What would you think are key ways you can help a young person on the goal-getting journey?
That’s the question I asked myself the other day when Glen came to see me. He specifically wanted assistance with planning, organization and management of his time.
Glen is fortunate, as he is highly motivated, works hard in and out of the classroom and has some career goals in place, but he has been feeling stressed lately and not sleeping well.
I have learnt over the years that when I encourage a young person to set achievable goals, their lives take on new purpose and their energies are positively channeled in specific directions.Indeed, part of the goal-setting process during the mentoring journey is to assist your mentees to make sense of the confusion they may be experiencing (as is normal at this stage of their lives).
Among the ways you can help them are in guiding them to:
- identify their strengths;
- identify their passions and interests;
- determine how they respond to challenges;
- take non-life-threatening risks in a safe and secure environment;
- plan, prioritize and develop strategies, using resources available to them;
- commit to something and see it through to a conclusion;
- identify and solve problems, seeing obstacles as opportunities;
- evaluate their progress;
- appreciate that usually they have control over their choices and goals;
- appreciate that a dream is an end in itself, while goals are normally a means to an end – when all the goals (pieces of a puzzle) come together, they realize the dream;
- visualize their goals as if they have already achieved them, thereby increasing their self-confidence and self-esteem.
At this time you should appreciate that:
- you have a role as a coach and a cheerleader, aiming to motivate your mentees to move out of their comfort zone and become the best they can be;
- your mentees will be looking to their parents as well as a range of other adults in loco parentis – you, teachers, workplace superiors – for definitions of life, goals and values;
- goal setting requires patience with your mentees, perseverance, plenty of encouragement and empathy, and good role-modelling.
Glen and I spent about an hour looking at many of the above aspects and I was most definitely in the Cheerleader seat that day.
Glen has headed off to experiment with some of the strategies we discussed and he will come back and chat to me in three weeks’ time. By that stage we shall be better positioned to decide on more specific strategys moving forward, as Glen will have a much better idea as to which strategies work more effectively than others.
How about you? Have you any recent examples of helping a young person on the goal-getting journey?
About the author: Robin Cox has been a School Principal, sports coach to National Under 19 Level, Youth Symposium Organiser, developer of Youth Mentoring Programs in New Zealand and Australia, Churchill Fellow and author of books linked to youth mentoring, Peer Mentoring and the development of adolescents to become the best they can be. He has trained over 1,000 volunteer adult mentors, run workshops for teachers promoting the Spirit of Mentoring and personally mentored over 1,000 adolescents. Still an idealist, a cancer survivor of 50+ years, married with two adult children, Robin lives in Australia and shares a passion with anyone wanting to make a positive difference in the global community. You can join him on Twitter @million2016coxy or on Facebook or contact him through his YES! website