Teens who set goals at the beginning of each school year are more likely to succeed academically than their counterparts. When one is aware of what he or she is trying to accomplish it is easier to complete the necessary activities. Setting personal and academic goals also improves concentration, increases focus, and defines a purpose in life. Teens who do not set goals stumble through the teen years, are more likely to have problems fitting in with a group of people (we tend to stick to like-minded people), and have a harder time understanding themselves as an individual. More importantly, when teens make goals they understand that their choices and behaviours today contribute to the end result tomorrow.

A new school year is always a great time to help your teen set some new personal and school goals. This is the perfect time to sit down with your kids, learn about your teen’s dreams and desires, and what you can do to support him or her. In addition, as your teen thinks about what he or she wants long-term, your child will think about what needs to be done short-term. The short-term goals are important because they are smaller and make the overall goal seem doable.

Encourage your teen to write down his or her goals. This will enable him or her to build a sense of ownership and feel a sense of empowerment when it comes to goal completion. Both aspects are important because they serve as motivation. Feeling as if others are in charge of our goals or feeling as if others are choosing our dreams discourages us from working to accomplish the set out objectives. Allowing your teen to write down his or her goals will empower him or her.

To increase your teen’s motivation and enthusiasm for goal planning you and your teen can work on this together. Go ahead and think about what personal and professional goals you would like to accomplish and discuss them with your teen. Your teen is old enough to understand the basics, if not more, of your goals. This process will allow you to bond and support each other to stay on track. This process will also increase your teen’s desire to approach you for advice if his or her plan is not proceeding as expected. By working with your teen on your respective goals you will set a great example for your child (actions speak louder than words) and increase your own chances for success.

You may find that your teen needs to spend some time thinking about what he or she wants to achieve, especially if your child hasn’t given this much thought previously. The important part is for you to demonstrate patience and let your child know that this is an important and valuable process that needs time, concentration, and persistence. By participating with your child in this activity you will be able to provide him or her with an example of goal setting. He or she will see that goal setting requires time and planning. The example you set for him or her will help your teen understand that he or she is not the only one who needs time coming up with goals.

Go ahead and work together towards your goals this year!

PLAN OF ACTION

1. Schedule a time when both of you (or the entire family) agree to sit down to complete this task. Don’t pull your teen away from something he or she is doing at the moment to do your goals list. He or she may feel resentful about being pulled away from a recreational activity & might therefore be resistant to this exercise.

2. When the scheduled time comes, sit in a room with limited distractions (no TV, phone, or other family members walking around & talking). Another option is to go to a quiet coffee shop. That way you are out of the house, treating yourself to a drink & dessert, spending quality time with your child, & being productive.

3. Start the process out with asking your child what he or she would like to accomplish, what he or she would like to improve upon from previous years, what is important to him, what he or she would like to do in the future, what he or she would like to do if he or she knew failure was not at risk. Ask your child about his or her dreams. Encourage your child to think about the various areas of life: social, financial (if age appropriate), career (it’s always a good idea to motivate your child to think about what he or she is interested in), intellectual, physical, family, spiritual, etc. NOTE. Too much focus in one area & ignoring the other areas of life leads to a lack of fulfillment.

4. This is a good time to share with your child your own ideas of what is important to you, what you would like to accomplish. Your child will learn that you also have to go through some thinking & planning about what you would like to accomplish. More importantly your child will learn that it is normal for this exercise to take a little bit of effort.

5. When you are ready, start writing down your goals. Written goals will help your teen keep your eye on what he r she wants to accomplish. Written goals keep minds in focus even when distractions & temptations are present.

6. You & your teen should think about a plan of action. What can you do each day to accomplish your respective goals? Write those down too. It is usually easiest if you write down each goal on a separate piece of paper & list out your plan of action (the short-term goals you need to complete to attain your long-term goals) for each objective.

7. When you create your lists, put it on the refrigerator. That way your child will look at the list each time he or she goes into the fridge (and so will you). In addition, you will demonstrate to him or her that what he or she wants to accomplish is important enough to warrant space on the refrigerator. Lastly, looking at your child’s goal will remind you to ask your teen about his or her progress. It will allow you to discuss your own progress & struggles. You will set an excellent example to your teen about how goals work.

8. At the end of every month, sit down with your teen to assess your progress. Celebrate all achievements together (even if only one of you has a successful outcome)! All achievements warrant a celebration as these are the stepping stones to the bigger dream. These celebrations will also encourage your teen to keep working on his or her goals.

9. Don’t forget to update your progress on the refrigerator. You’re progress will encourage you & your teen to keep going when it gets tough.
Interested in more information about the benefits of teen coaching? Visit www.lifecoachintoronto.com and learn how Toronto Life Coach and Mentor, Ivana Pejakovic can help motivate your teens to achieve their goals.

Teens are a very special part of our society. They are our tomorrow! Today,
it is up to us to inspire them to be all that they can be!

Author's Bio: 

Ivana Pejakovic, MA, is a Teen Coach and Mentor working with teens as they make their own journey in life. Sometimes, with distractions all around us, we accidently or intentionally step off the road to self-discovery only to end up disoriented, confused and unhappy. Teens are particularly likely to step off the right path as they search for their true self and a place to fit.

Through the principles of self-love and self-awareness, Ivana helps her clients experience fulfilment and balance, as she guides them to develop a healthy attitude and a healthy level of self-confidence and self-esteem. She aims for her clients to understand their true worth and potential, to focus on what matters, and to help them develop goals and a vision to guide them in a direction that is right for them. For more information visit www.lifecoachintoronto.com