How do you feel when you achieve a goal?
I feel like celebrating somehow, especially when I have had to stretch myself and move well out of my comfort zone.
If we can remember how we became goal getters, we have a story to share with our mentees, many of whom will need plenty of support to wish to embark on a goal getting program.
2018 has arrived and, early in January, I sit down and, over a few days, set my goals for the year. I break these down into monthly goals and am able to stay focused on leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I have done this for many years and, even though I am now retired, I still set goals around family, my faith walk, personal development, health, exercise and wellbeing and my interests.
More ands more Neuroscience research that I am reading is pointing to the importance of setting goals as an important aspect of adolescent brain development.
This all reminded me of some examples of goals achieved by adolescent mentees during a mentoring relationship in programs I have been linked with. These examples might encourage volunteer adult mentors and help them to appreciate that there is such a variety of goals one can encourage in a mentoring relationship, some fairly straightforward.
1. A mentee’s grades in one academic subject improved from 28% to 50%.
2. A mentee worked on lifting weights at a gym, which the mentor used to teach goal setting. They had a great relationship.
3. A mentee obtained a part-time job with the help of a mentor.
4. A mentee and mentor visited shops in a shopping mall, picking up job applications as they went. The mentee gained a job that same day, thus achieving a goal without having written any goal-setting steps! The connection between mentor and mentee provided a foundation to build on for the remaining months of their mentoring journey together.
5. A mentee worked at aerobic fitness as she was going to be a bridesmaid later in the year. She lost weight and improved her self-image, which her mentor determined from her increasingly positive body language and attitude to life.
6. An overweight mentee who wanted to exercise went fishing with his mentor and the mentor’s young family. As it was the mentee’s birthday, the mentor gave his mentee a gift voucher. On arriving home from the outing, the mentor received a phone call from his mentee saying that he had already bought fishing gear. The mentee gained in self-esteem, improved his academic work and gained fitness through all the exercise involved with fishing.
7. A mentee, after encouragement from the mentor, started attending the Homework Centre at school, which led to academic improvement and, consequently, increased self-esteem.
8. A mentor drew up a goal-setting strategy on the computer with his mentee, who was interested in computers.
9. A mentee committed himself to reading one novel a week to improve his English, with encouragement and support from his mentor.
10. A mentee joined the local library with the help of the mentor.
11. A mentee set up an exercise program with the help of the mentor.
12. A mentee visited a computer firm, learned how to rebuild computers and then set up his own small business from home.
13. A mentee applied for a job but was rejected. This was a major setback for the mentee, though the mentor encouraged her to persevere. Six months later, with a better attitude, she applied for a new job with the help of the mentor and was employed.
14. A mentee (like many others) built her goals around obtaining a restricted driver license.
15. A mentee worked towards obtaining an overseas study scholarship. Her mentor helped her to prioritize, plan and move out of her comfort zone to undergo new experiences.
Mentors who are new to mentoring would be encouraged to start with easily achievable goals eg, getting to school on time for five successive days, having nine hours sleep EVERY night ….. Achieving this goal develops the mentee’s self-confidence and can lay the foundation to a whole lot of new experiences for the mentee as he or she embarks on a new journey with the mentor.
Allow between three and six weeks for new habits to be formed 🙂
Did you have anyone who guided you on a goal getting journey at any time in your life? How did they do this? How did you feel? Did you achieve all your goals? I’d love people to share their experiences.
About the author: Robin Cox has been a School Principal, sports coach to National Under 19 Level, Youth Symposium Organizer, 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 see his short daily mentoring tips on Twitter @million2016coxy or on Facebook (where you are able to join a closed mentoring group) or contact him through his Mentoring Matters website Robin’s free Mentoring Matters daily podcasts (each podcast between 1.5 and 3 minutes), containing hundreds of tips for anyone working with young people,are available here.