Recently I clicked on an interesting blog about a young man who at the age of fourteen set a goal of getting straight A’s throughout high school. It sounded like an admirable achievement so I read on to observe his strategy.
Steven attained success by employing two distinct methodologies. After considerable research and reflection of his past grades, he discovered students who earn lower grades employ last minute study habits. Attempting to tackle assignments at the eleventh hour adds an element of pressure. Kids who do so often end up frazzled and tired when sitting for an exam. What is key to an A student’s approach is immediate learning and processing of new information.
Okay, that’s not rocket science. Anyone who has ever popped No Doz and pulled an all-nighter can testify to the stupidity of the process. Sure you may end up passing with a mediocre grade, but studies performed at UCLA claim inadequate sleep patterns cause a compounded issue. Habits of cramming and sleep deprivation result in greater academic problems.
The flip side of avoiding last minute cramming into the wee hours of the morning is keeping up with assignments on a daily basis, a process Steven took seriously. Before engaging in playing any video games, he completed his homework. Again, not an earth shattering breakthrough approach, just a matter of establishing an uncomplicated habit.
What really impressed me about Steven’s commitment to earning straight A’s was a mindset shift involving a new label. He began thinking of himself as an A student. 4.0 became more than a goal, it was his identity.
Adopting a new persona was a theory worth testing, and I did. After contemplating this approach, I purchased a new workout shirt that reads: #Fierce. It is pink and cute and something new to wear to the gym a place I dread but am forced to frequent because “The Punisher,” my personal trainer, (AKA Brad Kingsberg of Nutri-Power Fitness) expects me to show up. But here’s the thing, I now have a new label. When I brand myself #Fierce, I act the part
performing more like an individual who enjoys pumping iron and strength training than a sleep deprived class C student who can barely make it through the last set of chest flies.
Want to change the way life is grading you? Change your label. You can over-perform in school, at work or on the playing field. Begin by instituting some positive habits, and be sure to create a new winning identity.