Goal Setting Tools

Creating and setting goals is great, but actually achieving them can be much harder.  Using the proven goal setting exercises discussed in this article can help you not only in setting an achievable goal, but also in the individual steps and processes needed to achieve it.

The way we spend our lives, those seemingly small daily decisions, actions, patterns, determines our success, happiness or lack thereof.  Having knowledge of goal setting is one thing, it’s another thing to put them into action and stick to them. Goal setting tools are a great way to help you set goals, track progress, and focus on what you’re trying to achieve.

  • Regular meetings / reviews with your manager, coach, parent or teacher
  • Join groups and meet people trying to achieve the same goals (such as sports teams, weight loss,  / classes).
  • Using goal setting software to keep you up to date (Quest Depot and GoalScape are just a few)
  • Put your goals and journal about your daily performance
  • Use your phone to set up daily reminders or alarms to do your action item 
  • Inspirational posters and quotes around your desks and wallpapers set on your devices as friendly reminders
  • Tell your friends and family what you’re working on so they can provide support (and it’ll also make it more difficult for you to quit on your goal)
  • Visualization activities, including meditation, positive affirmations, and mindfulness
  • Work with a coach, counselor or mentor who motivates you to stay on the right track

The right tool for you depends on your perception/learning style, your personality, limitations, and current abilities. We’ll elaborate on  these goal setting tools below.

1. Goal Setting Journal

Keeping a journal allows you to record your progress, the setbacks you have faced and brainstorm ways to overcome them. As few as ten minutes a day to review and record your goals and progress will help you stay focused, motivated and more positive about your quest (Robinson, 2017). It’s re-affirming to see how far you’ve come in achieving your goals.

2. Digital Productivity and Goal Setting Tools

You’re on your devices daily, so why not use them to your advantage in achieving the best life possible?  Quest Depot is a daily habit tracker app that allows you to focus on goals you’re hoping to achieve and check them off as you achieve them. It’s got a very appealing and intuitive graphic interface, built-in reminders and in-depth functionalities that incorporate best practices from goal setting, performance science, psychology and goal completion. 

Not only can you create goals and track progress, but it also gives you access to professional coaching and a whole community of like-minded, success-oriented people.  Quest Depot is unique in the social nature of its reward system, encouraging users to seek out “allies” to join them on quests and put in real money as incentives for successful completion of goals. This exceptional function is based on human psychology, and greatly increases users’ motivation and accountability to the goals they’ve set.

3. Visualization and Meditation

Both visualization and meditation have been proven to improve our sense of happiness and contentment, as well as overall well being (Meevissen, Peters, & Alberts, 2011, Peters, Flink, Boersma, & Linton, 2010).  More specific research shows that visualization can help to encourage  and improve goal-setting behaviors (Taylor et al, 1998).  The Average Perfect Day and One Year from Now and some of the other exercises introduced in this article utilize visualization to assist goal setting.

Our emotions play a crucial role in our health, thinking, so it’s no surprise that they affect goal setting. Studies have shown that when we associate our goals with our values,and link them to emotional outcomes, we are more motivated to succeed and stay positive in the journey (Austenfeld, Paolo, & Stanton 2006). 

Visualization and meditation help to improve goal-setting behavior by keeping our eyes on the prize, creating structured plans, and involving our emotions positively in our success. Creating mental images of our ideal future, how it looks and feels, also helps in setting goals. Oyserman, Byby, and Terry found that they asked participants to use visualization to improve their motivation to set the goals needed to create their vision in real life.

Meditation is a core component of visualization so it makes sense that it would also help aid goal setting. Meditation allows us to calm our thoughts and mind, and take stock of our current being and presence. It can be a useful tool when visualizing what you want your goals to look like, but equally beneficial when you might begin to feel overwhelmed. Meditation allows us to calm our distracted thoughts and notice our present.  It can make it easier for you to visualize, and help when you start to feel overwhelmed.

Goal setting is a double-edged sword.  If we’re not achieving them exactly as we think we should, the fear of failure can creep in and our self esteem suffers. Meditation can prevent these unhealthy negative thoughts from seeping through and zapping our motivation, enabling us to proceed with clarity (Chen, 2015)

Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

How much do adventurers get paid?

Below is a chart of exactly how treasure chests are rewarded at the end of a quest.  Quest Depot’s payout rate is designed specifically to maximize motivation and facilitate behavior change.  It’s also important to note that Quest Depot doesn’t require 100% success for full treasure chest award qualification.  Perfectionism impedes long-term personal growth, and we value progress and effort towards the right direction in order to maximize our adventurer’s life potential.

