Only three percent of adults have written goals, and everyone else works for them.
– Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. That quote by Brian Tracy made me pause and think, “Do adults have goals?” But on further investigation, I realized that adults do have goals, often vague, in their mind, so it is more of a vision, a dream. There is no clear goal and the steps required to obtain that goal are missing. Most important adults I asked had no date and no timeline of when they will achieve that goal. The “goal” was something to work toward as they moved through life, and as the quote reads, working for someone else’s goal.
Goals are important for adults and teens. If you want your teen to have goals, you as the parent need to model creating goals, monitoring your goal progress and celebrating when you achieve your goal.
The importance of goals is to create accountability. A goal comes with a set of objectives that must be met in order for the goal to be achieved. The goal must be clear, precise and have a date that it must be achieved. Most importantly, the goal has to be written down. If your goal is not written down it is not going to materialize. It is easy if something is in your head, to change the goal, change the date you want to achieve it and to not focus on creating the success that goal will bring to you. The method I like to use in creating a goal is the SMART goal system. This system will have you write a “specific, measurable, attainable, results focused, and time sensitive goal”. By following the SMART goal system, you will then be able to create and write down the objectives and the dates each objective must be met in order to achieve the goal. A weekly review of your goals helps to keep you on track. This also role models to your teen how important it is to have goals and to work toward achieving them. We all want personal success and to achieve those goals are the cornerstone of moving forward into the life that you want.
The result of achieving your goal is personal satisfaction, and moving toward the success that you want in life. Your teenager will see this, they may not say anything, but they are watching and learning and will start to create goals which you can encourage through conversation. The accountability, the focus, and direction goals give your life is an important life skill.
As a parent you can move from individual goals to family goals. Family goals focus on achieving accomplishments agreed upon by the family. This is an easy way to role model goal writing and the importance of it. An example of a family goal may be a community project: Our family will volunteer to lay wreaths with the organization Wreaths Across America this December. Next is to write down the steps to make this happen, such as how do we volunteer, where do we volunteer, what date does this take place, what time? All of these questions can be researched and answered and it role models goal setting and the steps to make the goal a reality. Once you have completed the goal, celebrate and create the next family goal.
As a parent, we are the most influential person in our teens life, it may not seem that way but they are constantly watching and evaluating our behaviour. What behaviour do you want your teen to learn?