Key Goal Getting Tips for Mentors and Mentees in a post-pandemic world

The power of setting goals to reach one’s potential

These tips can be adapted by Mentors to the particular community in which they are working. Remember, goal setting comes, for the most part, after you have established a connection with your mentee and some feelings of trust exist, a process that could take up to six months! Much will depend on the background and current circumstances of your mentee. Take time to discern how the global pandemic has impacted the life, goals and dreams of your mentee. Always seek to make goal setting a fun and enjoyable aspect of the mentoring journey.

  • Have a clear picture (your personal photograph) of what you want to achieve.
  • Make sure the goal you are working towards is something you really want to attain.
  • Always write your goal as a positive visualization statement.
  • Always write out your goal in complete detail.
  • Always ensure your short-term goals are small, specific, realistic, achievable and measurable.
  • Ensure that your goal has a clear deadline.
  • Make a list of anticipated obstacles and see how many can be converted into positive opportunities.
  • Identify all the skills, information, knowledge, resources and help from people and organizations that you will need to achieve your goals.
  • Always ensure that you have a clear plan of action in place.
  • Remember that goals change as you mature. You need to review them regularly, adjust them when and where necessary, thus reflecting the growth in your personality, your life changes, your priority changes and new opportunities.
  • Don’t let goal setting become your master – goals must bring you real pleasure, satisfaction and a sense of achievement. If this is not happening, revisit them.
  • Personal factors such as tiredness, other commitments and the need for rest, and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle should be taken into account when goals are set.
  • Don’t set too many goals at any one time.
  • Start the goal setting process with small, specific, measurable and easily achievable action steps and then begin to stretch yourself a little more as your self-confidence increases.
  • If the goal involves somebody else, you should first obtain the permission and support from that person before you write down the goal.
  • Be consistent.
  • Have confidence in God and yourself.
  • Have the courage to act, to take non life-threatening risks.
  • Set challenging goals that require energy and self-discipline to achieve.
  • Reward your progress towards the achievement of your goal.
  • Focus on your goals on a daily basis (consider placing your goals on your mobile phone/video/DVD).
  • Consider setting your goals after you have received a Management of Time Schedule, remembering that you manage your own time.
  • Ensure that your goals are aligned to your values, your mission, your purpose in life.
  • Rid yourself of the negative factors in your life; the negative people (wherever possible).
  • Use your failures as learning curves for planning future successes.

Goal Getting Tips for Effective Mentors

  • Make an effort to get to know your mentee before setting goals. Establishing a level of trust and confidentiality will enhance the goal setting process. Understandably, this might not always be possible, in which case tread a little softly with goal setting until you feel you have a better connection with your mentee.
  • Start with easy, specific, achievable, realistic and measurable 7-day goals . For example, record homework in a paper diary each day – brain research written plans like this tend to be more effective than placing on a mobile phone; eat breakfast; get up ten minutes earlier on school days.
  • Receiving feedback on goal achievement is critical for motivation – give it regularly!
  • Often motivation comes, not from the goals themselves, but from feeling dissatisfied if a performance level was not achieved and wanting to do better next time.
  • Keep revising and revisiting the goals, remaining flexible – as lives change, so goals might need to change, especially if new opportunities arise.
  • Look for performance not perfection. Let your mentee focus on the question: How do I rate compared to what I see myself capable of becoming?
  • Avoid teasing, nagging, guilt trips – focus on positive development of your mentee.
  • Give genuine praise and your mentee will respect your authenticity more than anything else.
  • Look for ways to reward your mentee – behavior that is rewarded tends to be repeated. Devise your own reward scheme, such as. special certificates, notes or outings.
  • Encourage your mentee to set goals around the school year – term by term (semester by semester).
  • Encourage your mentee to use creative ways for setting goals. There is no one method that works for all. Let your mentee experiment and adapt, though they should develop the habit of writing down their goals. Allow for the uniqueness of your mentee.
  • Share some of your goals with your mentee to show that you are in a partnership, a relationship.
  • Encourage your mentee to develop a feeling of optimism about their future.
  • Help your mentee appreciate that they, individually, wield great personal power, as they have control over most choices they are making.
  • Goals should be aligned with family/cultural values when a Mentor is involved in a cross-cultural relationship. The question to ask might be: “What is the attitude of your culture towards education/goal setting?” Wherever possible, the goals should be shared with the mentee’s family.


A dream is something that you feel so strongly about that you see yourself accomplishing it.
Sugar Ray Robinson (Boxer)