You Count – Maintaining Balance: Set Goals

pianoYour life is very busy – filled with school, sports, work, parents, activities, friends, etc. With a life this full, it can be challenging to balance everything you have going on. And it won’t get any easier as you begin to take steps into adulthood. So for the next few weeks, I’m going to offer some suggestions to help you maintain balance in your life.

Suggestion #1 – Set Realistic Goals
Goals help create a roadmap for your life. By creating goals, you will be giving yourself a tool to help make decisions about how you spend your time. They help you answer questions like “Why am I doing this?” or “What should I do next?”

When thinking about setting goals, these are a few things to consider:

  • Goals should be about YOU. What are YOU hoping to achieve? What do YOU want out of your life?
  • Connect your goals to your talents, values, and dreams.
  • If those important to you (family and friends) have ideas about what your goals should be, listen to what they have to say and reflect on it. Think about why they have this goal for you (if you don’t know why, ask them). Sometimes their ideas will be similar to yours, and other times they won’t. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what your goals are.
  • Write your goals down somewhere. This makes you be specific about what you want to achieve and gives you touchstone to come back to.
  • Consider the cost of the goal. What will you have to give up to meet your goal? For example, if your goal is to improve your grades this year, you may need to spend less time with friends or playing video games. If you don’t think you’ll be able to do this, you’ll want to re-evaluate your goal and make it more realistic.
  • Define your goal. How will you know when you achieve the goal? If you cannot answer that question, try to make the goal more specific.
  • Remember, your goals aren’t set in stone. It’s okay to re-evaluate and modify them as you go along.
  • Celebrate small achievements that show you are on your way to meeting your goal. Maybe your goal is to improve your skill at playing the piano. You’ve told yourself that you will practice an extra hour every day. You’ve done this for a month without fail. That’s an accomplishment worth celebrating!

What does a goal look like? Here’s one example to get you started.

Goal: Earn Bs in all my classes.
Short-term goals: Take better notes and improve my study skills
Action steps: To take better notes, I’ll write neatly and compare notes with classmates. To improve my study skills, I’ll study in a group and use notecards.

Want more information about setting goals? Check out The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and read the chapter titled, “Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind.”

What are your goals? If you’d like to share, comment on this post.


Sources used:
Covey, Sean. The 7 habits of highly effective teens: the ultimate teenage success guide. Pgs. 73-104.
Personal knowledge gained from being a Study Skills Tutor in college and a life-time of practice.
“Setting Goals for Teens.” Fenton Community High School website.


~Jocelyn @ Lynnwood Library

Mini Jocelyn


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