Tutor Dr. P. Makes Goal Setting Easy as 1-2-3: Step 1: Brainstorm!

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with family and friends! I enjoyed time off from tutoring, taking my nieces to see Barnaby Saves Christmas and making struffoli (Italian fried dough balls covered with honey) with them and my parents, continuing a tradition my grandmother started with my sister and me. And of course, spending time and sharing laughs with family and dear friends also topped my list of my favorite gifts of the season.


Desk To Nest Now Weekly

Regular Desk To Nest readers know that I’m a big proponent of setting goals. I start my public talks and parent-teen workshops with a goal-setting exercise, and have written about the practice before in this blog. I also ask new students I tutor to set their own academic and personal goals.  This month, I’ll be blogging weekly on the “how-to” and “whys” of setting and achieving goals. Each Thursday, a new post will appear on my website.

Each month, Desk To Nest will feature a different theme. For example, in February, we’ll explore how to nurture love and self-acceptance among teens. While some months’ (like January) posts will build on each other week after week, you can read others (like February's) as individual pieces. Find them all on the blog page of my website at any time, or click here  to receive them in your inbox as soon as I publish them.

Why Set Goals?

Now, let’s dig in to helping your child set some goals!  First, why is setting goals is so important for students? Institutions as diverse as the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Army and Navy Academy promote the benefits of goal-setting for students’ short- and long-term academic success. Scholars have also documented the increase in performance among students who set, plan for, and adjust goals.  In short, setting goals helps us all achieve more and realize our full potential.


How To Set Goals?

If you’ve never set goals yourself, though, you might ask, “How can I help my teen set his or her own goals?” Great question!  But, never fear, that's why I'm here!  Each Thursday in January, I'll guide you through the process, one step at a time, in the blog.  We’ll finish the month together with a Live Q&A on Facebook on January 31 at 7pm, when you can share your successes and challenges with the rest of the Crimson Coaching community. 
This week, we’ll begin the process of goal setting with brainstorming goals for 2019. If this is a new activity for your teen or you (or both), get the creative juices flowing by asking questions. Feel free to use all or some from the list below:

  1. What in your life / school / activities went well in 2018?

  2. What strengths would you like to build upon in 2019?

  3. How did you accomplish those successes? (Let’s call these your “success strategies.”)

  4. What in your life / school / activities didn’t go so well in 2018?

  5. What challenges would you like to work on in 2019?

  6. Can you use any of your personal “success strategies” to help you with your challenges?

  7. When you think about yourself / your life on this date in 2020, what are the successes that you’d like to recount for 2019?

  8. Who do you admire?

  9. What might their “success strategies” be or have been? 

  10. Which one or two of their “success strategies” can you borrow / imitate to achieve your goals?


When to Set Goals?

Sometime during this week, perhaps during dinner or a car ride, talk to your teen about her goals for 2019.  If your child’s not talkative, share your own answers to the questions to jumpstart the conversation. If you’re worried that you’ll forget the nuggets that emerge, record the conversation on your phone. Next Thursday, I’ll discuss the importance of writing goals down to realize them. Sign up here to get notified when the weekly blog is published.
Until then, happy brainstorming! If you feel you need to outsource this conversation to an empathetic expert (I do more than tutor :), drop me a line or call (718) 514-0387 to set up an appointment. 

Finally, if you found this blog helpful, please pass it along to a friend; subscribe to my YouTube channel, where you can find videos on similar topics;  “Like” Crimson Coaching on Facebook and follow me as @CrimsonCoaching on Instagram, where I share daily tips like these and articles for parents of teens.
I'm so excited about this year and this journey we'll take together!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2019,
Dr. P.