Diary of a Year 11 Student: Thinking Skills and Its Importance to Goal-Setting

This is the defining year. A year that supersedes all my years in secondary school.

It is a year driven by hard work and diligence. A year that will be determined by focus and persistence. A year of interdependent thinking. A year of long days and sleepless nights. This is year 11!!!

My main goals for this year are to come out with excellent results and a refined personality. My plans to attain these goals are pretty much the same as everyone else’s; that is to read like there is no tomorrow but most people usually forget that it is not only about putting in those extra hours or cramming all the formulas in the world, it is also about being in the right state of mind.

Mental health is a very vital aspect in achieving my goals this year. If you have an unstable mindset it will most definitely affect your attitude towards learning negatively and as they say, ‘A bad attitude is like a flat tyre, you cannot go anywhere with it!’

This year I am investing some of my spare time in learning how to stay positive, keeping an open mind to new ideas and surrounding myself with people who I know can motivate me to move forward rather than drag me down.

Self-discovery is also a very crucial part of reaching my goals. This phase has to do with basically finding out what works best for me, questioning my abilities to take in and interpret new knowledge in forms of audio, video, pictures or even a hands-on approach.

Discovering new ways to feel excited about learning and reading more about your subjects is a really good means of accomplishing those goals.

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Here are a few other things I have to work on to achieve my goals:                                                   Goal Setting

  • Getting Resources: – Can a bird fly without wings? No, just like how you cannot read without books! Start stocking up on information, get past papers and start solving, get your new syllabus and start planning, get your notes and start reading, get your pens and start jotting, get your laptop and start researching! ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’, but, ‘all play and no work makes Jack a dumb boy’.
  • Being Persistent: – If you decide to remain where you are, the world will leave you so if you fall down seven times get up eight, just remember to never give up. Never remain satisfied with where you are, keep trying to improve your work and strive for accuracy.


  • Staying Focused:- With focus, comes determination, and the more determined you are to achieve your goal, the more interested and enthusiastic you get about it which helps to give you drive.
  • Having Growth Mindset: – Apart from change, another constant thing in life is failure. Failure does not discriminate, it has happened to everyone at some point in their lives and so it cannot be avoided all the time.  If you have a growth mindset, it will be easier for you to get through the difficult situations and obstacles that could be thrown your way.
  • There is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’: – One of the 16 habits of mind is, ‘Thinking interdependently’ in other words, be collaborative. Always be willing to share and receive new concepts, accept help when needed and offer to help others in need. Do you think Aliko Dangote got to where he is by keeping to himself? I intend to collaborate effectively with my classmates as I prepare for my exams.
  • Stop Procrastinating: – We fail to prioritize. We fail to put things into consideration. We fail to put things in order of importance but most importantly we fail to plan and ‘if you fail to plan you plan to fail’. Visualizing your goal is a good way to end procrastination as it encourages you to put less significant things aside and face the matter at hand. Just do it
  • Remembering to keep God in mind: – ‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. –Jeremiah 29:11. God is a bountiful God, if you need that extra support to accomplish your goals then ‘ask and it shall be given unto you’. Sometimes it can get to a point you feel that all hope is gone and your goal seems impossible to reach but always remember the saying ‘with God all things are possible’.
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                       Written by: Erika Aneke, Year 11 Ogundele