What Are My Goals? Motivating Yourself!
Begin your “learning to learn” course by asking students about their goals. Each year I find many differences in the abilities of students to articulate their goals. Some students have clear and well-defined goals. They know why they are in college and what they are attempting to attain. At the other end of the spectrum, some students have not even defined their personal goals and are not sure why they are in college. Some of your students who are raising families or who have returned to college after some absence appear to have more specific goals than do some students who come directly from high school.
How would you explain this difference? Think about a musician, athlete, or businessperson who wants to excel in his or her area of expertise but has no specific goals to direct his or her behavior. It is very difficult to be motivated without personal goals. It is important to set goals in different life areas because such goals serve to motivate behavior.
My Goals enhance performance in five major ways (Locke & Latham, 1990):
Effort: The goals you set for yourself influence. What you attend to and how hard you try to maximize your performance. The more difficult the goal, the harder you are likely to work to attain it.
Duration or persistence: When you work on a task without a goal, you are likely to allow your attention to drift. Become more easily interrupted, and even stop working without completing the task. When you have a goal in mind. You have a more clearly define point in the performance that defines. When it is time to quit or withdraw from the task (i.e., when the goal is attain).
A direction of attention: Goals direct your performance toward the task at hand and away from unrelated or irrelevant tasks.
Strategic planning: To accomplish a goal, you need to develop an action plan or strategy. Goal setting encourages strategic planning because the presence of a goal encourages you to decide how to proceed. What is My Goal Orientation?
Reference point: When you identify where it is you are head (i.e., have a goal) and receive feedback on where you are, you can evaluate your performance and determine. What further actions need to taken (if any). In fact, it is your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with this evaluation that may have the greatest impact on your motivation. What are Motivational Problems?
Understanding of What Are My Goals; Have you identified some goals you would like to attain this term or year? If so, do you have goals in any of the following areas: academic, social, occupational, or personal? How has your success or failure in attaining previous goals influenced your motivation in different areas of your life?