Nurse Knittig

MARCH 2017

Spring is in the air and that means many things; spring cleaning, spring break, and the end of the school year quickly approaching. With that in mind, it isn’t too late to get organized and have some goals set. All grade levels alike should be held responsible for setting some long and short term goals for themselves.  According to recent studies, only 20% of the teen population sets goals, and as many as 92% of those goals are never achieved. It is difficult for teenagers to set long-term goals because the future is unknown and many change their minds along the journey. However, a teenager can create a five- or 10-year plan that includes specific desires or expectations. Most long-term goals should be practical and realistic, so there's no need to shoot for the moon. Parents can help guide their teenagers as they prepare for future endeavors. Practical goals, such as getting good grades in high school, attending a competitive college or planning for a specific career field, are helpful because they give teenagers something to shoot for. Parents should be cautious not to unintentionally impose their own expectations on their teen, but offer guidance and support. A teenager might set goals, such as eating nutritious meals, exercising several times a week, engaging in word puzzles or computer games that challenge his mind and getting enough sleep.  Short-term healthy lifestyle goals often turn into long-term goals, once they become consistent and habitual. Teens can also establish long-term goals to refrain from engaging in activities that are harmful to their health, such as smoking, alcohol abuse and excessive consumption of junk food. Try and remember the SMART acronym to set goals:

  • Specific: Make your goal specific. For example, saying to yourself, "I want to eat at least one fruit per day," is more easily achievable than just, "I want to be healthy." When coming up with specific goal, ask yourself: who, what, when, where, and why?
  • Measurable: Set a measurable way to check your progress to keep yourself on track. If your goal is measurable, you should be able to answer the question, "How will I know when my goal is accomplished?"
  • Attainable: When prioritizing goals, your mindset adjusts so that you can achieve your goal.
  • Realistic: Your goal should be something that you believe can be accomplished.
  • Timely: Create a timeframe to help make your goal more achievable.

    After making sure you have a SMART goal, use these 10 steps to achieve your goals.

  • Be specific
  • Create a plan
  • Make a list of steps
  • Act and don't be passive
  • Read and seek advice
  • Create alternates
  • Revisit goals
  • Repeat affirmations
  • Visualize goals
  • Take action

Visit this website for a printable SMART goal worksheet:


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