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Provo City School District

Spring Creek Elementary School

A message from our amazing school Psychologist, Zackery Cusworth;

New School Year Resolutions

Well, you have done it. You have made it another summer where memories were made, skin was burned, and fun days turned into sleepy nights. With the summer in the past and the new school year starting, I bet those memories feel far and few in between with the hassle of getting everything in order. However, instead of seeing the start of the school year as the end all of summer, can I suggest seeing it as something different? Consider it as if it were New Years and should at 7:30am when you wake up, “HAPPY NEW SCHOOL YEAR!!” This is an excellent time to start fresh and new. The pencils are sharpened, the shoes are squeaking down the hallway, and there are enough tissues to last us until the end of the week. I am concerned that we often get washed up in the newness of the year that by the time October rolls around, we are just waiting for Winter break to happen. Instead of getting into the middle of the semester funk, how about you create some goals now and check on them later on. Goal setting might be something you only do on the real New Year’s, where ambitions are high and promises are more plentiful than “It’s a Small World” getting stuck in your head your entire Disney trip. Let’s up the number of goal setting times to two this year and create some goals for this New School Year.

Goal setting has numerous positive impacts for anyone who does it. Edward Locke and Gary Latham (1990), leaders in the goal-setting theory community, found that goal setting positively affects behavior, job performance, and energy levels to help keep you going throughout the year. This research in turn supports the idea that when working toward a goal, we feel more motivation, and when we feel more motivated, our performance improves. To put it simply, goals help us get things done, help us feel better about what we have done, and help us keep moving towards our goals. Win-win-win!

Most of us have heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals, and if you are like me, you roll your eyes when you hear people say we need to have SMART goals. If you want another way of thinking about goals, here are five goal-setting principles from Edward Locke and Gary Latham to help you along your way:

1. Clarity (specific goals to eliminate confusion)

2. Challenge (stretch to succeed)

3. Commitment (being dedicated to finishing)

4. Feedback (helps keep you on track)

5. Task Complexity (figure out the small parts in the big whole)

So, as we mourn our long days in the sun and start basking in the fluorescent lights of the school, goals might just help get us to next summer quicker than this last one.


The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting

A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance

Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives


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