Youths: Are you Setting Goals?

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The messenger: Summer 2001

Youths: Are you setting goals?

Do you think about your future? Many adults wish they had given it more thought, when they were younger. As a young person, many of the decisions you make, and habits you learn now, can either help or hinder you later in life. Now is your best opportunity to direct your course of study, and successfully reach your goals in life.

The key to success is to establish goals for yourself, and strive to reach them. One dictionary defines a goal as "the end toward which effort is directed." Where do you want to be, at the end of your compulsory education? Have you thought about it? Why not write down your goals and review them from time to time?

If you have not given much thought to personal goals, take some time to do so. Spend some time thinking about both long, and short-term goals. It is easy to consider long-term goals in the abstract, as something far off in the future that you don’t really need to work at today; but this could not be further from the truth! To reach your long-term goals, you must set short-term goals, to mark your progress. The famous saying, "A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step," really is true in this case!

For example, do you want to be a full-time Kingdom preacher in a foreign assignment (
long-term goal)? Then what are you doing to develop your teaching ability (short term goal)? Do you want to become employed in a particular profession (long-term goal) ? Then how does your selection of course work support that (short term goal)?

When you look at your list of goals, analyze your ideas about how you will reach them. Do any conflict with each other? If so, decide how this conflict could be resolved. It may be that some goals you thought would be beneficial will not fit in your long-range plan. If you lack motivation to reach your goal, ask yourself why. Have your priorities or circumstances changed? Have your study habits or associates changed? It may be useful to speak with your parents, or other mature adults, to help you establish realistic goals.

So, set your goals as best you can. Take your studies seriously. Don't be lazy! This is your life we are talking about!
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