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The Self Regulated Learning Cycle

Have you or your students found yourselves going through the motions, whether in your daily routine, exercise, studying, or teaching methods? You might be asking yourself how to avoid falling into the trap of doing what you've always done without questioning whether it's the most effective approach. Over the next few weeks, we will explore the concept of self-regulated learning and its transformative power, drawing from personal experiences in education.

The Self-Regulated Learning Cycle: G.A.M.E.

To help students, teachers, and parents, I developed a cycle of self-regulated learning known as G.A.M.E. This acronym stands for Goal Setting, Action, Monitoring, and Evaluation. It's important to note that this is a continuous cycle with no fixed beginning or end, and in this post, we'll focus on the first step: Goal Setting.

Goal Setting: The Power of Intent

Setting goals is the first crucial step in the self-regulated learning cycle. It provides a clear intention and purpose for learning. Setting objectives can be rewarding even for people who may not consider themselves goal-oriented. It allows them to accomplish small wins and experience a sense of achievement, pushing them to continue to accomplish their goals.

One notable aspect of goal setting is writing down these goals. A goal that remains unarticulated is little more than a wish. Putting it in writing makes it tangible and real. This principle applies not only to students but also to individuals in all walks of life. When we set intentions and commit them to paper, we significantly increase our likelihood of achieving them.

An effective way to structure goals is by making them, which stands for Detailed and Obtainable. It's a simplified version of the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) criteria. By making goals detailed and obtainable, everyone can track their progress effectively.

The challenge for this week is to set big goals for the semester and then a smaller one to help you accomplish the big one for this week.


  • State a couple of challenges you see that might prevent you from accomplishing each goal

  • Create a action step to overcome the challenge

  • Put the action steps in your planner

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