Whether they’re starting a new academic year or heading back to school after a break, your teen is going back to school, and they may not realise it yet, but this time is precious.
Exams, for now, are over. There’s less pressure. Your teen has some breathing space. We’re going to help you USE that space so that it pays dividends BIG TIME later on during exams.
And the way we’re going to that is… GOALS. Yes goals. Gross. What quicker way to feel uninspired and annoyed than being told you have to set some goals.
Well — not today! We’re going to go over how you can help your teen set goals for the year in a way that’s actually useful.
Why should your teen bother with goal setting?
Goals are an amazing tool for high school students to harness the power of because they give you a TARGET which keeps them MOTIVATED and FOCUSED.
By the end of this article you’re going to know how to help your teen come up with a plan to reach their goals that they’re going to be able to STICK TO. Okay, queue the music and let’s do this.
What kind of goals should your teen be setting?
Here are some questions to discuss with your teen when you’re coming up with their goal list:
- What do they want to have achieved by the end of the year?
- Hit a certain grade point average?
- Do better than last year in certain subjects?
- Start studying earlier than last year?
- Complete a certain number of practice essays?
- Fit in past exams into their exam study
- What is realistic? (Try to avoid setting goals that are out of your teen’s reach. Improvement is always the goal, not perfection.)
Obviously this list is not exhaustive, but it should get the conversation started and your teen thinking about the types of things THEY want to achieve this year.
How can you help your teen REACH their goals?
Okay, now your teen has a list of goals, but how are they going to reach them?!
With a plan. As with all things study, this plan can and should be SIMPLE!
Your teen might like to think about the following when coming up with their plan:
- How they can use timetables to manage their time and keep them on track?
- How they can use incentives to their advantage?
- How can the family help? What kind of support do they need?
The goal planning and achieving process does not need to be complex or complicated, and in fact it shouldn’t be! The most important thing is that you teen gives it a go! (In addition to the links above you might like to check out this related article on maintaining an effective study routine.)
Harness the power of goals
For us, setting goals is a powerful tool for one really simple reason: It makes you think about stuff. When you sit down with your teen to have this discussion about what the year ahead looks like, it’s that simple act of sitting down and having a chat that can be HUGELY POWERFUL.
It will bring presence of mind to your teen. It will bring the school year into focus. And because of this, they will become mentally prepared for school because they see it coming and they have done something to TAKE CONTROL. School won’t just be something that happens to them as they bounce along. It will be something they have a vested interest in and something that happens on THEIR TERMS.
This might sound terribly waffly (waffley?) but we stand by it. Students who get good grades know what they’re striving for. Whether it’s written down in a beautiful planner or just something they instinctively know in their head, top students have their sights set on certain targets, and that alone makes them SO MUCH more likely to reach them.
We’re here to help your teen reach their goals so let us know what those goals end up being! We wanna know!!!
Happy goal pondering,
Clare & Chris
P.S. If you’re at your wits end because of your teen’s lack of motivation, check out this popular article.
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