Goal Setting Activities for Teenagers

Smiling student studying
Get your teenager thinking about his future. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Getting a teenager to talk about his future can be challenging, but setting goals often helps provide direction and motivation. Use specific activities that help pinpoint your adolescent's attention on setting goals. Exercises can be a positive way to draw you and your teenager closer and help bring his future into sharper focus.

Goal Board

Make a goal board to track goals. Teens often benefit from visual activities. Gather old magazines and a large sheet of poster board. Get your youngster excited about filling her goal board with pictures that show ideas, desires, thoughts, plans and goals. An added benefit of this art project is the dialogue that it might inspire between you and your teen.

Research Presentation

To set effective and realistic goals, a teen should think about what she needs to do to achieve them. Assign a research paper about a profession of your child's choice. Your youngster should outline the process of achieving the profession, including education, volunteer work and experience. After learning these details, your adolescent might decide to pursue a profession or she could determine that she needs to keep thinking about her career plans.

Short Term Goal Setting

Setting goals doesn't have to refer to major long-term plans for relationships, jobs and family. Setting short-term goals is an important activity that helps teens both immediately and in the future. Talk with your adolescent about setting short-term goals that he can achieve in a day, week or month. Your teen could also break down a long-term goal into smaller, short-term goals. Ask your teenager to close his eyes and think about something he wants to accomplish in one week. He should visualize how he will accomplish it, the time frame in which he will complete the goal and how he will feel when he's finished.

Visual Activity

Help your teen learn about goals in a simple, visual way. Print pictures of people doing basic activities such as kicking a soccer ball, cooking a meal or talking to another person. Hold the picture up and ask questions about the pictures, such as, "Why is this person acting this way?" or "What do you think this person wants to happen?" Help your youngster see the correlation between everyday activities and working toward a simple goal.

How-To Goals

Help a teen learn goal-setting by writing about various journeys. Write various goals and activities on index cards, such as traveling from New York City to Las Vegas and changing a tire. Instruct your youngster to write how-to style instructions for each goal. This activity enables an adolescent to see the process that occurs from the initial goal setting to planning and then executing the plan.

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