Goal setting is important every year, but as your student gets older, are you handing over the reigns so they start making their own goals? I always advocate for students to make some of their own goals, even as young as Kindergarten, but as our teens are reaching the cusp of legal adulthood, they will be expected to keep tabs on themselves. They will be expected to make their own goals, and to exceed the goals of their professor or employer.
Can they work to exceed their own goals, too? Exceeding goals you’ve set yourself is harder than something you’ll get recognition for from someone else. Time to practice now!
I’ve taken the SMART goals outline, and adjusted it for teen students in a way that I believe is fitting for my 14 year old Kira, and in sha Allah (God willing), it’s fitting for your teen also!
What are SMART goals?
- S – Specific: Each goal should be specific in it’s aim. No vague goals that you “kinda” met. Goals set with the SMART strategy should be binary; either they were met or not.
- M – Measurable: So you know exactly what you want to do, but can you measure it? In the workplace, it meant whether we were able to track that information. Could we see how long average call times were in the call center? Yes, we had the tool to do that. In your homeschool, do you keep actual grades that your student can measure themselves against? Should your student start writing down their start time each morning, or logging how they use their time each hour?
- A – Attainable: Oh, goals are fun to make. I’m going to lose 40 lbs the month after this baby pops out, guys! Probably not going to happen. I’d say this is a discussion point for you and your student. When Kira started working, she had all these goals for what she was going to do with her income. We had to bring out a calculator and show her what this actually looked like. It can be useful to do the same thing with calculating time, and figuring out if there’s enough time for each goal.
- R – Realistic: Sure, you could do it, but do you think you really will? It’s no secret to those around me that I’m likely addicted to sugar. I love it. I crave it. I want it every day. Going sugar free, carb free would be unrealistic for me. I could probably go sugar free, and work on carbs. So sure, your student can read 3 hours a day to prep for the upcoming exam, but will they likely keep that up for a month solid?
- T – Timely: There has to be an end! “I’m going to lose 20 lbs.”… okay, when? In a year? In a decade? There has to be a time where you check in.
So, this is where the SMART goals started from. Like I said, I adjusted things a bit to be a bit more fun and relevant for teens. For instance, for R, it’s “How are you going to be REAL with yourself?” I also made two color schemes for different tastes as I thought the first one might be a bit too close to pink for the manly teens out there. 🙂
Each of the SMART goals in their original form are valuable also. If you prefer to use them as they are, please do!
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