Passion Centered Goals for Teens

Parents often come to my office looking for ways to help their teens improve their grades, manage anxiety, get into college, or make friends. All parents want the best for their teen or young adult. However, in the midst of college applications, soccer tryouts, finals, and report cards parents often forget to ask their teen, 

"What are your goals and dreams and how can I help YOU accomplish them?" 

In order to answer this question, I spend the first four to five weeks of therapy just getting to know my teen clients. It is imperative that I understand what it is like to be in their world.

After four sessions, I ask my teen clients if they would be willing to set what I like to call "Passion Centered Goals." These goals are firmly rooted in their individual hopes and dreams. The magic of spending ample amount of time getting to know my teen clients is that their "Passion Centered Goals," are almost always parallel to the goals their parents have for them. 

I ask my teen clients to answer the following questions when setting a "Passion Centered Goal:"

  1. My Passion Centered Goal is ____. 
  2. In the next 30 days I commit to ____ in order to take one step closer to accomplishing my goal. 
  3. This goal aligns with my belief that ____. 
  4. I am integrating my passions into this goal by ____. 
  5. My success will affect the following people in my life ____. 
  6. Achieving my goal positions me to be the best _____ that I can be. 
  7. "Pioneers" who have also accomplished this goal include ____,_____,_____. 
  8. I picture myself ____ when I accomplish this goal. 
  9. Achieving this goal makes it possible for me to ____. 
  10. I plan to celebrate my achievement on ____. 
  11. I will set my plan into motion by ____.
  12. One way that I am already taking small steps toward achieving this goal.