Persistence, by definition, is determination in a course of action in spite of obstacles. This is where most students fail, in the same way most adults fail, to achieve their goals. We therefore don’t prep students properly for adapting for lack of habits to form persistence.
Daily, we desire change-- eating healthier, being proactive. But fail in execution.
Wendy Wood, in her book Good Habits, Bad Habits, shares the 19th century concept of homo economicus-- which assumes that humans act with perfect rationality. Wood refutes, saying we don’t truly understand our own behaviors, and, moreover, indications are we act quite irrationally.
Therefore, strong intentions will only help students get to a certain threshold. Parents and teachers should be equally concerned with the student’s process for achieving their goals as their goals themselves.
Beyond a student's initial intent for change, they must learn to build habits that allow them to persist through obstacles. It is then they will build tools for lasting change, and recognize their own power for personal growth.
Processes, therefore, matter more than goals.
Originally published on LinkedIn.