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How Teens Benefit by Reflecting on their Goal Pursuits (Step 8 of the Doable Process)

How Teens Benefit by Reflecting on their Goal Pursuits (Step 8 of the Doable Process)

This is the last post in my ongoing series in which I offer parents, mentors, teachers, and people who work with teens an inside look at my new book Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything, as well as share tips for supporting the girls in your life as they work towards their own goals. My last post covered Step 7 of the Doable process: Deal with Setbacks. This post covers the eighth and final step of the Doable process, DELIVER THE GOODS. This last step, which is devoted to acknowledging and reflecting on the outcome of any goal pursuit, is often overlooked. When one thing comes to a conclusion, many people tend to move on to whatever’s next without taking the time to pause. But because one of the primary goals of Doable is to help teens learn about themselves and discover how they can best create the life they want, this step is as critical as any other along the way. No matter what type of goal or To Do is being pursued, at some point there will be a “result” or outcome for the goal: Achieve it: Accomplishing the goal as stated Almost achieve it: Accomplishing the goal but not in the exact way envisioned Change course: Deciding along the way that the goal isn’t a priority anymore Fail to achieve it: Being unsuccessful in reaching the goal What I want teens to realize is that there is value in all four of these outcomes. The key to tapping into this value is REFLECTION. In Doable, I encourage girls to reflect on their journey by journaling their answer to the following questions, depending on the outcome of their pursuit: Achieving the Goal or Almost... read more
5 Ways to Help Your Teen Face (and Embrace) Failure (Step 7 of the Doable Process)

5 Ways to Help Your Teen Face (and Embrace) Failure (Step 7 of the Doable Process)

This week’s post is part of my ongoing series for parents, mentors, teachers, and people who work with teens, in which I offer an inside look at my new book Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything, plus share tips for supporting the girls in your life as they work towards their own goals. In my last post I covered Step 6 of the Doable process: Do the Work, which is about understanding and embracing one’s personal doable style. This post covers Step 7: of the Doable process—DEAL WITH SETBACKS. Why have a whole step about setbacks? Because they’re an inevitable part of working towards any goal or pursuit, and so it’s critical that teens learn to not only expect setbacks, but embrace them so they don’t derail the whole process of pursuing goals or dreams. As I write in Doable, “No matter how finely planned a pursuit, something is bound to go wrong along the way…it’s just part of the deal.” So, since failures and setbacks are the cost of doing business, getting past them is an important skill to develop. In this chapter, I present a simple DIY Coaching approach for doing just that. It involves three steps: Accept that a setback is simply part of the goal-getting journey. By doing this right away, we don’t give the setback too much weight and therefore it’s less likely to put us into a tailspin that will throw us off course. Allow yourself to experience the emotions tied to the setback or failure in a healthy way. I remind teens that disappointment, frustration, and sadness are appropriate emotions and working through them is great, while “awfulizing” and fixating on extreme emotions like despair doesn’t do any good.... read more
The Benefits of Knowing Your Doable Style (Step 6 of the Doable Process)

The Benefits of Knowing Your Doable Style (Step 6 of the Doable Process)

As part of my ongoing series giving parents, mentors, teachers, and anyone who works with teens a behind-the-scenes look at my new book Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything, this post offers an inside scoop on STEP 6 of the Doable process: DO THE WORK. Perhaps my favorite part of the doable process, this step walks readers through the interesting, and infinitely helpful, process of identifying the way in which they DO things. I have seen so many children, teens, and adults alike, frustrate themselves and everyone around them by trying to do something in a way that doesn’t come naturally to them. Look at most educational systems—the standard modus operandi is to focus on areas of deficits, not strengths. “Oh, you’re not very good at collaborating in large groups? Well then, by all means, let’s do more of that so you can get better!” I happen to believe that everyone wins when we are encouraged to lean into and focus on our strengths. By capitalizing on and nurturing our strengths, we can contribute our best, and feel good about ourselves while doing it. This idea is the key takeaway for this chapter. I want teen girls to get to know how they best DO things and in what types of conditions they can be their most productive, comfortable, and confident selves, so they can be conscious about creating these conditions as they pursue any goal or dream. I’ve come up with thirteen different “doable styles” that I present to readers. I encourage them to read through the definition of each one and make a note of the styles that most feel like them.... read more
5 Ways To Help Your Teen Know What Success Looks Like (Step 5 of the Doable process)

