Well, the school year has started. Students all over New Zealand are wondering: what will the year bring?

A lot of students do not have a clue, while others know exactly what they want and are making plans to overcome obstacles that have held them back previously.

It is interesting that our brains are set up to help those who visualise what they want to happen. Psychologists call it an anchor. When all the senses are engaged and strong emotions are created in the visualisations it makes habit changes much easier.  Also if the brain hears such comments as

“I am a successful intelligent student’ or “Why am I so motivated to get excellence this year?”

it starts to believe and reinforce the attitudes of the comments back to the person.

About 10 years ago I had a student who was in a lot of pain due to an illness and was getting very low marks in maths, even though she was spending huge hours trying to learn the subject. She told me that she was dumb and hated the subject. Furthermore, I was told that the trait was “in her genes” as her parents were useless at maths too.

I made a pact with her that she had to tell me and herself continually that she was a genius. She would come and tell me that she got 54% in a maths test. I`d asked “WHY?”

Her reply with a big smile on her face was “Because I am a genius.”

She would then explain with a big smile on her face how brilliant she was and the techniques she could use to get math questions wrong. Well, after a while her marks started to improve. Now she is a maths teacher in Invercargill.

For over 35 years I have had the privilege to look at the bigger picture when helping students. Many wanted to just deal with one problem subject but quickly realised that they would prefer to succeed at high levels in all subjects. Self motivation consistently underpinned successful results.

Think about your year ahead, and what you want to make happen.  Think about who you want to be.  Then believe that you can, will and are already achieving that. Dare to dream big!