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The Secrets of Teenage Goal Setting

Teen stress seems to be virtually unavoidable. With pressures from coaches, teachers, parents, and employers, constantly weighing down on them, it’s easy for teenagers to become bogged down in everyday stresses. It’s easy for teens to burn themselves out. However, it doesn’t have to happen that way. Navigating those stresses is not only possible – it can be relatively simple. When it comes to emerging unscathed from adolescence, one of the most important tricks is one of the simplest: goal setting.

Here are some tips for successful goal setting:

1.      Understand that goals vary. Goals can be long-term or short-term, from finishing a chapter in a book to running a mile to becoming a brain surgeon. They are not necessarily easy to come by. Sometimes it takes time. And that’s okay.

2.      Be present/focused. It will come to you. Don’t allow yourself to “zone out” at critical moments. Don’t let yourself say “I know I should, but…”

3.      Be connected to yourself.  Know that part of you that makes you tick, that drives you, that motivates and inspires you. A connection to this part of you will push you towards your goals. A connection between the physical You and the Spirit/Emotional You will lead to an automatic synergy between the two. The old adage “follow your heart” was spot-on. There’s no better compass.

4.      Visualize. Visualizing your goal is critical. See it clearly in your mind. Try to make it tangible. 

5.      Divide and conquer Make them SMART: specific, measurable, adjustable, realistic, time-based.


Secrets of Goal Setting was taken from A Teen’s Guide to Success: How to Be Calm, Confident, Focused by Dr. Ben Bernstein.

Like the article? We bet you’ll love this book:

The world’s teenagers have never been so challenged as they are today. The constant demands of parents, school, work, peers, social media, athletics, music. . .  has created a generation …

A Teen’s Guide to Success

Ben Bernstein

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