Young People Ask
How Can I Reach My Goals?
WHICH of the following would you like to have?
● More confidence
● More friends
● More happiness
Actually, you can have all three! How? By setting and reaching goals. Consider the following.
More confidence When you set small goals and reach them, you’ll have the confidence to take on bigger ones. You’ll also feel more confident when facing day-to-day challenges—such as standing up to peer pressure. In turn, others will likely notice your confidence and respect you for it. Some might pressure you less. In fact, they may even start to admire you.—Compare Matthew 5:14-16.
More friends People enjoy being around those who are goal-oriented—those who know what they want and who are willing to work for it. And when people are drawn to you because of your goals, they often become members of the support team you need to reach those goals.—Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10.
More happiness Let’s face it: There’s little fun in being bored or waiting for your life to happen. On the other hand, when you set and reach goals, you feel a sense of accomplishment. No wonder the apostle Paul, a first-century Christian, once said: “I don’t run without a goal.” (1 Corinthians 9:26, Contemporary English Version) And remember, the bigger the goal, the greater your feeling of accomplishment upon reaching it!
Are you ready to get started? Just cut and fold the page to the right, and then follow the steps listed.*
More articles from the “Young People Ask” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype
These suggestions are geared toward goals you can accomplish within a few weeks or months, but the principles apply to larger goals as well.
TO THINK ABOUT
● Is it possible to have too many goals at once?—Philippians 1:10.
● Does setting goals mean planning out every minute of your life?—Philippians 4:5.
[Box/Pictures on page 25, 26]
How to reach your goals
IDENTIFY Proverbs 4:25, 26 1
“Don’t be afraid to set large goals. If others have reached them before, you can too.”—Roben.
1. Brainstorm potential goals. Have fun with this step! Don’t analyze; just write down as many ideas as you can. See if you can come up with at least 10 or 20 possibilities.
2. Evaluate your ideas. Which ones seem the most exciting? The most challenging? Which would you be especially proud of achieving? Remember, the best goals are the ones that mean the most to you.
3. Prioritize. First choose some short-range goals that you could reach in a few days. Next choose some long-range goals (reachable within several weeks or months). Number your goals according to the order in which you would like to achieve them.
Friendship Make one friend outside my age group. Reestablish an old friendship.
Health Exercise a total of 90 minutes each week. Get eight hours of sleep each night.
School Improve my grades in math. Stand up for what is right when pressured to cheat on a test.
Spirituality Read the Bible for 15 minutes each day. Share my beliefs with a classmate this week.
Plan Proverbs 21:5 2
“Goals are great, but you also need a plan to reach them. Otherwise, they’ll always be goals and never achievements.”—Derrick.
For each of the goals you’ve chosen, do the following:
1. List your goal.
2. Set a deadline. After all, a goal without a deadline is just a dream!
3. Plan the steps involved.
4. Anticipate obstacles. Then think of how you’ll overcome them.
5. Make a commitment. Promise yourself that you’ll do your best to reach this goal. Now sign and date it.
Learn Spanish for my trip to Mexico July 1
1. Get a phrase book.
2. Learn ten new words each week.
3. Listen to other people speaking Spanish.
4. Ask someone to verify my grammar and pronunciation.
No one nearby speaks Spanish
How I can overcome them
Download audio recordings in Spanish from www.jw.org.
Act! John 13:17 3
“Goals can easily get put on the back burner, so you have to stay focused and keep working toward them.”—Erika.
Start immediately. Ask yourself, ‘What can I do today to start toward my goal?’ Granted, you may not have every detail worked out, but don’t let that keep you from getting started. As the Bible puts it, “if you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, Today’s English Version) Find something you can do today—even if it’s small—and do it.
Review your goals daily. Remind yourself why each one is important to you. Track your progress by putting a ✔ (or a completed-on date) next to each step as you complete it.
Be flexible. No matter how good your plans are, they may need to be adjusted as you go along. That’s OK. Don’t worry about rigidly sticking to a plan. Just keep making progress toward the final goal.
Use your imagination. “Fast-forward” and imagine yourself achieving your goal. Feel the sense of accomplishment. Next, “rewind” through the individual steps, and visualize each of them. Finally, press “play.” See yourself completing each step, and imagine how great you’ll feel when you reach your goal. Now go for it!
Goals are like blueprints—it takes work to turn them into reality!
[Box/Pictures on page 25]
WHAT YOUR PEERS SAY 4
“It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t have anything to focus on or look forward to. But when you set and reach goals, you feel good about yourself.”—Reed.
“Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not accomplishing your goal perfectly or in the time frame you had in mind. Feeling that way won’t help. Just keep trying!”—Cori.
“Talk to people who have already reached the goals you’ve set. They can inspire you and give you practical suggestions. Also, share your goals with your family so they can be part of your support team.”—Julia.
[Diagram on page 24]
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