If better grades are your goal, then you need to use some simple goal-setting tools to help you achieve them! At Kowkabany’s Family Martial Arts, we use a simple system (see below) for all goal-setting activities, from making honor roll grades to earning a new rank.
Setting a goal is like drawing a map… if you know where you want to go, then it’s easier to stay on the path and to avoid turns that will take you in the wrong direction or delay your progress. The majority of our KFMA kids are on the honor roll, with most of our teenagers in advanced and/or AP classes. The reason for this is our students use the same skills of self-discipline and focus that they use in their martial arts training to achieve success in their schoolwork. Here’s a simple formula that anyone can use to achieve any goal.
The FIRST STEP is to define your goal. It must be specific and it must be trackable. The term “good grades” may be interpreted differently by a student than by a parent or by a college admissions officer. A specific goal would be to earn all As and Bs, or to make a 3.8 GPA; this type of goal is also trackable, as you can clearly see if you are on the path to reaching it.
The SECOND STEP is to determine the benefits you will receive from reaching your goal. This can range from pleasing your parents and earning free time for games, to joining the National Honor Society to earning well-funded scholarships to the college of your choice. There must be some important benefit in order to provide motivation!
The THIRD STEP is figuring out the obstacles that will hinder your progress. For many students this is simply a matter of time management, as every hour spent watching Youtube is one less hour available for studying. Extra-curricular activities should also be taken into account, as most kids can manage one or two regular activities/sports while keeping up with homework and study demands, but more than that can become too taxing on their energy. Remember, there WILL BE obstacles, so expect to encounter them and realize that you will gain strength and confidence by overcoming them.
The FOURTH STEP is to determine any special skills or knowledge needed to achieve the goal. God has created all of us differently, and our individual natural talents are as diverse as our looks. For some, extra help from a parent or tutor in math might be required, others might need a very quiet environment for studying.
The FIFTH STEP is to make a list of people and resources that can help you to reach your goal. This might be a parent or teacher who truly believes in your potential, or perhaps a study-group of like-minded individuals, or maybe two evenings a week spent at the library. One of the benefits of our digital age is that there is a wealth of information now available online, with educational resources available for almost every subject. A good place to start is to ask your teacher or academic counselor for a recommended list of resources.
The FINAL STEP is to create an action plan, step-by-step, to know how you will reach your goal. This can be a daily or weekly schedule that helps to create habits that will keep you on target to reaching your goals. You might want to carry a small notebook to each class that is exclusively for making notes on what you need to accomplish that night. Plan for each day’s studying by knowing when and where you will do it, and at the end of every week, take a look at your progress. Regular progress reports and report cards will help, but those shouldn’t bring surprises. By tracking your work and scores on a weekly basis, you will know if you need to adjust your study schedule or seek help from your support team long before your grades are finalized.
The goals we are most proud of achieving are the ones that take the most effort. And when you reach those goals, two things should follow. First, celebrate your success and be sure to show your gratitude to those who have helped you to achieve it. Second, figure out what your next challenge/goal will be. Learning is an endless process that leads to a more fulfilling life!
We’ll leave you with two of our favorite quotes on education…
Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. Albert Einstein
Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela
Kowkabany’s Family Martial Arts has been teaching in Tampa since 1996, with all of our classes taught by Master level instructors. Our goal is to help every student to discover and then to develop their God-given gifts to reach their full potential, and then to use these to improve the lives of those they love as well as their communities.