The Importance of Goals & Challenges

Though we all have our own experiences and memories of those tumultuous teenage years, it’s fair to say that adolescence often proves to be a time of extreme change and self-discovery. Whether it’s learning how to engage in new social circles, defining your personal interests and skills, harnessing your inspiration, or simply learning what – and even who – to avoid versus what to pursue, young adulthood also comes with its fair share of distractions, especially in today’s tech-reliant world.

Undoubtedly one of the most beneficial skills any parent, guardian, relative, counsellor, teacher or adult can impart on developing young adults is teaching them the value of setting goals and personal challenges, and celebrating small successes when they come. This assists teens in the following ways:

Helps Define Their Wishes & Dreams

Resist the urge to make your goals their goals. Having your teen challenge themselves to pursue what inspires them, what they’re talented at and what they’re most interested in – whether it be music, games, animals, cooking, gardening, drawing, surfing, videography, etc. – urges them to set achievable goals and define their own realistic interests.

Teaches Patience

Tracking any sort of success, even with the smallest of personal milestones and goals, often involves at least a little time and patience. While instant gratification is always a welcome surprise, the saying ‘success comes to those who wait’ doesn’t exist for nothing. Setting goals and challenges gives teens the opportunity to test their patience in order to see actual results. This psychological challenge better prepares them to make adult decisions without the expectation of unrealistic success.

Gives Others the Opportunity to Support Them

While personal growth is obviously the priority, teens who set goals (perhaps inadvertently) offer parents, guardians and other involved adults in their life the opportunity to show their support, share in their passions and help hold them accountable for achieving their goals. By discussing what they’d like to accomplish in the near – or even distant – future, they set the tone for their own expectations while having the support of loving family members, friends and mentors.

Instills the Importance of Initiative

Several studies have linked the act of goal-setting to higher success rates, and initiative has more than a little to do with that. In fact, more so than even genes and IQ, having initiative is said to account for increased rates of what’s considered ‘life success.’ Often developed during adolescence, initiative can be gained through supportive personal relationships, life experience, and challenges with internal rewards such as independence, creativity and self-respect.

Leads to Short- & Long-Term Happiness

By learning how to keep goals manageable and realistic and not become a source of anxiety, your teen can learn to set goals that lead to greater all-around life happiness. Marking even the tiniest accomplishments, even when it has nothing to do with school or career-oriented success, can make goals seem less like a task and more like a journey to a reward.

Interested in learning more about helping your teen set goals and personal challenges? Learn more during our full day Parental Guidance Workshop, or contact us about the next Junior Leader Program at +61 418-869-061.

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