Empowering youth for success, setting goals for the new year

For young people, the New Year is an opportunity to set goals and empower themselves for success in the year ahead. One of the benefits of youth mentoring is providing them with mentors who can help them not only set but achieve their goals; this helps them build essential life skills and fosters a sense of purpose and direction in their lives. Here's how we can help the young people in our community embrace the power of goal-setting for the New Year!


Encourage self-reflection


Before setting goals, it's essential for youth to engage in self-reflection. Encourage them to think about their strengths, weaknesses, interests and values. What are the things that excite them or make them feel passionate? Self-awareness is the foundation upon which meaningful goals are built.


Set SMART goals

Introduce the concept of SMART goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. This framework helps young people create clear and attainable objectives. For example, instead of a vague goal like improving grades, a SMART goal could be to raise their math grade from a B to an A- by the end of the first semester.


Break it down

Large, ambitious goals can be overwhelming. Teach youth to break down their goals into smaller, manageable steps. This not only makes the goal seem more achievable but also provides a roadmap for progress. Each small victory reinforces their commitment.

Prioritize and set deadlines


Help youth prioritize their goals. What are the most important objectives they want to accomplish? Setting deadlines for each goal keeps them on track and prevents procrastination. It adds a sense of urgency and responsibility.


Visualize success


Encourage youth to visualize themselves achieving their goals. Visualization is a powerful technique that reinforces their commitment and boosts confidence. Ask them to imagine the sense of accomplishment and joy they'll experience once they succeed.

Provide support and encouragement


Goal setting is a personal journey, but support from mentors, parents or teachers can make a significant difference. Offer guidance, lend a listening ear and provide encouragement when challenges arise. Knowing they have a support system increases their resilience.


Learn from any failure

It's essential to teach youth that setbacks and failures are not the end of the road. They are valuable learning opportunities. Encourage a growth mindset, where failure is seen as a stepping stone toward improvement. Ask them to reflect on what they've learned from their setbacks and how they can adjust their approach.

Celebrate achievements


Acknowledge and celebrate achievements along the way, no matter how small. Celebrating success reinforces their motivation and reminds them of their progress. It also creates positive associations with goal setting.

Encourage adaptability


Life is unpredictable and circumstances change. Teach youth to be adaptable in their goal setting. If a goal is no longer relevant or achievable, it's okay to adjust or replace it with a new one. Flexibility is a valuable skill in goal pursuit.

Lead by example

As adults and mentors, you can set a powerful example by setting and working toward your own goals. Share your experiences and challenges with goal setting. Demonstrating resilience and determination can inspire and motivate the young people around you.


Discover the benefits of youth mentoring

Working with DREAM can help you discover the benefits of youth mentoring. Our team mentoring program provides youth with someone who cares about their future, helps them set life goals and encourages them to stay in school and work hard. Contact us today if you’re interested in volunteering!