Goal-Setting for High School Students

Help your teen establish goals and become more engaged in his or her education

Whether your teen is brand new to high school or beginning his or her senior year, the start of a new school year is a great time to set goals. Eileen Huntington suggests that parents and their teens follow these four simple steps when setting goals:

Step 1: Define goals.
Have your teen write down on a sheet of paper as many of his or her dreams that come to mind. These might include short-term goals, such as becoming more organized or long-term goals, such as owning a business. Goals should be measurable, within your teen's control and specific enough to work toward.

Step 2: Identify the things standing in the way of those goals.
Have your teen put each goal at the top of a separate piece of paper and list the obstacles between him/her and achieving that goal.

Step 3: Create an action plan.
Once your teen has defined several goals and listed the challenges confronting each, he or she must think about how to tackle those roadblocks one by one. Talk with your teen about what needs to happen in order for him or her to overcome the problems named in Step 2.

Step 4: Assign target dates.
Your teen should assign a due date to each step in his or her action plan. If short-term, your teen can put a date to his or her overall goal as well, but for far away goals, it is more important to create a specific to-do list for the near-term.

Not only is goal setting an important component of your teen's education and future success, working together on this process is a great way for parents to open the lines of communication with their teens about college, career possibilities and other important topics. If your teen resists initially, don't give up. Small rewards for each milestone can serve as great motivators. Think about your personal goals and do your own goal setting at the same time. It means a lot to a teen to see that his or her parent genuinely believes in the value of the process.

Is your child ready for a successful school year? Call us at 1 800 CAN LEARN to explore your child's needs this year and how we can help.



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