Individual Plan To Achieve Goal: Receiving Driver’s Licence
Core goal: Learn to drive, using a manual car, to receive my driver’s licence by the 30th of July 2016. My driving skills on the road improved because:
- Direction/Choice - Remaining focused on this goal by suppressing the negative comments people around me have said about driving. Firstly, that driving is a difficult task, especially a manual vehicle. Secondly, advising me to consider using an automatic vehicle to learn how to drive because it was much easier to control. Thus, my driving skills improved.
- Effort - A difficult task such as driving a manual car requires one’s dedication as well as patience during the learning process. Therefore, by attending the driving lessons as scheduled, firstly. Secondly, by listening to the instructions from the driving instructor, and continuously posing questions when I don’t understand. For example, questioning about the how far do I need to be (from a traffic light that is already green) to indicate my intended direction to turn left or right. Lastly, by reflecting on what I had learnt during a session to allow the preparation prior the next session.
- Persistence - Scheduling this goal around the other commitments I had made before I set this goal. As such, I diarized my assignment submission and test dates, whilst simultaneously the dates (which I agreed upon with my driving trainer) which would cater my driving sessions. For instance, considering that I had course (Psychology and Sociology) tests every third week and assignment submissions during the last week of every month; it was acceptable to have the driving sessions every Friday and Saturday of every week for June and July 2016 before my driver’s test could happen. This schedule gave me sufficient time to complete my assignments and study for tests; whilst allowing me to take the driving lessons.
- Strategies - Firstly, I scheduled driving lessons two times a week for two months in the afternoons. Secondly, I drove to shopping centers with my mom in the car to guide me. Once I got home, I made notes on what I had learnt during the drives, namely, which controls to use when. For instance, when reverse-parking from the left, I should place the gearwheel, indicate left, and move backwards whilst turning the steering wheel to the left. Thirdly, I watched driving lessons on YouTube to help me understand the use of the controls of a manual car more effectively. Lastly, I observed my mother’s footwork on the pedals when she reversed, yielded at circles, and when she controlled the car to move from a steep hill following a traffic light.
These steps that I took enhanced my performance in driving.
These positive results led to intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. For example, I gained confidence about my ability to perform, which led to my enthusiasm to continue to better the skills I had already learnt, as well as to acquire new skills. In addition, I was promised a car once I passed the driver’s test. This magnified my motivation to perform well in preparation for the driver’s test. As a result, my satisfaction with these rewards encouraged me to dedicate to the driver’s exam. Regardless, I doubted my satisfaction for the rewards because I considered the repercussions if I failed the exam, i.e. the loss of my confidence and promised car. Consequently, I was doubtful about my readiness for the exam. Although my instructor believed that I was ready to take the driver’s test, I was uncertain about my ability to remember the content I learnt during the driving sessions.
That being so, I requested three additional lessons to better my driving skills before taking the official drivers test.
Accordingly, one could conclude that my desire to obtain my driver’s licence was dependent on the following factors:
- Goal importance - It is important to receive my driver’s licence because most companies in the 21st century, demand potential employees to have driving licences. Hence, as a student with no working experience, having a driver’s licence slightly my chances of employment, firstly. Secondly, achieving this goal would lead to being gifted with a car from my parents; ensuring my safety as I would no longer be dependent on public transport-taxi’s as they are an affordable means of transport- to reach places of my choice. It can be said that using taxi’s is dangerous in South Africa because there are taxi rivalries that exists, which leaves passengers, such as myself at risk. Thirdly, obtaining my driver’s licence would ensure my independence. Having a car of my own would lead to the choice to meet friends in the times suitable to my schedule, and not my parents’ schedule. Furthermore, this independence would show my parents that I can make my own decisions, and responsibly act on them. As such, my parents and family would, in turn, entrust me to carry out tasks/run errands on their behalf. Such as, fetching my cousins from high school in the afternoons, or taking my grandmother for her monthly check-ups at the local clinic.
- Goal commitment - It is for these reasons that I remained committed to acquiring my driver’s licence. As such, my performance improved weekly.
- Self efficacy – However, my belief decreased (during practice) when I unsuccessfully attempted a task, such as moving the car forward from a steep hill. Nevertheless, though practice, I regained self-confidence. This achievement led to my growing belief to pass the driver’s exam. Secondly, when I failed the exam, my commitment to the task and belief to pursue the goal weakened. Nevertheless, my performance and self-efficacy improved a few hours prior taking the second driver’s test as my parents indicated that they would not pay for a third exam if I failed this second driver’s exam. Subsequently with success, I passed test and obtained my driver’s licence.
- Feedback - My performance increased because I received constructive criticism from my driving trainer and the driver’s test instructor. For example, the trainer suggested that I should always pay attention to oncoming vehicles before moving into traffic. Moreover, after the first drivers’ test, the instructor indicated that I failed observe the side mirrors and the rear-view mirror. In addition, the car rolled at the steep hill; however, my parking and driving skills were commendable.
- Task Complexity - Driving requires precision and understanding of the car controls and the road signs. For example, I am required to know when I should move from one gear to the next; or when I should reduce as well as increase the gear level when approaching a traffic light. More so, I should know how to move a car in the course of traffic; or how to estimate the speed and distance of a car at the back if I want to move from one lane to another. These tasks are sufficiently complex to understand. Although these tasks were sufficiently difficult, as a result of continuous practice, I learnt how to drive well.
Assumes behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives-to maximise pleasure and minimise pain. Theory is based on 3 beliefs
- Expectancy (inputs). Employees have different expectations and level of confidence about what they are capable of doing. Employees’ performance is affected by: a) having the right resources available, b) having the right skills to do the job, c) having the necessary support to get the job done. For instance, at the beginning of this year, I believed that I could increase my results by obtaining eighty percent and above for all the courses I was studying. To do so, I place great effort in attending lectures, and engaging with the lecture content during tutorials and lectures. Furthermore, I prepare for lectures the day before, and ensure that I complete my assignments on time. I am confident that I shall achieve the desired results, thus, my performance improved.
- Instrumentality (performance). The perception of employees whether they will get what they desire even if it has been promised by a manager. The perceptions of employees are affected by the following. Firstly, trusting the people who will make the decision about the rewards. Secondly, transparency of the process of making the decision about the outcome. For example, the results I obtained should guarantee my acceptance into the Sociology Honors Program at the University of the Witwatersrand, as I have exceeded the minimum entry requirements into the program.
- Valence (outcomes). Emotional orientation that people hold with respect to outcomes or rewards. The depth of need of an individual for rewards can be determined through two types of rewards, extrinsic (promotion, timeoff, money, benefits) and intrinsic (satisfaction) rewards. For instance, as the leading university in the country, the University of the Witwatersrand, will increase my chances of employment, as opposed to studying at another university, firstly. Secondly, as a Wits alumna, attending a different university other than the University of the Witwatersrand would be challenging because I have grown to enjoy and to be accustomed to the culture and teachings of the university.