Ivana Pejakovic, B.Sc., MA
Perhaps the two most challenging things about goals is 1) staying motivated to complete them 2) remembering that we set them after a period of time passes. This holds true for adults as well as teens.
Without thinking about your goals from day to day it’s easy to forget you set them. You’ll think about them less and less until eventually a couple weeks go by before you remember you ever set them. Eventually it’ll be a month or more.
For those teens who take time to think regularly (daily) about their goals and who take regular action to complete them, it can get challenging to stay motivated. This is a normal part of life and goal setting. To overcome this, however, teens can create reminders for themselves.
The best method is to have visual reminders of the end product they hope to achieve and reminders of what it’ll feel like when they achieve the end product. My suggestion is a vision book (the same as a vision board except in book format).
A vision book is a book in which your teen can glue images that represent his desires and goals. Vision books are effective because when your teen surrounds himself with pictures of what he would like to have, what he would like to be, or of things he would like to do, his life is more likely to become what he wants it to be. It’s about having clarity of what he wants, focusing on it, and emotionally aligning himself with the things he hopes to achieve. These are all key components of staying motivated, committed, and achieving his goals.
Vision books have repeatedly been shown to be an integral part of many successful people’s lives.
Work with your teen to create a Vision Book (or vision board). It’ll strengthen his level of commitment.
1. Purchase or create (bind) a scrapbook. Purchased scrapbooks are convenient because they have the option of being easily refilled. Creating your own however, allows you to be as creative as you like and it allows you to customize it to your taste.
2. Grab a bunch of magazines with photographs. Consider magazines that are topic specific (e.g. travel magazines) and magazines that cover many different areas. You can also go online to search for specific pictures.
3. Collect inspiring words and phrases. Any words that make your teen feel great or that describe how he will feel when the goal is accomplished are essential for the vision book. Likewise, he can always print out the words he can’t find.
4. Get glue or tape to make the pictures stick to each page. It’s a good idea to organize the order of the images before they are firmly set.
5. Label each page with a positive and action oriented phrase. For example, “I am happily exercising 3 to 5 times on week.” (With the images he ought to include the days of the week he plans on working out. It’ll be a great reminder for him to go to the gym on those days.)
6. Review the vision board daily or every other day. Reviewing the book regularly will keep the goals fresh in your teen’s mind. The positive words and pictures will keep him motivated to keep going. It’ll also develop a level of commitment. If your teen does not think regularly about his goals, there will be little to stay committed to.
Best Wishes to You and Your Family!
Ivana Pejakovic, Life Coach in Toronto