(Ablard and Lipschultz, 1998)
Self-regulatory processes can only work if students have the ability to organize themselves and stick to it with great determination and will power. It seems that the major cause of underachievement is the lack of self-control of students.
For those children who have a do not have the confidence it takes to have faith in their own abilities, setting goals can lead to positive outcomes as the achievement of these goals influence students' task persistence and problem-solving efforts. Research has proved that for self-regulation to be truly effective students need to have goals and keep assessing their goals and how close they are to achieve their goals. There are many issues to address while assessing goals such as what exactly is it that the student wants to achieve, how difficult is it to achieve that particular goal and how close the student is to achieving the goal. Such evaluation acts as a continuous reality check and encourages students to keep working towards their goals.
Another major problem that people often face is that they don't set their goals correctly. They don't weight the time factor in enough. Procrastination is a huge issue here. They seem to think they have all the time in the world and keep putting what they have to do off until the last minute. This may also be due to distractions such as the television or friends. No matter what the reason it results in their goals remaining unachieved. Sometimes students do weight the time factor in and then when they realize that their goals might take a very long time to achieve, they refuse to set such goals. "Students become more motivated when goals are "in sight" or proximal, rather than when the goals seem to be a long way off (this last point may be particularly true for low-achieving children)." (Shunk and Zimmerman 1994) When the goals seem a too long way the opposite is true.
This can happen when students set goals that are not practical and unrealistically extraordinary. The simple task of imagining what the achieving the goal will take can make students crumble and not even bother to take the first step towards completing their goal. Goals that are within the student's reach should be set so that the student can see himself or herself actually achieving that goal and the path to achieving the goal will be embarked upon easily. This should be especially noted for students who are setting goals for the first time. If they are discouraged, frustrated and disappointed right at the beginning they will not be inclined to set goals again. Once they start achieving their goals, higher and higher goals can be set each time. Now they will have the confidence to embark on achieving even the highest goals because of the good success rate they have enjoyed. A few failures will disappoint them but will not dishearten them from goal setting entirely. The confidence and sense of enthusiasm receive from achieving their earlier goals will keep pushing them to keep trying. This tie in with the learning theory of the classical conditioning. The success experienced acts as a positive rein forcer. "A positive rein forcer is anything pleasurable which increase the probability of a