Planning and reflection can support both professional and personal development. One example of self-management is the use of data sheets to record one’s positive behaviors and represent the conducted work visually (Miltenberger, 2016). Any new employee can be required to read lengthy educational documents or master new IT skills, and organizing one’s daily work with data sheets can support the steady movement towards the goal. The second example is self-reinforcement; sometimes, employees’ success in the workplace depends on the absence of minor mistakes in writing technical or patient documentation. In this case, they can design a strategy to reward themselves after completing a certain goal, such as two or three working days without mistakes of that type. The third potential example of self-management in the workplace is engaging in the self-evaluation procedure to assess one’s competitive ability, previous workplace accomplishments, and improvement areas. All of these applications support behavioral improvement and success by maximizing a person’s self-awareness and adding some structure to self-improvement endeavors.
From my perspective, aside from job-related tasks, sound self-management skills support a person in the academic field, resulting in integrity, including the observance of research ethics, and better academic performance. Specifically, good self-management contributes to the emergence of optimal learning strategies, which makes it connected to better performance (Lee et al., 2020). Regarding integrity and ethics, I see deviations from universities’ academic honesty rules, including plagiarism or the presentation of misinterpreted/distorted data, as the outcomes of unrealistic personal schedules and insufficient planning. For students enrolled in undergraduate/graduate programming, the examples of pitfalls of insufficient self-management might include academic backlogs and exhaustion from trying to reach goals that are unrealistic by definition. The third example is producing average-quality written assignments because of limited perseverance and poor time management. Some strategies to avoid these situations are stimulus control techniques (working under someone’s close supervision), goal-setting preceded by an honest self-assessment, and self-monitoring techniques to keep track of one’s progress toward completing an important assignment (Martínez et al., 2020; Miltenberger, 2016). Therefore, the influence of behavioral modification and self-management on educational prosperity cannot be overstated.
To gain interpersonal communication skills that will support me in my future career, I am planning to obtain a volunteering position at a local community mental health center within the following four months. After applying successfully, I will volunteer for at least three months to develop a clear understanding of the population’s communication and treatment needs.
The goal formulated above meets the five criteria for SMART statements. The specific goal involves becoming a volunteer at a community mental health center that serves clients in my geographic area and fulfilling all responsibilities as a volunteer for a specified amount of time. Next, in terms of being measurable, the goal includes one criterion that will be used to measure my success. The duration of the completed volunteering period should be at least three months of part-time work to conclude that the goal has been met. Consequently, progress measurement should be based on the number of weeks served as a volunteer, but qualified psychologists’ feedback can also be included to determine success. Finally, based on some preliminary research, including visiting the websites of inpatient and outpatient facilities in my city in California, local facilities are rather interested in hiring volunteers, which makes the goal achievable. Moreover, there are mental health volunteer networks to provide applicants with updated information on relevant opportunities (Mental Health America of Los Angeles, 2021). Additional factors to be included in the attainability analysis might include cooperation conditions and schedule requirements.
Additionally, the identified goal is both relevant to my greater goal and time-bound. As of now, I consider communication with diverse clients, including adults, children/adolescents, minority patients with mental health disorders, and those requiring crisis/recovery services, as a professional orientation opportunity to develop clearer career goals. From my perspective, by serving different populations, the selected facility type supports this aspiration to a great extent. As per the scripture, “keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you” (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996/2015, Matthew 7:7). Finally, the timeline for the goal involves finding an appropriate volunteering opportunity and starting the work no later than 1 November. To ensure meeting the deadlines, I will document my weekly volunteering opportunity search endeavors to monitor my progress (Miltenberger, 2016). The timeline has been selected concerning preliminary information on suitable volunteering opportunities. It gives me some time to find a program that would not affect my current part-time work as a nanny.
The benefits of communicating with the Student Success Advisor (SSA) regarding Part 1 and Part 2 topics are numerous. Firstly, such communication would enable me to decide on the best continuous education opportunities aligned with my planned volunteering efforts. Secondly, in case of an insufficient work-life balance affecting my academic performance in this or future programs, the SSA could help me to deal with an oppressive workload. Thirdly, such communication would make my educational plans more realistic and precise.
Communicating with Pathway U experts to resolve the issues identified above would also be beneficial. To start with, I would receive professional advice developed concerning the highest degree I am planning to pursue. Moreover, information on career development prospects would be aligned with my current family and financial situation. Finally, I would improve my knowledge of career paths in the psychology field to alter the SMART goal accordingly.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation. (2015). Tyndale House Publishers. (Original work published 1996).
Lee, S., Wang, T., & Ren, X. (2020). Inner speech in the learning context and the prediction of students’ learning strategy and academic performance. Educational Psychology, 40(5), 535-549.
Martínez, V., Mon, M. A., Álvarez, M., Fueyo, E., & Dobarro, A. (2020). E-self-assessment as a strategy to improve the learning process at university. Education Research International, 2020, 1-9.
Mental Health America of Los Angeles. (2021). Volunteer: We would love to have you be part of MHALA’s volunteer team.
Miltenberger, R. G. (2016). Behavior modification: Principles and procedures (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.