as a way of sparking inspiration and positive momentum. We also recommend the following books about personality, success and intrinsic motivation as a way of furthering the conversation with your children—they have certainly provided much food for thought around our offices!
Mindset by Carol Dweck