If you’ve ever had an email waiting in your inbox, begging for a reply, you know “just do it” is easier said than done. You press “snooze” and give yourself a free pass to reply later.
Now, imagine how that applies to larger goals you've been "putting on snooze."
You want to write a book. You want to sleep 8 hours per night. You want to create a blog.
You set the schedule, and for the month of September, you’re hitting your targets. But October comes around and you’ve missed a chapter deadline. You’re down to 6 hours of sleep. You’ve written a blog post but convinced yourself it’s not good enough.
And you give up. Self-imposed mental blocks are crippling.
We often avoid telling others about our goals because that would mean someone else expects us to achieve them. Someone else would hold us accountable.
For middle and high schoolers, there is no better time to build this habit.
How can you let their imagination run wild while also teaching them what it means to bring an idea to fruition? If they want to start a bracelet business, how can you show them what it means to take that idea from inception to product?
Give them someone who will hold them accountable to see their dreams through the finish line and beyond.
As parents, it can be tough to be the one to hold kids accountable, to always be the one who asks, “Have you finished building that site you mentioned? Have you emailed that business owner?”
That’s where a mentor can come in.
Whether it’s a mentor or you yourself, here are a few tips for helping your child hold themselves accountable and see their dreams through:
No one is an expert on their first try, and it’s especially important for students to understand that the goal is growth, not perfection. If you think you have to write a perfect first draft of a pilot, it’s tempting to avoid starting.
Theodore Roosevelt put it best: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
Where do you want to be in 6 months? 12 months? 5 years? Put pen to paper and create an “I want to do [X] by [date]” statement.
For example, “Learn more about crypto” isn’t specific enough, but “I want to create my own crypto token by March” is, and that’s exactly what Teddy did with his mentor Charlie!
Now that you’ve set your long-term goal, work backwards from it to reverse engineer achievable, small steps.
Use to-do lists! Make an advent calendar! It might seem impossible to “Create a blog about different career paths” like Natalie did, but it’s not impossible to “Reach out to one writer and ask about their journey.”
It can be easy to lose track of how far you’ve come, especially with long-term goals, but even marathon runners have mile markers! Track your progress in small increments so you can look back and recognize the strides you’ve made.
Maybe you’ll realize you need a new game plan to get where you want to be. That’s okay, too!
So if you’re trying to build a website, celebrate every new page! If you’re trying to get better at standup comedy, compare your new material to the old to see how much you’ve improved!
In line with #4, don’t just track your progress: CELEBRATE IT! This is a journey of self-improvement, and it takes resilience and determination to get there.
Remember to celebrate your hard work, whether it’s by sharing it with your friends and family, or rewarding yourself with your favorite soda when you hit a milestone.
One of the best ways to take the weight of your goals off your own shoulders is to lean on friends and mentors for support. Involve others in your journey who will hold you accountable, be a sounding board, and push you to dream bigger.
Regardless of your student’s goal, Curious Cardinals mentors are here with the expertise and compassion necessary to keep them accountable and help them achieve it.
Gone are the days when a student encounters a gap in their knowledge, loses confidence, and stops in their footsteps. A mentor is there to champion them to the finish line.
Schedule a brainstorm session today to see how one of our world-class mentors can help your child bring their dreams to fruition.
The time is now. Just do it!
Co-founder and CEO, Curious Cardinals