You will have a few setbacks along the way to reaching your goals, but don’t let them cause you to lose focus. Sometimes outside circumstances will be an obstacle for you, and then there are some self-made obstacles that you can work to avoid:
- Fear: Don’t be afraid of making a mistake or tackling a new challenge. The only people who don’t make mistakes are people who don’t try. And people who don’t try, don’t succeed.
- Lack of commitment: It takes self-discipline and focus to stay on task. If you truly want something, be willing to work for it.
- Honesty: Be honest with yourself and others when making plans and setting goals. If you set your goal too low, you won’t be working to your full potential and in the end you won’t be satisfied. If your goal is ultimately unachievable, then you are never going to truly work toward it.
You may ask… “How do I avoid disappointment?” Well, it isn’t always easy but it’s important to remember that running into an obstacle is not the same as failure. Don’t lose faith in yourself or in your ability. Every problem has a solution. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid disappointment:
- Take responsibility for your own choices but don’t be so hard on yourself that you lose your dreams and hopes for the future.
- Be proud of your successes and reward yourself for each one you make.
- Stay flexible and adjust your plan as needed to accomplish your goal if you have to.
- Mentors can be really helpful. If there is someone you know who has achieved what you’re going for or who has knowledge that can assist you in reaching your goal, ask for help.
Another way to avoid disappointments and regret is to make sure you have the right tools. Just like you can’t build a house with only a plan and one nail, you can’t reach your goals without the right tools and supplies. When you are thinking about how to achieve goals, asking the following questions can help you focus on the steps that lead to their achievement:
- What skills do I need to achieve this?
- What talents and strengths do I have that will help me reach my goal?
- What information and knowledge do I need?
- What help or assistance do I need?
- What resources do I need?
- What can block progress and how can I get past these roadblocks?
- Is there a better way of doing things?
- Have I set a practical timeline in which to accomplish my goal?
If you find that you don’t have the tools to reach your goals, you may want to take some time to look for those resources or re-evaluate your goal. Talk to your family and friends and see if they can help you.
Thinking a goal through
While your teen considers what they will need to accomplish their goals, work to be a resource for them:
- Help them identify what skills they have, or need to develop, that will help them reach their goal.
- Remind them of the talents and strengths they already posses that will aid them.
- Help them set attainable goals by gently showing them any unrealistic assumptions they may have made.
- Share your knowledge with them and help them research information they will need.
- Give help when needed, but let them find help from outside sources, as well.
- Provide the resources they need, but allow them to find them on their own, if possible.
- Help them plan for obstacles and give them guidance when they hit unforeseen roadblocks.
- Suggest better ways to do things, if there are flaws in how your child is approaching their goal.
- Show them how to set a practical timeline for their desired goal.
Helping your teen to achieve their goal will be a source of pride for you, as well as your child. But be sure you are not doing the work for them. Goal setting is important for teens to develop their independence.
It’s important to help teens to see beyond the inevitable setbacks that come as a part of working toward their goal. While you can’t help them with every obstacle that comes their way, here are a few you should help them see beyond:
- Fear – Teach your teen that it’s alright to be worried about whether or not they can achieve their goal but that fear shouldn’t paralyze them into inaction. Encourage them when they seem unable to move ahead.
- Lack of commitment – Show your teen that it’s important to actively choose to do something. If they don’t commit to their goals, they won’t achieve goals that truly build their confidence and self-respect.