There are so many challenges in life that need self-regulation in order to deal with them effectively. Each and every person has personal goals to be attained. It is therefore important to examine ourselves in order to establish our strengths and weaknesses. Personal change is very important in the attainment of desired results. Self-reflection enables an individual to identify where the problem is and how best to deal with it. Personally, I have some problems with my studies which need to be addressed. I am getting very bad grades for my classes and midterm exams. This paper seeks to analyze my current situation and develop an action-learning plan to improve on the situation.
I am a junior year student pursuing a mechanical engineering degree. Despite entering the University with high grades, I have been getting very poor grades in classes and midterm exams. The classes appear to be very hard for me. This is mainly due to the fact that the junior is considered to be the most difficult. The situation has been persistent despite attending all the classes and studying for two extra hours in a day. There are several problems that have led to this poor performance. One of the problems is hanging out with friends.
I always feel like hanging out with friends during my free time instead of studying. I normally meet my friends every evening at social places and gym where we hang around until late in the night. This has significantly affected my study habits since I have very little time to study. Sometimes it becomes difficult for me to study for two hours as scheduled. I believe this is the main reason for my underperformance.
The social problems have also contributed to the poor performance. Throughout the term, I have been going through relationship problems with my girlfriend. What started as a small disagreement has grown into a big problem that is difficult to resolve. This has affected my concentration on studies. I have also been suffering from home sick. This is the first time I am staying far from my original residence and family. I am used to my home hence it has been difficult for me to adapt in the new environment.
My desire is to improve on my performance and get better grades in my final exams at the end of the term. The main reason for this desire is because I want to continue with my higher education and get a masters degree. This can only be achieved is I score better grades in my undergraduate exams. There are only three weeks remaining for me to implement the necessary changes that will enable me to perform better.
In order to achieve my desires, I will increase my studying hours from the current two hours in a day to four hours per day. This will enable me to study more things and improve on my performance. I will also reduce the time I spend with my friends in order to concentrate on studies. Instead of hanging out with friends every evening, I will only be hanging out during the weekends. This will enable me to create more time for studies as outlined in my action-plan.
Since the relationship problems have negatively affected my performance in midterm exams, I will try as much as possible to avoid them. I will not allow the relationship problems to interfere with my studies.
In order to ensure that I achieve the desired results during final exams, I am going to write a schedule on the number of hours I will be studying each day for the next three weeks. I will strictly for the schedule and observe my performance along the three weeks.
Week1 Week2 Week3
Hours studied-daily 6 5 4
Difficulties -Social problems
-A lot of work load from engineering classes -Fight a lot with my girlfriend
-Didn’t balance between gym and studying
-too hard midterms
-Had an accident with snow
-Repair my car
-Worry about budget for this month
-Hanging out with friends
Achievements -Managed to increase daily studying hours to six
-Minimized hanging out with friends
-Covered a lot of work -Managed to study for five hours every day
-Finished the work load from engineering classes -Studied for four hours every day
-Revised the midterm exams with my classmates
-prepared for the final exam
Results -Recorded an improved performance in classes -A slight improvement in the midterm exams.
-Achieved a slight improvement in the final exams.
My journey through the three weeks action-plan was not easy at all. There were many difficulties such as social problems, home sick, work load from engineering classes and too hard exams. I found is difficult to balance between gym and studying during the second week and the fight with my girlfriend also affected my concentration. The third and final week was the most difficult one as I had to deal with many difficulties. First of all, I was involved in an accident and I had to repair my car. This interfered with my budget leading to financial difficulties. I also started hanging around with my friends again leading to reduced study time. All these difficulties together with the divorce problems made it difficult to achieve the desired results.
Although I achieved a slight improvement, the results did not measure to the expectations.
Throughout this process, I have learned a lot about personal change. First of all, I have learned that every person has his or her own desires. Failure to get what you want leads to stress similar to the one I have been getting as a result of poor performance. However, a person will feel happy when he or she is contented with the achievement. In order to resolve any conflict, one has to undergo self-preparation which involves assessment of personal goals (T,R,S) and values (Pema, 2003). We must have a positive attitude of winning and we must listen to each side with an open mind, open will and open heart. The final decision should therefore be arrived at after a careful consideration.
There are normally two forces involved in the change process namely, motivation and resistance (EMEN 4050 – Lecture 9). An individual is motivated to change by the benefits of the desired state as well as the consequences of failure to change. Motivation has to be more than resistance for change to take place. It is therefore more important to reduce resistance than increase motivation. Resistance is normally an underlying and hidden belief in the form of judgment, cynicism and fear.
Personal change starts by dissatisfaction with the status quo and having a vision. It is then followed by reducing resistance through engagement. An individual has to let the past go, listen inwardly, explore, align and learn continuously. He or she should then integrate the ideas into total personality and self-concept then develop significant relationships. All the change processes involve loss as one has to let go in order to create space for change. A person must go through several emotional stages such as shock, defensive retreat, acknowledgement, adaptation and change. It import for one to adapt to change gradually (Pema, 2003). Denying or suppressing the negative emotions hinders the change process while jumping to adaptation increases discomfort.
The main reason why I failed to attain the desired results is because I did not let go. Hanging out with friends is one of the main problems that had contributed to my poor performance. Although I resolved to avoid that habit, I still found it difficult to let go. I tried in the first and second week but was overwhelmed in the third week. This was one of the difficulties I had to deal with in the third week. The failure to let go my friends prevented me from creating room for the desired change. The relationship problems were also a big hindrance to my success. I was not able to do away with my troublesome girlfriend until after the fight in the second week. The divorce problems in the third week negatively affected my concentration.
EMEN 4050 – Lecture 9
Pema Chodron, 2003. Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion. Shambhala