Despite the challenges of adolescence, there are some wonderful things about being a teen. One of them is knowing that you have your whole life ahead of you.
Even if you feel the emotional and social challenges of being a teen, underneath, you might still feel a strong pull to succeed, achieve your goals, and live out your dreams. One very simple obstacle to success, however, is the tendency to never take the time to uncover what you really want and how you might achieve it. It’s easy to follow the typical goals that society places on you, such as going to college, finding a well-paying job, getting married, having children, and buying a house with a white-picket fence. These are common life milestones for middle to upper class families.
However, if you have the courage to discover what it is you really want, then you’re going to need to know how to reach your goals. You’re going to need to know the steps to take to bring your dreams into reality. For instance, although you might have goals that you’ve set for yourself, it doesn’t mean that they are going to happen on their own. You’ve got to take the action steps that are going to get you closer and closer to where you want to be. You’ve got to create a plan that will get you from here to there. Part of this includes thinking about the ways that you’re going to stay committed to your goal. Although you might encounter challenges and setbacks, your determination keeps you going and moving in the direction of your choice.
Experts in the field of success, motivation, and goal setting agree that the goals you establish for yourself should be SMART:
Specific – A goal is specific when it is clearly defined. If a goal is not defined well, it might be too general that you won’t know exactly where you’re going. Often a goal can lead the way. It can be the light at the end of the tunnel.
Measurable – One way to make your goal specific is to make it measurable. Make it something within your reach so that once you get there you can reach for another goal.
Attainable – Having goals that are unrealistic and unattainable only set you up for failure. Once you reach a goal it can boost your confidence and keep you going stronger than before.
Relevant – Your goal should be relevant to the direction in which you want to go. Although you might have goals in other areas of your life, if you’re focused on your sobriety, your goals should be recover-related.
Time-Bound – Goals also need to have a deadline. I’m going to attend AA meetings for one month in order to boost my sobriety and lifestyle change. Goals need to have a time limitation on them so that you know the time in which you want to achieve them.
Most teens are aware of the typical options laid out for them – you might go to college, travel, get married, or join the Peace Corps. Although there are specific options, the journey isn’t always mapped out for you. Yes, there’s a road you’re following towards success, well being, and health. But along the road into adulthood, you can choose the scenery, the company you keep, and how fast you want to go. You have a say in much of your future.
For this reason, if you have a vision for your life, be sure that you set your goals. If your goals are large ones, then set smaller objectives to reach those goals. Create a plan. And make sure that your goals and objectives are SMART. Once you see how SMART goals can work for you, you’re likely to use them again and again throughout the length of your life.