Principal’s blog: Happy new year to our UGS family!

I hope you have all settled back into school after a wonderful and restful Christmas break (and for those involved in internal and external exams in the next few weeks and months, I hope it has also been productive with lots of revision).

January is a great time to take stock, to decide who you want to be and what you want to achieve in the next 12 months.

Goal-setting is an important life skill. It motivates and will help you reach your full potential while standing you in good stead for independent study at university and the world of work.

Anything good is worth working for.

It really helps to write down your goals. A psychology professor in America, Dr Gail Matthews, found goals that are committed to paper are 42 per cent more likely to be achieved.

So your 2018 is, as yet, unwritten: a whole year to make your own, to mould and chase your dreams.

Some of you will know exactly what you want – those in Y13 are looking for the right results in their A Levels to be accepted at their university of choice. Some of our talented athletes will be looking to push on and smashed their personal bests.

Some will be less clear on their aims. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it doesn’t have to be a huge goal or even academic but it does need to be specific to improve in some area of your life, to increase abilities, happiness or fitness.

Develop a new skill, win that competition, be a better friend, stop putting off homework until the last minute or start saving up for a phone upgrade.

Think what is important to you. Challenge yourself but be realistic then ask: “How am I going to achieve that?”

The great artist Pablo Picasso said: “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

To make it seem less daunting, break the plan down into a series of smaller tasks. The timeframe for success could be anything from a goal to achieve this week, this half term, by Easter, by the end of the school year to by the end of 2018. There is huge satisfaction in ticking off each step on the way to success has been completed. And when you reach your final goal, remember to celebrate. Then set another one!

Make 2018 your best year yet.

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