Giving your teenager a chance to talk about their future and set some goals is a challenging conversation, especially for younger teens who find it difficult to think beyond tomorrow or the day after. Easing into goal setting with simple, practical and achievable tasks is a great way to help them find direction and motivation. Plus of course, the satisfaction that comes with putting their mind to something and achieving it!
You can help your teenager to learn goal setting by focusing on smaller, specific activities that help them to pay attention, and trust the process of getting things done. These developed skills can then be applied to larger goals and may eventually be the start of the conversation with you about their plans for the future.
If you’re looking to build on the connection between you and your teen before trying to get them to set and focus on goals, big or small, you may also like to check out3 Keys To Raising a Great Teenager.
Remember: Having a great bond with your teen means more to them than they’ll probably let on and is really the cornerstone of great communication with them.
Connection secured, let’s get onto the goal setting hacks….
Challenge Them To Do Their Goal Setting Research
To set proper, effective and realistic goals, teens need to think about what’s really required to accomplish or achieve the goal that they’ve got their mind set on.
That’s right. As a teacher I know just how much teenagers hate doing research and assignments and so setting this as a challenge may be much more appealing and motivating to them.
For instance, if their goal pertains to a particular future career, you could dare them to research the profession that they are aiming for. Ask them to look at the required qualifications or courses, salary rate (now this is most likely to excite them), and other steps that they could start taking to begin working towards this goal.
When you’re involved in this activity by challenging them and then letting them discover information, they’ll see and understand you’ve got a keen interest in their aspirations and can be depended on to support their dreams.
Encourage Them to Stay Organised in a Way that Motivates Them
Help your teen become familiar with and successful at goal-setting by encouraging the use of daily planners and journals.
Giving them this material will help them be productive because they will want to fill in their checklist, and make it full.
This will enable your teenager to see the whole process that begins with initial goal setting and statement of intent to then strategizing and then of course executing the plan.
Bonus: If you’re a parent who loves DIYs this could be the perfect time for you to put on your creative hat and design an individualised weekly or daily planner tailored to their individual needs.
Help Them Realise The Importance of Having Short Term Goals
Setting goals doesn’t need to mean focusing on detailed long-term plans for your teen’s relationships, jobs and future family. There’s plenty of time ahead for that and for many teens, especially younger ones, short term goals are really where it’s at.
Setting and reaching short-term goals is an important activity that helps teens both immediately and also in the future because they’ll learn the goal setting process and possibly too the need to reflect and reset goals when things don’t go to plan.
Talk with your teenager about setting short-term goals that they can achieve or accomplish in a hour, day, week or month. An older teen could also break down a longer-term goal into smaller chunks of achievable short-term goals.
Ask your teenager to visualize how they plan to accomplish the goal, the time frame they’ve set themselves and how they anticipate feeling when they’ve made it!
I bet you’ll find your teen being more productive than ever once they get into the habit of journaling their goals and tasks, especially if they love the layout and style of the planner you’ve provided them with.
You may also like The Teenage Brain And How You Can Help Them Make Decisions.
Create a Goal Board To Inspire Them
A great thing to do together with your teen is to creatively make a goal board to inspire them and help track their goals.
Doing this, will help your teen realise you’ll be always there to support them and keep them motivated towards the goals they’ve set themselves, now in the short term and also into the future. It’s known the majority of teens benefit from visual cues and reminders, so supersize the board and together plan where to display it.
Being with your teenager as they get excited about filling their goal board with pictures representing their ideas, desires, thoughts, plans and goals is yet another great way to help you and your teen bond and encourage communication between you.
And, there you have it, some simple yet effective suggestions to assist your teens develop great goal setting skills!
Have you checked out the CRASH PARENTING Workbook yet? It’s a simple, yet effective, 20 page PDF to support you parenting your teen with a focus on these crucial pillars – consistency, accountability, respect, safety and humour. Only a small investment that could make a very big difference!
In case, you’re up to being in touch with like minded parents that are dedicated to a successful teenage parenting years, you can also join our closed and confidential FACEBOOK GROUP? It’s a cool place to hang out where parents of teens – just like you – connect privately to support each other. You’ll love it!