Happy New Year! The NERAP team hope you all had a lovely holiday season and welcome you back to hopefully a bigger and better year for everyone!

Following on from last year, where we talked about setting targets for 2022, lets now look at how we can improve ourselves to achieve them. These targets aren’t like the New Years Resolutions that we set ourselves every year (there’s no way we could leave the chocolates behind in 2021!) Our last blog post helped us set academic, personal and career goals which we could measure and break down to help us achieve over the course of 2022.

You may find that setting targets and achieving goals to be challenging, so I wanted to share with you the goals that I have over the next year in the next few blog posts. That way, we can keep a track of our progress together and work towards improving ourselves this year.

A Story on Setting Targets

Academic goals were a mainstay of my school life. I used to set myself a goal every year to improve at a certain subject, dedicating myself to almost specialising in this one subject over the course of a term or a year. At the start of the year, I would ask myself a question. Where am I struggling? Picking the one subject or lesson that I just wasn’t getting along with, and building a plan to improve my scores in the exams at the end of the year.

Year 11 – on course for my GCSE’s – I was struggling massively with German. Whilst every other subject seemed to make sense, German quite literally seemed like a different language! I was consistently achieving low scores in the lessons and was considering dropping the subject as there really would be no point in me taking the exams only to fail.

But I decided to give it a go by creating a SMART target for myself to improve my German. I made the target Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound in order to get the best results and to be able to measure my progress. Using this target and sharing my ambition with my teacher for Foreign Languages, I started working on a plan to improve.

How To Improve

My main method was reducing my big tasks into smaller and more manageable tasks, such as learning my speaking exam word for word, as if I was learning a script for Performing Arts. This helped me massively to get more and more confident with what I was doing until eventually I knew what I was going to say without needing prompts! This in turn helped with my reading and listening as I was able to recognise loads more words. By changing the smallest thing in the way that I worked, everything was starting to make so much more sense.

Reducing a mammoth task into more manageable chunks can make it seem smaller and easier to complete, and you get to see real progress quicker. Try thinking about something big you want to achieve this year and break it down to smaller achievements along the way.

Try sharing some of your targets with us on Twitter @NERAP_Team using the #NewYearNERAP, together we’ll keep track of our goals!

Whatever you choose, let’s make 2022 a year of achievement for everyone!

Don’t forget that the NERAP team is always available for any questions on our live chat in the bottom right corner of our website. Keep up-to-date by following our Twitter @NERAP_Team and see w

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