Goal setting and the importance of rewards

Finishing line

Now that we have finally reached the winter semester and Frost Week has come to an end, many students have the opportunity for a new beginning again.

New beginnings have the benefit of allowing us to take stock of previous problems and initiate remedial efforts to break the poor habits. All of this is good, however while we have returned to an important element in our lives, school, we also have needs. While we juggle multiple parts of our lives, we often overlook the value of positive reinforcement.

Consider goal setting for instance. While we can reflect with pride on a job well done after accomplishing an important goal, sometimes it’s better to reward ourselves for starting. The hardest part of goal setting is sometimes simply getting started.

Each time a goal is accomplished, we are overcoming nature’s tendency to procrastinate. Sometimes I find that when you’re talking in an op-ed so abstractly, that it can be hard for the reader to connect. If I were you, I might recommend using a more concrete example here of what you’re saying, or discuss what goal setting and accomplishing those goals might look like in the life of a university student

So while we begin our essays a week earlier than usual, we should be treating ourselves to a movie or a game of bowling to show ourselves that we appreciate the efforts we display in our daily lives. In my life I have observed that many people pay attention to those who compliment them, and it is time to begin complimenting ourselves. The nicer we are to ourselves, the more comfortable we feel, and this lessens our stress.

At the beginning of a term, it is common to feel like procrastinating more often than later on in the term. This is because we view the coming 14-15 weeks as being long term in regards to goal setting. It’s easy to forget how quickly weeks glide by in a semester. The last thing that students should do is wait until the project is due before beginning it.

You never know what can occur during your semester. A student can catch the flu, have an unexpected family situation, etc. a few days before the deadline and be unable to submit. Some professors are more understanding than others  when it comes to extensions on assignments. For those students who are graduating soon, these next few weeks may seem like you are swimming against the tide as you race to accomplish all that needs to be done. It is also common to feel a sense of loss. Brock has been your home for several years. During different phases of your academic career, emotions that are perfectly normal will strike you and cause you to lose track of where your ultimate goals to graduate.

Using student planners or a time management system is vital to your success. After all, do we really want to be here as long as Sir Isaac Brock has? For these reasons, using rewards is an important step to helping students reach their goals. Rewards  refresh us and make us feel wanted, this allows us to feel confident that we can undertake greater challenges and survive.

Campus offers many resources to help students remain focused on their goals, such as A-Z Learning Services which offers workshops in both time management and also creating and obtaining goals. The workshops and Student Planners are free, however you should sign up online at A-Z Learning Services to attend one.

Another way for those who are planning to practice the concept of self-rewarding your efforts is simply to join a Brock club. There are hundreds of them and while you are enjoying a few of their activities, you won’t break the bank while doing it.

Remember, in only a few short weeks we will have spring and Reading Week to help us catch up on the multitude of things our daily scheduling kept procrastinating on. Until then, maintain focus on your goals and never allow setbacks to deter you from obtaining your true potential.

 

-Jennifer Nixon, Contributor 

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