5 Ways To Help Your Teen Know What Success Looks Like (Step 5 of the Doable process)

This blog post is part of my ongoing series aimed at giving parents, mentors, teachers, and anyone who works with teens a behind-the-scenes look at my new book, Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything. In last week’s post, I walked you through Step 4 of the Doable process, which was about Developing Support Systems. Today we’re going to take a closer look at… STEP 5: DETERMINE WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE Back in step one where girls are getting concrete on their goals, I touched upon this idea of making sure one has a clear picture of what success looks like, but it’s such a crucial part of pursuing a goal that it merits its own chapter. Because once you are clear on exactly what success looks like, then measuring whether or not a goal or to-do has been achieved is simple. You’ve either done it or you haven’t. Here’s what I mean, using a goal / dream I hear from many teen girls when asked what they want to do in their lives: I want to change the world. Defining the To Do (step 1 of the Doable process) means spelling out what that actually means, using action language and concrete tasks: I want to regularly volunteer for organizations that are working towards eliminating poverty. Determining what success looks like takes it one step further, by including measurable outcomes: By the end of the month, I will be a volunteer with an anti-poverty organization in my community and will be scheduled to volunteer at least two hours a week.  See what I mean? They’ve either done it or they haven’t. THE CONTROL TEST In this chapter, I also... read more
Help for Teens is Everywhere If You Know Where (and how) to Look (Step 4 of the Doable Process)

Help for Teens is Everywhere If You Know Where (and how) to Look (Step 4 of the Doable Process)

This post is part of my ongoing series aimed at giving parents, mentors, teachers, and anyone who works with teens a behind-the-scenes look at my new book for teens, Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything. In last week’s post, I unpacked Step 3: Defend Against Obstacles, which covers the specific types of obstacles teens face when trying to accomplish something and provides strategies for moving beyond them. Today I’m going to tell you about Step 4: Develop Support Systems. I include this step in Doable for two reasons: 1) Many of us have an underlying belief that if we can’t do something on our own it’s a sign of weakness or an indication that we shouldn’t be pursuing it in the first place 2) Spinning our wheels doing things for which systems or resources already exist—technology, apps, organizations, communities—is a waste of time (and can be a form of procrastination) I believe that a person who knows how to seek out and embrace support is someone who will be able to figure out how to do anything in life. Step 4 looks at the who, the what, and the how of getting support. WHO: Support can come in many different forms—human resources (teachers, coaches, mentors, parents, etc.), organizations, societies, technology, and more. I encourage girls to do a broad sweep and consider what already exists that might help them be successful in reaching their goal. This might mean anything from joining an volunteer organization aligned with their goal of working with animals to taking on online class on Adobe InDesign so they can learn how to lay out the school newspaper. Resources are everywhere. WHAT: In order for support to be effective, it... read more
5 Ways You Can Help Teens Get Past Their Obstacles (Step 3 of the Doable Process)

5 Ways You Can Help Teens Get Past Their Obstacles (Step 3 of the Doable Process)

Today’s post continues my series to bring you inside my new book for teens, Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything, so you can have the inside scoop on my Doable approach and tips for helping the teen girls in your life apply it to their own lives. In last week’s post, I took you inside Step 2: Detail the Little Tasks, which centers around breaking the big goal down into the smallest possible tasks. Today I’ll focus on Step 3: DEFEND AGAINST OBSTACLES. While every step in the Doable process is important, I find this step to be the one that provides the best bang for the buck, since it covers the specific types of obstacles teens face when trying to accomplish something, and then provides tried and true strategies for moving beyond those obstacles. The BIG idea in this chapter is quite simple: everyone faces obstacles when trying to get things done. It’s not a bad thing…it’s just part of the process. The key, I explain, is to do these two things: Part 1: Learn what obstacles typically get in your way Part 2: Proactively create a strategy to get past those obstacles Simple, right? But though it’s easy in concept, fully getting behind this idea of embracing obstacles can be difficult, especially because the refrain “you’re doing it wrong” or “you’re screwing up” can often be stuck in a teen’s head like a broken record. On a fundamental level, successfully embracing STEP 3 means changing one’s thinking. It means embracing the notion that obstacles aren’t bad…they’re just reality. They’re the price of doing business and getting things done. Once insecurity or shame around getting stuck is out of the equation,... read more
4 Strategies for Helping Your Teen Break Down Her Goals (Step 2 of the Doable Process)

