It is difficult for teenagers to set long-term goals because the future is unknown and many change their minds along the journey. However, a teenager can create a five- or 10-year plan that includes specific desires or expectations. Most long-term goals should be practical and realistic, so there's no need to shoot for the moon. Parents can help guide their teenagers as they prepare for future endeavors.
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Education and Career
Teenagers can set long-term education and career goals, but parents and teens should remember that those goals often change. Adolescent aspirations change frequently, so they should be exposed to a variety of experiences, schooling options and career possibilities, according to the Scholastic Parents website. Practical goals, such as getting good grades in high school, attending a competitive college or planning for a specific career field, are helpful because they give teenagers something to shoot for. Parents should be cautious not to unintentionally impose their own expectations on their teen, but offer guidance and support.
Adolescence is an ideal time for teenagers to develop healthy short- and long-term lifestyle goals. A teenager might set goals, such as eating nutritious meals, exercising several times a week, engaging in word puzzles or computer games that challenge his mind and getting enough sleep. Short-term healthy lifestyle goals often turn into long-term goals, once they become consistent and habitual. Teens can also establish long-term goals to refrain from engaging in activities that are harmful to their health, such as smoking, alcohol abuse and excessive consumption of junk food. Teens who engage in these unhealthy activities are significantly unhappier than teens who don't, according to a long-term study of 5,000 young people by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), appearing in Science Daily.
Teens can establish long-term personal finance goals so they are prepared to meet financial demands in the future. A teenager might set up a savings account, invest in a college savings program or request mutual bonds from relatives for Christmas or birthdays. Some of those investments require parental consent, so parents might need to co-sign on the accounts until the teen becomes an adult. Parents can also help their teenager create and live within a budget, so she is prepared to do that as an adult. Parents are the top influence on teens when it comes to money, so helping teens set financial goals should be a priority, says Don Civgin, president of Allstate Financial, on the Accounting Tomorrow website.
Some teens might include specific dreams and desires in their long-term goal list. A teenager might include relationship goals, marriage plans, child-raising hopes, expected property purchases and material-possession goals. Those who want to travel, participate in philanthropic ventures or invest in hobbies should also include those long-term plans in their goal list. Even though some goals aren't tangible, teens might also list character goals, such as being generous, showing compassion, being a good parent and displaying integrity, as intended long-term goals.