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Having A Hard Time Staying Motivated

It's not about doing things perfectly; it's about doing things intentionally. Even when we fail we can choose not to give up, but rather discover our courage, press forwards and

When I taught special education, the IEP team would come up with a set of criteria to consider the goal mastered.

That criteria usually sounded like this.

“Between now and July 30th, Ceri will, when given change of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters be able to count the change correctly up to one dollar with 90% accuracy in three out of four attempts.”

If you’re having a hard time staying motivated toward a goal, there’s a good chance I know what you’re NOT DOING!

Keep reading, this is IMPORTANT!!

Let’s break down what I’ve learned about goal setting from my time as a special education teacher to understand what you’re NOT DOING!
  • Make the criteria very specific. I didn’t just say count change. I said, “When given a change of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters… count the change correctly up to one dollar.” Sometimes the goal would be set to count only pennies and nickels and up to 50 cents. Even the goal of learning to count change needs to be specific to know what has been mastered and when.
  • Determine ahead of time what mastery will be. Because we are human, there are going to be mistakes, That’s why I wrote goals that said, “with 90% accuracy in three out of four attempts.” With money, I often set the criteria for 100% accuracy in 3 out of 4 attempts, but things like answering reading comprehension questions might have been 80% accuracy in 4 out of 4 attempts. This means the criteria for mastering reading comprehension at a specific grade level is consistently scoring 80% over time (4 out of 4 attempts).
  • Set the time frame for what you will learn (do) and when you will learn (do) it. “Between now and July 30th” Ceri will…”

And here’s the TRICK to the time frame.

Let the time frame be your guide, be your motivator, something to help you know if you’re making progress, not the final word or deflator.

If a child had not mastered the goal by the time set, we didn’t give up on or abandon the goal. We kept working on it until it was mastered. If a child had not mastered the goal in a certain time frame, progress was still made. The child had learned things to help them, and if they keep working at it, eventually they become the master.

Let the time frame keep you focused, but stay focused on the PROGRESS, not the time frame!

I don’t teach you this to make goal-setting feel EVEN MORE complicated.

I tell you this to help you feel more CONFIDENT and motivated in your goals.

It’s so helpful to know exactly what you need to do and how often, in what amount of time, and with what accuracy to master a goal.

We’d master and stay motivated to many more goals if we took the time to make them very specific and create room for being human.

What if your goals sounded more like this?

Between now and March 30, 2024, I will post 3 out of 7 days on Instagram with 90% accuracy.

That means you shoot to post 3 times each week and over the time set (between now and March 30,) you have 10% wiggle room for your humanness.

Whatever your goals sound like, take a look at them and ask…

Is the criteria of what you will do very specific? Not just close “more” consults or post “more” on social media.

Have you determined what you will consider mastery? 100%, 80% 3 out of 4 times… it’s up to you, but know ahead of time what it will be.

Have you set a time frame for when you will reach this goal and allow that time frame to help you stay on track towards your learning/progress, rather than defeat you?