At Reigate College we believe that succeeding in your studies and beyond is not all about natural talent, but much more about perseverance, a positive ‘mindset’, effective time management and organisation. The four activities below will enable you to reflect on your goals, help develop positive habits, be motivated to succeed and start understanding your learning style.
Activity 1: Getting Dreams Done
To succeed at College, it’s important to consider what motivates you and where you would like to be in the future.
There’s a big difference between a dream and a goal. A dream is something you imagine happening. A goal is something you take actions towards.
Pure Fantasy and Pipe Dreams
List the things you’d one day like to be or do, but that you’ve never talked about – things that have never been verbalised at all, they’re just in your head.
Daydreams and Conversations
List here the things you would one day like to be or do, that you’ve talked about with a friend – you’ve admitted them and started exploring and discussing them.
List here the things you’d like to do, that you’ve taken action about (like doing some on-line research or volunteering etc). What was the action? When did you take it? What did you do when things got difficult?
Action to complete Activity 1: Now try and think how you can turn your daydreams into goals and how you can make sure you achieve them.
Activity 2: Creating Positive Habits – the 3Rs
It’s very important to try and develop positive habits and stick to them.
Scientists have found that developing positive habits is based on the 3Rs:
Reminder – you require a trigger that initiates the behaviour
Routine – this is the behaviour itself e.g. revising for a key assessment
Reward – the positive feeling you get
Try using the 3Rs to develop a positive habit each week before you start College. This can be to do with anything, for example, you may look to do meditation or exercise each morning or it may be something that helps you achieve one of the goals you identified in the previous activity (like finding out about volunteering at a local nursing home, or doing a Future Learn course in preparation for taking the Extended Project Qualification.
New Habits – The Ten Minutes Rule
We all put up barriers to stop ourselves completing tasks or developing positive habits we may be worried about or stressed by, but this only adds to the stress.
You may find that rather than doing something difficult, you do something easier, to make yourself feel better.
Each day (from now on) we’d like you to use the Ten Minutes Rule.
Tell yourself you’re going to spend ten minutes on a new habit every day (like exercising) or doing a difficult task (like practicing some Maths, or learning some new French vocab)
Decide what the ten minutes is going to be spent on
You can stop after ten minutes, but what often happens is that once you start you want to carry on.
Activity 3: Fix Your Dashboard
Millions of people drive to work every day. Their car’s dashboard is the first thing they see on the way and the last thing they see as they arrive home.
We each live with a mental dashboard of people and ideas.
Research shows that people who have even a brief reminder of a positive role model, from looking at their dashboard, have hugely increased levels of motivation.
Create Your own Dashboard – Help to Stay Focused
Remind yourself what your dreams and goals were, that you thought about earlier on.
Now, let’s create your own dashboard – for the last 10 minutes of this virtual lesson we want you to consider what you should have on your dashboard, to help you achieve your goals and stay focused. Some things might be:
Quotes – Mahatma Ghandi is a good starting point (for e.g. he said: ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.’)
Pictures or print-outs of what you want to achieve (the university you want to go to, the grades you want to achieve)
People who motivate you to work hard and succeed
Try looking at some Google vision boards or Pinterest for inspiration of what other people have used.
Activity 4: The Process of Learning
The most important skill students can learn, is to understand how they learn. Consider the following scenario:
Most of you will begin to learn how to drive during your time at College.
In an imaginary scenario, the DVLA has announced that all new drivers will now have to be able to change a flat tyre and will not be allowed to hold a license unless they can. They will have their new license taken away if, when an assessor comes to their house in 6 or more weeks time, they are unable to change a tyre. Currently you have no idea about how to change a flat tyre and you don’t feel at all confident about learning how to.
How will you learn how to change a flat tyre?
Key Points to consider
How would you learn the correct method?
How could you check if you were applying the correct method?
How could you receive feedback?
Could you create a model from the method you wrote down?
What are some of the key things you would need to do, that would help you effectively learn how to change a flat tyre?
Now think about something new you would like to learn. This could be anything – for example, a new language, a new recipe or two, some new pieces on your guitar. Could you apply the model you’ve created to this?
Below is a really helpful model of learning. Could you apply this to some of the new things you may be learning in lockdown?
How to revise – LAPA
Assess whether you have understood the content – Get Feedback