file00027991725 resized 600As the new year approaches, lots of people are preparing to set resolutions and goals for 2014. As a teenager, you’re in the best position to set goals and keep them compared to adults.

Why? Setting goals and keeping them as a teen will help you carry those good habits over into adulthood and set you up for success in your life. Here are 6 tips for helping you set and reach goals this coming year:

  1. Be specific.
    When you’re first setting goals for yourself, understand that if you make large, sweeping goals, you’re just going to set yourself up for failure. For example, don’t say, “I want to do better in school.” Instead, pick something specific like “I want to get an A in math class.”
  2. Be realistic.
    Along these same lines, your goals need to be realistic. If you’re not good at math and hate it, you might not be able to get that A you want. You’ll avoid putting unrealistic pressure on yourself by picking a class you know you can work hard at and actually get a good grade in.
  3.  Determine individual steps.
    Once you’ve chosen your goals for 2014, figure out what steps you’re going to need to take to achieve those goals. Then focus on those, in sequence, one at a time. Using your attention this way makes you more likely to achieve each step and therefore your overall goal.

  4. Learn to say “no.”
    During the next year, you’ll have lots of demands on your time and attention, especially as a teen where you have to deal with friends, school, and maybe even a job. If any of these threaten your progress at achieving your goal, you shouldn’t feel bad saying “no” (when appropriate) if it’ll benefit your life in the long run.

  5. Reward yourself.
    If you can reward yourself every time you reach a checkpoint that you set, you’re more likely to keep going and meet your goals. Just got three out of your five steps done? You’re over halfway there and should feel free to reward yourself! Just remember to keep moving forward after you’re done celebrating.

  6. Learn from slip-ups.
    As hard as you work at achieving your goals, you may make mistakes and not be able to meet them all, or you might encounter rough patches in your journey. That’s okay – you’re human and it’s natural for these things to happen. The important thing is that you learn from problems, figure out how to work past them, and keep moving toward your end goal.

Following these goal-setting tips should help you meet your goals this next year as a teenager. And the more you practice these tips now, the more likely you’re going to successfully do the same thing in years to come.