Setting Goals and Students' Ability to Overcome Academic Challenges

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Table of contents

  1. Benefits
  2. Setting Goals
  3. Drawbacks of Setting Wrong Goals

It is undeniable that goal attainment has brought a lot of success to the fast-growing development of human evolution: The world has witnessed the first man, Neil Armstrong to step onto the moon on July 20th, 1969, and this is the result of great effort and long-term strategy, thanks to goal setting which was guided 8 years ago ( Staff, May 25, 2011).

put into pedagogy and practical education worldwide. Setting goals help people in their daily lives to step by step reaching the star and attain the best result in school and in work. In this essay, the benefits, drawbacks of self-motivation in studying will be discussed and a number of solutions will be given.


Goal setting is the process of establishing an outcome (a goal) to serve as the aim of one`s actions” (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001, p.93). In an analysis of Spanish elementary, the quality of students' homework was based on a process: academic motivation comes to approaching the homework, which later acquires time management and finally leads to academic attainment.

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Setting Goals

This has shown that goal setting helps the kids to have motivation in homework, as well as completing a full task. Before students can reach success, they need a direction so that they can know what to accomplish. Such as a 9 grade for the midterm English exam, or being an excellent student in the first year of college,… these are all academic goals that persuade a child to move to his desk and start to learn his lesson passionately and concentratively. Setting a goal will help a student find interest in his studying, and he will temp to engage in his academic learning. Of greater concern, highly motivated students tend to increase their persistence. There are two main ways in which students tackle their school work: perfunctory and serious approach (Marton and Saljo, 1976 ). It seems that students who attach to low engagement will probably bypass difficult challenges in their work, and just simply finish their task as quickly as possible to complete their charge as they lack enthusiasm in learning. Those students can accomplish their studies just to satisfy their parents and teachers, not to learn for themselves. On the other hand, hard-working students put more effort and focus on their studies. According to Cialdini (2009), if a person commits to doing something, most likely he/she will keep that commitment. If any distractions interrupt his/her studies, the student with goals setting can ignore it and pay attention to the work. The comprehensive more and relate lessons into background knowledge and practicality (Entwistle, 2009; Rosario et al., 2010b). Learning only happens when a person achieves a deep understanding of something and setting goals at the beginning of the studying process can both help children to become strong-willing to overcome difficulties and find strategies to overwhelm them (Rosario et al., 2013b). As a result, students who are motivated by outlook performances will not have a good outcome as children who are interested in their studying and put learning goals on the top (Valle et al., 2009).

Thirdly, an academic goal can help students to succeed. It does not affect only student`s grades but also the quality of the learning process. They have more self-commitment, creativity and they take more risks to accomplish their target. Goals, in general, give people the opportunity to create a good organization, time management, priority, competence, and motivation (Shah &Kruglanski, 2008). Moreover, students with high motivation are likely to search for feedback, which means that they are willing to learn from mistakes to improve their skills and do better next time (Hattie & Timperly, 2007). Last but not the least, students who are highly motivated in studying usually have optimistic attitudes and positive feelings, such as interest, joy, and pride (Kreibig, Gendolla, & Scherer,2010). A good direction of goal setting can help the students become self-confident and reduce their stress. As every goal, they have achieved encourages them to keep on track and inspire them to discover their strength and desire. The more goals they attain, the more challenging one they want to reach. Naturally, students will find what they are looking for and have good orientation in the future, like what school they want to enter or what they want to accomplish. ( Dorit Sasson, 2018). Also, goal setting gives people a sense of freedom as it is based on voluntary action, not by the force of anyone. They take responsibility for their actions and are eager to learn. In other words, the art of academic goals indirectly helps people to become more mature.

Drawbacks of Setting Wrong Goals

What is the wrong goal? A wrong goal deprives of outlook performance, which has been mentioned to be perfunctory and shallow. This type of studying is not for the purpose of learning, but for fulfilling one's duty without interest. In other words, they are under pressure of outside factors such as parents, teachers, social requirements, and judgment. Misleading goal attainment not only affects a student's academic results but also on his/her emotions and mental health.Indeed, a person who is lacking self-control and freedom will probably suffer from stress and live an unmeaningful life. That being dragged by the fast modern pace of life and work, without knowing what's the true goal of one's self, is dreadful and terrifying. Students who are put a great amount of pressure and expectation usually have a great fear of failure and become self-esteem if they fail.

First, a student engaged in false academic goal achievement can avoid difficult challenges due to fear of failure. They usually lack motivation, organization,time management, and take hesitation to seek for help and endure anxiety (Elliot & Church, 1997; Elliot & Harackiewicz, 1996; Elliot &McGregor, 1999; Elliot, McGregor, & Gable, 1999; Middleton & Midgley, 1997; Ryan, Pintrich,& Midgley, 2001; Skaalvik, 1997). If high motivated students are likely to have self- compassion, low-motivated students might criticize themselves and feel shameful for their shortage of abilities (Turner, Husman, & Schallert, 2002. Moreover, students who have outlook performance goals are not as competent as self-goal setting students. (Elliot & Church, 1997; Middleton & Midgley, 1997).

Many people have been opposed to the self-esteem program in various educating systems in terms of improving academic results and students` attitude (Damon, 1995; Finn, 1990; Hewitt, 1998; McMillan, Singh, & Simonetta, 1994; Seligman, 1995) However, this studying environment is full of prejudice and tough competence among students. If a child cannot fulfill everything perfectly, he/she can be scolded by their parents and teachers, or likewise, the child can be isolated by their friends. A breakdown in psychology is likely to happen when they make mistakes and become embarrassed in front of their schoolmates. The wrong goal set by tearchers and parents as well as the students themselves can create a heavy burden on the students `shoulders, leading to a stressful and abhorrent study. Good examples of this matter can be stated in most Asia countries with high exaltation in certificates and degrees: Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, and India have reported numerous surveys about mental problems, suicide commitment, and fright of examinations (Suen and Yu, 2006) while the UK was reported that 70 percent of 6020 students were self-harming and want to suicide due to exams and academic performance, according to Global Education Magazine (2010).In general, a goal should be set in the right way and for the pursuit of happiness. The right academic goal achievement has been used in such a misleading way.

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