Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Helping Your Kids Learn To Set Goals And Make Plans

... is invaluable.

This summer, I went through Bryan Tracy's Goals book with our daughter, newly graduated from high school and new in the workforce and one of our sons, about to graduate with an EE degree. We're not even done and the results are already terrific.

One of the chapters deals with naming your fears, the things that hold you back. My daughter was worried that she'd be fired if she made too many mistakes and my son, after struggling to get an internship with SDGE, was afraid he wouldn't get any full-time offers when he graduated.

My daughter was hired at a local fast food place and quickly discovered that being cheerful, hard working and energetic makes up for any number of mistakes. She's being given more and more hours despite the fact that she's not perfect. By naming her fears and discussing them with us, we were able to help her see that they weren't real.

As my son goes back to college, he now has a concrete plan to land a permanent job, a plan that is much more sophisticated and complete than what he had before. His fears had almost paralyzed him and instead of taking action and dealing with them, he withdrew and became passive. After bringing these out into the open, we were able to share many anecdotes from our own lives that banished most of his fears.

We all gained a lot more from this exercise than just this. When we started, I told them, "Some day you'll turn 30. When you do, you can look back at the things you accomplished or you can regret the years gone by. Why not discover what you really want to do and start going after it?"

So far, I really like the results.

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