Updated: Dec 29, 2020
What differentiates us from other mammals? Why do we have the ability to do things no other species can do? The answer is simple – our brain. The 86 billion neurons transmitting information everywhere. Our minds are powerful tools but sometimes, they hurt us more than they help us. Our minds contribute to everything we do, from daily tasks to life changing decisions. But sometimes, as students, we fall prey to our mind: we procrastinate that project, we waste our time on social media, we forget our goal. So how do we overcome our mind?
The first thing we have to focus on to overcome our mind is what we want to do. Do you want to learn another language fluently? Do you want to get a better score on that test? Do you want to get first place in that competition? What do you want to do but never had the time or the perseverance? After figuring that out, when do you want to get this done? I know that it seems like you are making a SMART goal but, trust me, you’re not.
At this point, we have set our goal and when we want to achieve it by. Be reasonable! Writing down a goal on paper that you know you won’t be able to get is not helpful. I will give a personal example; I want to make a 30 on the ACT in April by studying three hours a week. Now, we are going to list something that we do for fun (social media, shows, etc). We probably do these things daily so doing them after working on our goal is recommended. If I do thirty minutes of ACT prep, I can do thirty minutes of social media. This works because I know that I shouldn’t spend a lot of time on social media and doing it after my ACT prep doesn’t make me feel guilty.
There is just one important factor left – enforcing our completion. Why is this time going to be any different than the other times I made goals? A good way to start this is by making checkpoints. An example is by the starting of January, I want a 27 on an ACT practice test. If I don’t get this, maybe I will change my studying time to five hours a week. Adaptability is key. If your current situation doesn’t work out, CHANGE IT. Lying to yourself about how it’s working will only hurt you. Assess your situation and change what you need to. Now that doesn’t mean do nothing and get lazy again. After you make a habit, you won’t need to think twice about it (and you’ll be getting the reward too).
Throughout the whole process of making goals, perseverance is key. 15 consecutive days makes a habit. You can achieve a lot by doing something every day for 15 days (and a bunch of days after). After reading these paragraphs, you should have made a reasonable goal, a reward for pursuing it, and figured out how often you will assess and change the goal.
Happy goal making!
Haas Hall Academy Fayetteville Freshman