One thing troubled teens need to know despite the struggles of a difficult adolescence is that the future is full of possibility, and that they can be happy and successful in their lives. Part of our work at the school is zeroing in on what these possibilities might be for students. This includes helping them set goals and making sure they have the tools to achieve them.
A recent article highlights two critical elements for achieving happiness and success in life, which we can apply to ourselves, as well as to our students. First, we need figure out what it is we want. The famous quote by Zig Ziglar is appropriate here: If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
Second, we need to prime ourselves to achieve the goal we set (a one-time goal or a long term behavioral change) by repeatedly coming back and reviewing it. Students here are reminded throughout the day of certain goals they’ve set: academic goals as well as goals like living more honestly or unselfishly. We need to do the same. Reviewing our goals frequently, as faithfully as we’d keep a doctor’s appointment, is key.
Even more critical is making sure our environment supports us in our efforts to reach our goals. That’s not a problem for our students here because everything about the therapeutic boarding school environment is geared to success. But the rest of us have to create our own supportive environment. We need to surround ourselves with the people, things, and positive mental attitudes that support our goals and the changes we want to make. And we need to remove ourselves from any negativity that undermines or blocks our efforts. Read the full article here.