Its hard to know where to begin if we don’t know where we want to go. While some NP students arrive with specific goals in mind, others are still searching for a direction to take their lives. By asking students to think deeply about the answers to the simple questions of what do I want? and why?, they gain clarity to personal goals and identify motivators.
Increasing self-awareness can be foundational to growth and change. It is common for individuals to magnify their flaws while minimizing strengths, however, true self-awareness requires a balanced and honest look at both; when paired with self-compassion, we can accept ourselves as we are, flaws and all. With this increased wisdom, we see more clearly, gain more confidence, and make better decisions. At New Perspectives, our process of initial and on-going assessment is designed not only to increase self-awareness but also to incorporate practical applications of new insights into everyday life.
Using knowledge and wisdom gained from the previous phases, students reverse engineer their goals and begin to develop a personalized plan designed to take them from where they currently are to where they desire to be. As they brainstorm and strategize with their coaches, they identify priorities and areas of focus. Moving from broader ideas to a more specific plan, provides clarity that allows us to match students with the right supports and Success Team members, and creates the foundation of the semester’s structure.
Sometimes the difference between desire for change and actual growth is making realistic commitments. All of us have a zone of optimal challenge that lies between feeling bored and feeling overwhelmed. For many neurodiverse individual this zone is very narrow, as they may shift from feeling under-stimulated to overstimulated frequently and rapidly. The NP team helps students select and commit to strategies and structure aimed at keeping them in a zone of optimal growth while ensuring balance and room for personal interests, downtime, relaxation, and fun.
Even the most well thought out plans can fail without fine-tuning. Our review process allows students to make room for unforeseen challenges and learn from what’s working and not working. Through weekly review meetings with the lead coach and monthly success team meetings, we help the student to track progress, review priorities, troubleshoot problem areas, identify next steps, and make any needed adjustments to their plan.