Updated: Feb 7
"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." Zig Ziglar
This is a very simple Forget-Me-Not, but a vital one. It is so important to always keep sight of your goal. Ask yourself repeatedly what question you are trying to answer. Ensure that you are responding to that and not diverging to answer something completely different.
This Forget-Me-Not is all about keeping focused. 'Oh what a pretty butterfly!' will not get the job done. Going off at a tangent or digressing leads more often to failure than to any chance of success. As we said above, keep returning to the question to ensure the answer is what you need and not an answer to something completely different. Make sure the goal is as straightforward and well-delineated as possible. Foggy plan = soggy execution. Aim for pane (clear and transparent) not pain!
At its most basic level, Keep On Track is an exhortation to pay attention. What are you trying to achieve? What will help - and what will hinder - you getting there? Is there anything you can do to make success more likely? To implement a task effectively, we have to consider the direction our attention takes (i.e. keeping the stated aim clearly in the forefront of what we are doing) and the quality of our our attention towards achieving that goal.
That means that Learners should use KOT to look for ways to eliminate distractions (both internal and external). Attention levels, though, are finite. Learners need to pace themselves so that they don't have to concentrate for too long and end up completely losing focus as a result.
The quality of attention could also be called Perseverance. If the Learners have established a particular strategy for remembering something, Keep On Track reminds them to stick to it. If they are trying a particular observation technique then KOT is there to remind them not to diverge from it and start looking for something different. When they are Reading, it keeps their efforts effective by reminding them of what they are Reading for, rather than going off to explore other parts of the text, or surf elsewhere, no matter how interesting it might be, if it doesn't address the points they need. They should manage their time effectively, so that they don't lose their way.
A key component of success is the attitude the Learner has towards the task. The more motivated they are, the more likely the project is to succeed. Keep On Track is a reminder to the Learner to establish whatever it takes to make that happen. What do they need to do to ensure high levels of motivation? For younger learners, that can be as simple as a sticker, a tick or smiley on a performance chart or the promise of a special treat when the goal is achieved. For the older learner, they need to be coming up with their own motivations - as independent learners they have to develop an awareness of what will Keep them On Track, what their own sticks or carrots might be rather than relying on parental exhortations.
Will setting deadlines or targets help keep them motivated? Breaking the task down into smaller chunks so they can see (and monitor) success may well keep them engaged for longer.
Don't get us wrong, we are extremely keen for Learners to think creatively, to develop their lateral thinking skills and to adopt innovative ways of doing things. This Forget-Me-Not does not contradict that in any way - it is used after those creative decisions have been made. In fact, if you have come up with something more creative, that is personal to you, that you have ownership of, you are more likely to be motivated to continue. KOT is there to ensure the project or plan is implemented and doesn't fail because the Learner has become sidetracked by something else or run out of steam due to following the wrong piste.