  • 87-100% success rate = full payment + a bonus to be determined + awarded appropriate in-game trophies and ranks
  • 76-86% success rate = 80%  + awarded appropriate in-game trophies and ranks
  • 65-75% success rate = 70% of all treasure chest items tied to the goal (from self and sponsors) + awarded appropriate in-game trophies and ranks
  • 55-64% success rate = 35% of treasure chest items 
  • 54% and below = 0% payment

*All unreleased treasure chest balances are kept in adventurers’ account for use as reward for future quests or coaching services.

I think my child struggles with reading. What should I do?

I think my child struggles with reading. What should I do?

Share this article As students start returning to school, many will face the Herculean task of becoming proficient readers. Some will be first graders, some fourth graders, and so on. And many of them, as their parents and guardians suspect, will face enormous struggles. If you’re one of these parents or guardians who suspect that your child will struggle with reading, now is the time for action.

Action alone, however, will not be enough. It’s critical that you know what to request and what to avoid. This article focuses on one aspect of what’s critical: Getting a comprehensive reading evaluation. Do three things

If you see your child struggling with reading, stay calm and do three things :

> Learn all you can about reading difficulties and disabilities from trustworthy sources. Keep in mind that difficulties are less severe and less debilitating than disabilities.

Learn about Response to Intervention (RTI).

Make specific written requests, by both email and the USPS.

(To make this article easier to read, and because the terms reading difficulties and disabilities are somewhat murky, we’ll often refer to these students as struggling readers.)

Learn all you can. By learning all you can about reading problems and how to use state and federal education laws, rules, and regulations to help your child, the better you can help her.

Reputable, helpful resources abound. They include the Learning Disabilities Association of America, the International Literacy Association, the U.S. Department of Education, and the What Works Clearinghouse.

Having considerable knowledge about struggles with reading will help you make relevant, focused requests and will help you monitor your child’s progress.

Knowing the intent and the provisions of the laws and their rules and regulations will improve your child’s chances of getting the services she needs, especially if her school refuses to provide them. When dealing with reading struggles, knowledge is as important as air—you need it to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional success.

Ask about Response to Intervention (RTI). Although RTI is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA), it serves both students with and without reading disabilities.In part, RTI’s purpose is to prevent both learning disabilities and unnecessary referrals to special education. It does this by screening all young students for learning disabilities, such as reading disabilities, and instructing students at-risk for learning disabilities with scientifically based interventions targeted at remediating their difficulties.As such, RTI requires participating schools to frequently monitor the effects of such instruction on each student’s progress and, if progress is poor, to provide them with more intensive services, such as extra instruction, instruction in small groups, or individual […]

Continue reading the rest at exclusive.multibriefs.com

Twenty-six studies point to more play for young children

Twenty-six studies point to more play for young children

What if one of the answers to reducing inequality and addressing mental health concerns among young children is as simple as providing more opportunities to play? A growing body of research and several experts are making the case for play to boost the well-being of young children as the pandemic drags on—even as concerns over lost learning time and the pressure to catch kids up grow stronger.

Play is so powerful, according to a recent report by the LEGO Foundation , that it can be used as a possible intervention to close achievement gaps between children ages 3 to 6. The report looked at 26 studies of play from 18 countries. It found that in disadvantaged communities, including those in Bangladesh, Rwanda and Ethiopia, children showed significantly greater learning gains in literacy, motor and social-emotional development when attending child care centers that used a mix of instruction and free and guided play. That’s compared to children in centers with fewer opportunities to play, especially in child-led activities, or that placed a greater emphasis on rote learning. This is important, the report’s authors noted, as it shows free and guided play opportunities are possible even in settings where resources may be scarce. “Play can exist everywhere,” said Bo Stjerne Thomsen, chair of Learning Through Play at the LEGO Foundation. “It’s the experience. Testing and trying out new ideas…It’s really about the state of mind you’re in while playing.”

The report found that play enabled children to progress in several domains of learning, including language and literacy, social emotional skills and math. The varieties of play include games, open play where children can freely explore and use their imaginations and play where teachers provide materials and some parameters. The findings suggest that rather than focusing primarily on academic outcomes and school readiness, play should be used as a strategy to “tackle inequality and improve the outcomes of children from different socio-economic groups.” That also means opportunities to play should be considered a marker of quality in early childhood programs, the authors concluded. Stjerne Thomsen said the authors have not defined an ideal amount of play as they believe it can be embedded throughout the day. More importantly, he added, is that teachers are trained to facilitate free play and guided play opportunities. “Play is often defined as recreation…not serious or practical,” said Stjerne Thomsen. Instead, many schools are focused on academic skills and standardized assessments, he added.

