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8 Steps to Setting Goals with Help from a Mentor

Setting goals, whether they are long or short term, is an important life skill that everyone should have the opportunity to learn. However, it can be confusing to know where to start when setting out to create reachable goals. Before we get to how we can create goals, let’s discuss exactly what we mean when we use the term “goal”.

A goal is a plan of action that can be written, specific, measurable, visualized, timely, and manageable. For our Club kids a goal can come in all “shapes and sizes”, so to speak. One member’s goal may be to attend school every day for one week while another’s could be to make the junior varsity lacrosse team next season. No matter how long it takes or what the goal centers around, they are all important. It is important for mentors to help their mentees set goals during time spent together.

The following 8 steps, which have been adapted from a recent Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention training webinar, can guide your Club kids to goal setting success with the help from mentors in your Club!

  1. Form a goal-setting group. Forming a group can be done at the beginning of a match or at the start of programming cycle. A group can help support both mentors and mentees as they set and achieve their goals, work through activities that will help attain goals, and provide insight when things do not go as planned.

  2. Identify methods for gathering input. Input from other individuals or resources can help a mentor/mentee prepare for what actions will need to be completed to achieve a goal.

  3. Hold a goal-setting meeting. Have mentees and mentors gather ideas they have collected from brainstorming their goals. During the meeting mentors and mentees can sort their goals into categories to help better understand the intended outcome. Examples of categories could be how long it is expected to achieve the goal, content of the goal (i.e. educational, personal, health related), or what resources will be needed to get to the goal.

  4. Set goals by writing goals down. Once the goals are written down, prioritize activities; especially if one goal is dependent on another. Outline the goal, determine steps needed to achieve the goal, and set a timeline of when the goal should be achieved.

  5. Share your goals with your group. They can help encourage goal achievement between mentor/mentee pairings.

  6. Make an Action Plan. Make an action plan to achieve the goals in a S.M.A.R.T. way. For the plan to be S.M.A.R.T. it should be:

    S: Specific
    M: Measureable
    A: Achievable
    R: Relevant
    T: Time limited

  7. Carry out the plan. Set times with your goal-setting group to check in on how everyone is working to achieve their goals. Mentor/mentee pairs can help encourage others past a rough spot or celebrate the successes of completing activities that will help achieve the goals that were created.

  8. Evaluate the plan. Evaluation can be a scary word. However, it doesn’t need to be. A mentor/mentee pair can sit down together and discuss what they did to achieve the goal, how it felt along the way, and why it is important to set goals.

With just eight steps, you can engage your Club kids and their mentors in learning how to set goals. Each step can be modified and molded to best fit your Club, your group of mentors and mentees, and the goals they want to achieve. Share with us how you encourage your mentors and mentees to work together by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  today!