motivation; goal; goals; setting; plan; planning; organise; prioritise; dream; achieve; routine; grades; anxiety; quitting; mentor; mentorship; education; study; support;
Goal-setting is about being clear about what you need to do to achieve something. It might sound like a bit of a pain, but research has shown that setting goals is a great way to achieve the things you want to do.
Some common things people have found goal-setting to help with are:
- achieving and keeping a healthy weight
- getting good grades
- dealing with depression or anxiety
- making new friends
- getting a job
- doing chores
- doing well at sport
- stopping addictions to things like drugs, alcohol, gambling
Motivation is what drives you to get things done - it drives you to achieve goals that you set
- Our motivations for doing different things can vary, and so can the results...
- If you are studying something at uni or college because you didn't know what else to do, or your parents wanted you to do it, your motivation may not be great.
- However, if you are really interested in a subject, or can see that it will get you into the sort of work you really want, your motivation will be high.
- To succeed in work or study, you need skills and information - but these will not be of much help if motivation is not there.
- By setting goals, getting in a routine, and seeing that you are making progress you can keep yourself motivated for just about anything.
Take a minute to think about where you want to go in life. Can you come up with a dream picture of yourself in 12 months, 5 years, or beyond?
- The picture might be having a great job, buying a car or home, getting a Uni degree, travelling the world, or whatever.
Your dream picture might seem hard to achieve, but you don't have to do it all in one step.
- By breaking your goal down in to smaller, manageable steps, you can begin to make progress.
- If you don't make your smaller goals manageable, you will find you lose that precious motivation due to predictable failures.
- One way to work through your goals is to think of things you could do tomorrow, and the day after, and so on.
- So, if your goal is to make new friends in the next 6 months, your first goal might be to work out where to meet new people, eg leisure or study courses, sports teams and clubs, volunteer or service groups, etc.
- The next day's goal might be to practice what to say to someone you don't know.
Studies show that writing down your goal is a way to make a mental commitment to the goal.
- Write down your dream.
- Now, what is the very first thing you need to do? Write this down.
- When will you do it by? How will you do it? Write it all down.
If your goal is to get into shape, what sort of exercise will you start to do? Check our topic Exercise for some ideas.
One good way to keep the motivation up is to reward yourself when you achieve goals - even the easiest ones, such as calling a gym to check the prices, or making your bed. Even checking off each step on a list helps you to feel that you are making progress.
on the steps
If you miss a goal, or break a routine you are trying to keep, don't be too hard on yourself. This is all part of the process.
- Focus on the positive things you have achieved so far.
- Now think about the last goal you had - was it realistic; do you need to break it down smaller? Then get back into it.
The people you hang out with can influence your motivation and how positive you are.
- It's a good idea to have someone supportive to encourage you along, and even better if this supportive person wants to try and reach the same goals - especially if you can work together.
- If you find that someone is making you slip up more, it might be a good idea to go it alone or find another supportive person to discuss your goals with.
When you first start, it can seem really hard to get going towards your goals. This is normal, as creating change can be tough.
- With good routines, over time it gets easier.
- The cravings for cigarettes, the desire to eat junk food, the anxiety in social situations, these all reduce over time with a good routine.
- Routines themselves eventually become something you just do; you won't even need to think about them much after awhile.
Now don't forget to have fun, will you? You won't stay motivated if all you do is worry about achieving your goals. Remember, everything in moderation, including moderation.
- The Second Story Youth Health Service (TSS)
- Central: 57 Hyde St, Adelaide
- South: 50a Beach Rd, Christies Beach
- North: 6 Gillingham Rd, Elizabeth
- West: 51 Bower Sr, Woodville
- Youth Health line on 1300 13 17 19,
or for mobile phone callers (08) 8303 1691, normal rates apply.
- Moodgym is a cognitive behavioural therapy program you can do online - it's about how your thinking affects your mood:
- Youth 2 Youth is dedicated to helping young people work out goals and create their own paths. You can sign up for their newsletter, 'The FRANK team' - full of info for enterprising young people:
- Vibewire is an online community created by young people for young people - a platform for people's energy and inspiration:
- Foundation for Young Australians is a not-for-profit organisation that helps young people develop initiatives that have sustainable outcomes and involve youth and community participation. Different grants are open at different times of the year, so it's well worth looking around on their site.
- Youth Mentoring Network. A mentor is someone with experience in a certain area, or areas, who provides advice, support and time to help others achieve their goals. On their site you can learn more about mentoring and search for a mentor:
Tkach, C. and Lyumbomirsky, S. How do people pursue happiness?: Relating personality, happiness-increasing strategies, and well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2006; 7:183-225. Online (cited 28/8/06):
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Youth Healthline on 1300 13 17 19 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).