As parents, we know how important it is to set goals. It is necessary for success in our jobs and in our lives in general. But do we pass this wisdom on to our kids? Too often, the answer is “no.”
Goal-setting has been a prevalent topic at our house during the past couple of weeks. With the arrival of the New Year, it is a good time to set goals for yourself, and help your teen set them as well. I don’t mean just some new-year’s resolutions that will soon be forgotten. I mean real, attainable goals that are written down and referred to often. In doing so, you will teach your kids good habits that will set them up for success both now and later in life.
Here is a list of 5 goals to consider for you and your teen to work on achieving together during the new 2016 year.
- Eat healthier foods.
My 14 year old daughter, Andrea, has been health conscious for a few years now. One of her biggest goals this upcoming year is to eat a healthier, more balanced diet and to exercise multiple times per week. Since she has gone back to public school, a healthy lifestyle regimen has become a bit more difficult for her to keep up, but she is climbing back onto the wagon starting now.
I really dislike being told what I cannot eat. Instead, I want to know what I can eat for good health. I will be much more likely to succeed if I look at it from that perspective. Click here for Teen Nutrition From A to Z to see a list of nutritious foods that should be on your teen’s menu for the new year.
- Watch less TV.
A lot less. Kick cable or satellite TV to the curb. I know this is a really tough one for people, but believe me, watching TV and channel surfing are way overrated. After a quick check on Google, it would appear that teens and adults, alike, spend anywhere from 20 to 50 hours per week in front of a TV or some other type of screen. Most of that time is not productive. Out of the 168 hours we all have in a week, up to 30 percent of them are spent watching TV. Pick up a good book instead and start reading.
We amputated cable TV from our household about 18 months ago. Quite frankly, our local cable provider ticked me off and inadvertently showed me how easy it was to get along without their service. I turned in the boxes and never looked back. If you are looking for a radical change to make in your household for the better, I highly recommend this one. There are many free ways to watch what you want by using the internet, and you won’t have to endure commercials.
- Go on a regular date with your teen.
Go out to eat, go to a movie (preferably your teen’s choice), or go to a quiet place you both enjoy and just talk. No TV’s, and put your phones on silent. Spending time together needs to be planned and scheduled if you are going to really make it happen. Michael Hyatt says that if it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done. Make spending time with your teen special, and a top priority. You will never regret the time you spend with your kids.
- Save for a car (if they do not yet have one).
Honestly, this should be started much earlier in life, but if you are just now starting, there is no reason to panic. There is still time for your teen to save up some cash to buy a car, and cash is certainly the best way to go. Saddling yourself or your teen with a car payment now only increases the chances of disaster later on. Read the article How Teens Can Buy Their Own Cars on Dave Ramsey’s website.
- Plan a vacation with your teen.
Working inside the limits of your budget, sit down with your teen, pull up google maps, and search out a fun place to go together on a family vacation. Let your teen help with the planning process, and allow him to choose a fun activity he might enjoy, such as a canoe trip, zip-lining, or surfing lessons. Your teen will feel involved in the planning process, and she will be more enthusiastic about going on a trip she helped to plan.
I have only scratched the surface with these suggestions. Leave a comment below or go to our Facebook page and write your own ideas for goals you want to set with your teens for 2016. I am sure you can give me some ideas to try with my teen.
I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Let’s have an awesome, adventurous year together!