The Executive Functioning Skill of Goal-Directed Persistence

Have you consulted with a teacher about a student who struggles to meet goals related to assignments or projects? Have you observed students who are too distracted by preferred activities to complete tasks? These students may need help with the executive functioning skill known as goal-directed persistence. Are there ways in which school psychologists can help kids stay motivated to meet a goal? Let’s talk about goal-directed persistence and how school psychs can set students up for success!

Developing Goals with Students

One of the most effective ways to improve a student’s goal-directed persistence skill is to make the goal as real, concrete, and visible as possible. Additionally, students could be involved not only in the development of their goals but in the monitoring and tracking of their results. What other ways can school psychologists support students with goal-directed persistence weaknesses? School psychs can praise specific behaviors and provide honest, fact-based feedback!

Meeting Short and Long-Term Goals

What strategies can help students meet short-and long-term goals? Are there environmental changes school psychs can recommend to teachers? Creating short-term objectives that result in concrete progress is an evidence-based practice; however, keeping a child’s cognitive ability in mind when creating objectives is essential. The timeline for an adolescent student with cognitive delays may be the same as an elementary-age student with no cognitive delays. Remember to celebrate their wins, no matter how big or small!

There is much to learn about goal-directed persistence and how it impacts our students! If you are interested in learning more about this executive functioning skill and your role in a student’s success, check out the Goal-Directed Persistence document by clicking the link below!

Did you know that we have additional information on this particular topic inside our Prepared School Psych community? You will have access to evidence-based strategies for goal-directed persistence, a step-by-step coaching plan school psychs can use, and sample statements to promote goal-directed persistence with students. Check us out if you are not a member of our community at today!

Download Jenny’s Goal Directed Persistence Document here:

Dawson, P. & Guare, R. (2018). Executive skills in children and adolescents: A practical guide to assessment and intervention (3rd ed.). The Guilford Publications Inc.