Goal Setting and Young People - Why it is important

Goal Setting and Young People - Why it is important

Why is goal setting useful for young people?

Most young people go through times where they’re unsure how to achieve their goals, or even what their goals should be.

Goal setting can help young people gain a sense of direction, motivation and focus.

Why should parents and teachers help young people to set goals?

It can be really supportive for young people to have someone help them set out their goals. In fact, research has found that parent and teacher involvement with setting expectations and goals makes it more likely that young people will achieve their ambitions.

How can I help my child set goals?

There are many ways in which you can support your child to set goals. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • It is important not to take over the goal setting process. When young people feel a sense of emotional connection to their goals it becomes an empowering and educational experience for them.
  • When you help your teenager with their goals, encourage them to set SMART goals.

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym that describes some of the key elements to consider when setting goals.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific. It is easier to track progress when goals are specific. For example, the goal “I will be more active” is admirable but it is broad and hard to measure. A specific form of this goal could be “I will walk the dog for an hour, at least three times per week.”
  • Measurable. Encourage a goal that can be measured. How often will they do a particular activity? How much time will they spend on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to achieve their goal?
  • Achievable. Goals that are too hard can discourage your teenager. Help your child set goals that will be challenging but not unreasonable.
  • Realistic. Encourage them to consider what kinds of goals are realistic given their personal circumstances.
  • Timely. Time frames help provide a sense of structure and help your child know how they are going reaching their goal.

Seek the help you need

To find out more, visit Youth Network of Tasmania for a list of local services and online support.