I have been planning a career in Counseling for several years, but as an undergraduate I concentrated on getting a solid background in psychology and sociology. After graduation, I took a job to allow myself time to thoroughly think through my plans and to expose myself to a variety of work situations. This strategy has been very valuable to me in rounding out my career plans.
My first idea was stated as, "Do better in school". This preliminary goal was quite vague. The terms "better" and "school" required further explanation. At this point it was necessary to decide how I could measure how well I did in school. I also needed to determine what aspect of school I would try to better myself in. If I were merely trying to graduate by a certain date or perhaps apply for a concurrent degree, I would need to measure these goals differently. After all this consideration, I finally decided that doing "better" in school meant earning a specific GPA. And the aspect of school that I would be focused on would be to do whatever I could ethically do to obtain the specified GPA. I now had to consider the difficulty or challenge of my goal. When I first enrolled at university, my goal for grades was to skim by on nothing less than a 3.0 GPA. This turned out to be not as challenging as it should have been. Since then, my target GPA has increased each semester. The publicity of this goal was also a consideration. I was raised in a fairly competitive family with four sisters and two doctors for parents. My grades have always been the focus of many conversations between my mom and me. Not only are my grades discussed openly within my family, also, my roommates and I constantly discuss how we are all faring in our various academic endeavors. This public attention to my goal will help to "increase my accountability and can solicit support and encouragement."
I plan to monitor this goal by tracking the hours I studied per day over a period of two weeks and my current status in each class. As this is only the fifth week of this semester, there hasn't been enough an assignment or returned scores for me to create a beneficial visual aid as to my current grades. Although, I have included a line graph of my hours studied for the past two weeks below. This graph represents two weeks worth of studying hours with the weekends excluded. As you can see, the trend line shows an upward slope indicating that my study hours have increased per day as the semester has progressed. This is a favorable indication for my motivation in attaining my goal.
After thoroughly specifying which goal I would motivate myself towards. I needed to decide on a timeframe of when this action should take place. Since the semester has already started, and my goal would be an ongoing process throughout the semester, this put me in the Action stage of the motivational spiral. My highest scores on the Change Processes worksheet were in those change strategies that matched with the Action stage that I am in. Since Self-Reevaluation, Helping Relationships, and Commitment strategies were my three highest scores, they will be the focus of this section. Although Self-Reevaluation is technically listed under the Preparation stage of change, I included in my Action strategy due to the larger implications of my goal. The more future goal of becoming a doctor means that I will use Self-Reevaluation techniques to assist me in achieving my more immediate goal. Using willpower and making commitments against failing to achieve my goal will be primary drivers in helping me attain my goal. Willpower is one of my best and most often used personal characteristics and is required for me to accomplish anything. If I make commitments against failing to achieve my goal, this will simply help to motivate me to not fail. Major commitment is an overlying theme throughout most of the stages of change. Commitment is an integral part of the Action stage and was my highest score on the Change Processes worksheet. ...