Everyone in life sets goals. They are a way to motivate us and they are also a judge of our improvement or success. Whether it is to get an A on the test or to master that equation, students have academic goals that they wish to achieve. Yet sometimes, the effort and work are performed but the completion of the goal is missing. If this is the case, something students may be lacking is persistence.
Persistence is at the very centre of achievement. The successful people that we see on the TV, on the cricket field or in the classroom did not get to where we see them now overnight. Achieving academic goals takes hard work and above all, persistence. Persistence to overcome challenges, persistence to persevere and persistence to achieve the set-out task. With persistence, students can visualise the end goal and build up motivation towards this goal.
Understanding that some goals are long-term, and others are short-term is important. If we only focus on short-term goals and don’t achieve success immediately, it is easy to say, “How am I ever going to succeed?” This encourages the red devil on the shoulder to whisper, “Just give up.” But how is that goal ever going to be achieved with thoughts like this? It’s not, because persistence is the key to unlocking the end goal.
What is important to think about, is the end goal. Often visualising the end or the feeling of succeeding can assist in persisting. It can be said that your ability to visualise achieving the goal enhances and often mirrors the success predicted to be found at the end. So, while persisting may be at times difficult, visualising the achievement at the end will bump up those motivation levels.
In speaking of motivation, being persistent in your desire to achieve the academic goal will also manifest motivation. When a student is motivated, more effort is put in. With this additional effort, the path to reaching the academic goal itself becomes closer. The goal might still be far away but stand back and look at the progress taken. Once the student can understand the small steps and improvement made, motivation and the level of persistence exercised is enhanced.
Getting to the tighter end of the journey, again, a lack of persistence can often be observed. Being reminded of why that goal was set, why it is wanted and how close it is, can also assist in maintaining a positive mindset in achieving that academic goal.
It might be frustrating that the academic goal won’t be achieved tomorrow, but to make sure it is achieved, students need to practice persistence. Without persistence and its ideas of positive thinking, visualisation and a reminder of why the goal was set, the academic goal is left to fall short.