“What is the smallest thing you could do differently that would lead to better grades?” I asked JT, a sophomore at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, CT. Like most boys, JT was bored during class, distracted during his homework, and unmotivated about what he needed to do for college.
The big shifts that his parents demanded were not working. “Study all weekend” was neither realistic nor inspirational. Indeed, it was positively deflationary as it set JT up for failure since he was not one of those types who would rise to a challenge.
“Could you study for 5 minutes on Saturday after you wake up and have breakfast?” I asked. “Yeah, I guess so.” JT replied.
We went through these micro-resolutions for the next several months. Incrementally, JT increased his studying, his attention in class (“could you pay attention for the first five minutes of each class?”), and his studying for tests (“could you make sure to start studying two days before?”)
With more motivated students, our Student Mastery Program provides bigger challenges but with JT these micro-resolutions did the trick.