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Goal setting for teens can be daunting: teens have big ideas and big dreams, but don’t yet have the experience of breaking down and organizing a goal into steps. Goals like “Get an A-plus in all of my classes” or “Save enough money for a car” can end in disappointment or abandonment.
As a high school principal myself, I’ve seen teens make great accomplishments but feel disappointed because their initial goals were too vague or unrealistic.
On the flip side, I’ve seen teens accomplish remarkable things and feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. For example, some teens have dramatically increased a grade, while others have organized school-wide events or clubs.
In these cases, the goals were well-defined and included a support plan. This kind of structured goal setting can support a growth mindset by helping teens experience their own abilities and leadership.
What are the main benefits of effective goal setting?
Besides helping develop a growth mindset, effective goal setting creates other benefits for teens.
- It teaches teens to organize time and tasks
- It can increase motivation, self-efficacy, and sense of achievement
- It shows teens how to use others for accountability and inspiration
- It gives parents, teachers, and other adults an opportunity to partner with teens and support teens’ passions and interests
So how do you help your teen (or students) set effective goals?