4 Strategies for Helping Your Teen Break Down Her Goals (Step 2 of the Doable Process)

This post is part of my ongoing series to bring you—parents, mentors, teachers, and other teen advocates—an inside look at my new book for teens, Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything. In last week’s post, I took you inside Step 1 of the Doable process: Define the To Do, which is about ensuring a goal is concrete, can be measured or tracked, and has clear steps that can be taken in order for it to be reached. Today I’m going to share Step 2 with you, DETAIL THE LITTLE TASKS, as well as give you tips for how you can help teen girls apply this step in their own lives. Detailing the little tasks is exactly what it sounds like—breaking down the big goal into the smallest possible tasks that go into a successful outcome. This step is a critical part of pursuing any goal, especially because OVERWHELM is one of the biggest obstacles teens face when trying to tackle their To Dos. More often than not, overwhelm stems from not knowing how to get started or simply feeling daunted by the scope and scale of the goal they’re looking to achieve. But when a goal is broken down into small steps, steps that in and of themselves are simple and easy to cross of the list, suddenly a goal-getter will find themselves making progress. In this chapter of Doable, I highlight some of my key strategies for mastering this Step: Spend time researching everything that goes into a particular goal or To Do Break the goal down into as small tasks as possible. If any tiny task feels daunting, break it down even further Schedule the time for making the... read more
6 Ways To Help Your Teen Get Clarity Around Her Goals (Step 1 of the Doable Process)

6 Ways To Help Your Teen Get Clarity Around Her Goals (Step 1 of the Doable Process)

In my last blog post, I shared with you my inspiration and personal WHY for writing Doable—to help teen girls feel confident in creating what they want in their lives today (and hopefully miss out on a whole slew of self-esteem sucking experiences in the process). In this post, I’m going to introduce you to the first step of my eight-step Doable process, DEFINE THE TO DO, as well as give you some specific tips for how you can support the teen girls in your life as they tackle this step. Defining the To Do might seem like an incredibly obvious part of goal-setting, but you’d be surprised at how many people, teens and adults like, invest time and energy working towards a goal that they aren’t super clear on. Today, more than ever, it’s all too easy to get caught up in being busy, busy, busy without slowing down to considering the whys and whats for everything on our plate By neglecting to Define the To Do, teens are already at a deficit, since unclear goals: can remain in what I call “Dreamland Limbo” (Someday I’ll do this… I want to do that…) run the risk of being too vague to map out a doable path of steps might not be goals the doer actually wants to achieve in the first place may not be 100% within the goal-getters control might not have a successful outcome built into them THE DOABLE TEST For Step One—Define the To Do, I encourage teens to make sure their goal passes The Doable Test by asking these three questions:  Can the goal or the result of the goal be measured or tracked? Are there clear... read more
The Real Secret to Making Anything Doable

The Real Secret to Making Anything Doable

One of the things I stress with my clients is the importance of getting clear on their personal why for whatever they want to do or create. This idea was first introduced to me by Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, and it’s something I’ve brought to my own work ever since. For today’s blog post, I thought it might be helpful to share with you my personal why for Doable, as well as explain why I see it as more than a book about reaching goals. Perhaps my greatest motivator for all the writing I do for teen girls is a desire to provide the kinds of resources that I never had access to as a teen. As a teenager (and beyond) I felt mostly ill-equipped and uninformed about how to reach my dreams, which were modest and simple along the lines of being in the Olympics or becoming the Diane Fossey of panda bears or being on Broadway or becoming an author / filmmaker / journalist / news producer / insert high-profile job here. You get the point. I wanted to do it all, and I had no idea how to get there. More than that, I felt like a screw up much of the time and like no one took me seriously. Also, if the above picture is any indicator, I apparently thought that teasing my hair in an attempt to look like Robbie Smith from The Cure was a good idea. (This was 1986.) You can see why things might not have been going so well. Plainly... read more
10 Things That Get in the Way of Girls Reaching Their Goals

10 Things That Get in the Way of Girls Reaching Their Goals

A father emailed me recently and asked how he could give his teen daughter my book Doable without her rolling her eyes at it. And furthermore, would it help her keep her room clean? When I read that email, it occurred to me that it’s easy to get stuck in seeing teens through our own lens of what effort or success looks like. The problem is, this lens doesn’t represent the full picture, which might result in girls feeling unsupported or misunderstood by the very people who want nothing more than to support and understand them. I wrote Doable for every girl, because after talking with hundreds of young women, I know they all have big, ginormous, hugely aspirational hopes and dreams. And they also want to do things like stop teasing their little sister or find a way to remember to put their clothes in the hamper before bedtime. While Doable is for teen girls and young women, I’ve decided to write a blog series focused on the content of Doable just for you—the parents, mentors, teachers, coaches, and other important advocates in young women’s lives. Just like Doable is aimed at giving girls strategies for accomplishing anything they set out to do, this series will bring you inside my Doable process and give you strategies for supporting girls in their goal chasing. But first, it’s critical to recognize this simple fact: ALL GIRLS HAVE GOALS. Even if they seem like they’re unmotivated or lazy or disinterested or distracted, they have (big) things they want to do. BUT…they don’t know how to do them. While researching my book, I asked hundreds of girls what specifically got in their way... read more

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