The findings of the report, which echo years of related research on the emotional physical and cognitive benefits of play, are notable considering that in America access to play spaces is lacking in many lower-income and rural communities. That became more noticeable during the pandemic when outdoor […]

Continue reading the rest at hechingerreport.org

Fighting the Stigma: Mental Health among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Fighting the Stigma: Mental Health among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Although the US has made progress in raising awareness of mental health and normalizing conversations about the topic, a great deal of stigma remains around mental illness and poor mental health, and many still face barriers to accessing services and supports.

Among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, these issues are often shrouded by silence and shame, allowing misconceptions and minimization of mental health concerns to thrive.

But AAPIs are not a monolith . Our understanding of their mental health needs—and how we respond—should reflect the diversity of experiences within the AAPI community . Here’s what you should know about this important topic and underserved population this Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month . AAPIs are the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to report mental health issues and to seek mental health services

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, AAPI adults report serious psychological distress at about half the rate of the US average —but there is wide variation between AAPI ethnic subgroups. Vietnamese Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders report poor mental health at rates closer to the US average than to their AAPI counterparts.

There are also notable differences in mental health across immigration-related factors . Second-generation AAPIs were almost twice as likely to report a mental health disorder in the past year than first-generation immigrants. But even after controlling for prevalence of mental illness, AAPI adults seek mental health services less than any other group. They are almost three times less likely than white adults to seek mental health services for unmet needs. A 2015 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study found AAPIs were more likely than people of other racial or ethnic identities to cite “low perceived need,” “structural barriers,” and “not thinking services would help” as reasons for not using mental health services. AAPIs face cultural and structural barriers to accessing mental health services

Although there are deep-rooted systemic challenges with the American mental health care system as a whole—such as inadequate funding and support, uneven geographic distribution of services, and fragmented and uncoordinated service providers— certain cultural and structural barriers also affect service provision and quality of care for AAPI communities more specifically.

Culturally specific attitudes among AAPIs that stigmatize help-seeking include the following: The model minority myth. The assumption that all AAPIs experience educational success and economic stability can place immense pressure on people to meet these societal and familial expectations, often at the cost of their mental well-being.

Generational experiences of hardship. Many first-generation AAPIs experienced trauma as immigrants or refugees adapting to life in a foreign land. As a result, younger generations often feel guilty about sharing their mental health […]

Continue reading the rest at www.urban.org

“As Long as They Let Us Stay in Class”

“As Long as They Let Us Stay in Class”

Barriers to Education for Persons with Disabilities in China

The mother of Chen Yufei tried hard to find a school for her son, a nine-year-old boy with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and an intellectual disability. When Chen was 7 she brought him to a nearby school, but the principal would not let him enroll because he would “affect other children.” Reluctant, Chen’s mother turned to special education schools, but she could not find one: the district in which they live did not have one. Eventually she got Chen accepted in a special education school in another district — after two years and a hefty bribe. She still bitterly resents this experience, as she believes her son would make much better progress if he were in a mainstream school.

Across China, children and young people with disabilities confront discrimination in schools. This report documents how mainstream schools deny many such children admission, ask them to leave, or fail to provide appropriate classroom accommodations to help them overcome barriers related to their disabilities. While children with mild disabilities are in mainstream schools where they continue to face challenges, children with more serious disabilities are excluded from the mainstream education system, and a significant number of those interviewed by Human Rights Watch receive no education at all.

Internationally, there is a growing recognition that “inclusion” — making mainstream education accessible for children with disabilities — is a key element in realizing the right to education. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the most recent international human rights treaty, mandates that state parties “ensure an inclusive education system at all levels.”

By ratifying the CRPD in 2008, the Chinese government made a commitment to “the goal of full inclusion.” Yet it has no clear and consistent strategy to achieve that goal. It continues to devote too few resources to the education of students with disabilities in mainstream schools while at the same time actively developing a parallel system of segregated special education schools. Inclusive education is not just a legal obligation, and it benefits not only students with disabilities — a system that meets the diverse needs of all students benefits all learners and is a means to achieve high-quality education and more inclusive society. While an inclusive education system cannot be achieved overnight, the Chinese government’s current policies and practices […]

Continue reading the rest at www.hrw.org