What I learned from conducting my inquiry about SRL:
- The most important thing I’ve learned from conducting my inquiry is the importance of self-monitoring and recording observations for successful goal attainment. Reflecting on each workout was a vital key to my success in goal attainment. The daily and weekly reflections on my progress kept the goal within reach. Monitoring the plan I set for myself was crucial. Each week I planned my training days in accordance with my extracurricular commitments, my husband’s work schedule and my children’s needs. Strategically planning my week was key for successful time-management in order for goal attainment.
- I think another vital key to my success was the amount of self-imagery I completed during the performance phase of my SRL inquiry. Visualizing myself racking the exact weight, getting under the bar and pushing the weight up was something I did close to 100 times. It focused my attention on the task of successfully pushing the weight up.
- Another key learning which was reinforced, was the importance of self-efficacy. I initially set proximal goals of training my upper body three times a week. For my “light” and “medium” weight workouts, I set my goals for my session the day before or the morning of based on my performance in the previous week. The goals I set for my “heavy” training sessions were set at the beginning of the inquiry process and were only tweaked when I wanted to try a 95 lb bench for two singles. This change was to increase my self-efficacy towards benching 100 lbs.
- Looking back, I can also see the importance of intrinsic value and interest for successful goal-attainment as well as having the prerequisite skills for success. Investing the time in the forethought phase was a huge asset for success in the performance phase.
- I learned the value of receiving feedback from experts and family and friends. Having my family and friends aware of the goal I set for myself was essential for success when structuring an environment to achieve goal attainment. My best friend Karla continually checked in with me and offered words of encouragement during the process. It felt great to be able to text her after each “heavy” lift session and update her with my progress. These conversations kept me motivated to continue the process and work hard to achieve each proximal goal.
- My husband was also key to my success in my SRL inquiry. He is a Certified Personal Trainer and having him give me feedback on my technique and breathing was also essential for the improvement in my form and increased self-efficacy as the test date drew closer. This also reinforced the idea of having a close or comfortable relationship in order to apply help seeking strategies. Because of my comfort level with him, I was able to accept and use his feedback to order to improve my techniques.
- Having the real-time group discussions with my group members was both enjoyable and helpful because it allowed me to articulate the process I was going through out loud to them. Generating feedback to them in regards to their proximal goals was also an honest way for me to reflect and monitor my own goals and also professional experiences in the classroom. These discussions taught me that self-regulated learners assess and monitor their steps towards goal-attainment continually and that it is good practice to refine or eliminate proximal goals when necessary and re-evaluate distal goals as people move through the phases of Self-Regulated Learning.
- In applying SRL in my professional life, I would like to continue to teach students strategies and best practices to set them up to be Self-Regulated Learners. I would like to teach students how to set SMART goals as well as give them time for thoughtful reflection and teach them explicit strategies for self-monitoring. Also, when students are setting goals, I think more of our time needs to be spent figuring out together how they will achieve their goal and what resources they will need to be successful. I would also like to teach the value of help-seeking strategies by modelling how I ask for help when necessary and stressing how even the most successful people ask for help and collaborate to solve tough problems whether they are personal or for a common goal.
- This inquiry experience has taught me the importance of self-monitoring and self-reflection to achieve a goal. It has also reinforced the value of setting goals of personal value and that students are intrinsically motivated by. I think having students work to refine these skills during a “Genius Hour” or performing a “Passion Project” would be a great way to instill some of the skills required for SRL.
- Personally, I can’t wait to set and work towards another strength goal in the gym! To achieve my goal for this project, I had to venture out of the house during a polar vortex with my kids many times. I also had to sacrifice some of my family time and work out when I was feeling run-down or sick. It’s not news that goals require sacrifice, but life just wouldn’t be as interesting if I didn’t challenge my brain and body in new ways! I am thankful that this goal kept me accountable to myself and the gym. Meeting this goal felt good! All this bench pressing has certainly improved my overall strength. I’ve gone from not being able to do one push-up after having my daughter last March to being able to do over 30 in one minute and that feels amazing! I will be taking a week to rest and train without an agenda, but during Spring Break I plan to start my next strength goal: Increasing my overhead press!
Final Thoughts: What I learned about myself
- I love goals. Okay, maybe I didn't necessarily learn that through this process but it was definitely reinforced though this experience. I am very goal-oriented and love to set and achieve goals. This class taught me the benefit of setting SMART goals and the benefits of actively monitoring them and reflecting on them.
- I love thoughtful reflection. This class taught me the importance of thoughtful reflection and planning to address the "next steps".
- I love being strong! This class taught me how to create and execute a plan for goal attainment in an area I thought was going to be a weakness of mine indefinitely. Adapting a growth mindset allowed me to realize that my efforts can overpower my abilities.