Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sticking to the Game Plan

The CBC staff has recently been discussing ways in which we can help kids follow trough with personal goals and helping them realize how it feels to accomplish something that they thought might be too much or too hard. During the summer, we had many folks set goals for themselves including:

1. Complete the Trek Across Maine
2. Make it to the 500 Mile Club
3. Complete a bike to ride to and from work, school, or friends houses
4. Sleep over night at a friend’s house
5. Finish a ride longer than 5 miles

these are only a few. The thing to remember here is that it is easy to set goals, but much harder to follow through with. Coming up with ways to keep kids focused and determined is essential when helping them reach a certain goal. Some ideas:

1. Have them write things down. Write out goals as well as ways to stay motivated. Write down what your going to do when you achieve a goal-- celebrate with friends, have an ice cream, take a nap...
2. Revisit these ideas a few times per month. See where they are at with everything.
3. Set small goals to achieve something bigger. For example, finishing a bike in one day might be unrealistic, but getting the brakes to work is reasonable.
4. Set realistic goals.
5. Most importantly, be supportive through the good and the bad.

I got to thinking about goal setting and following through with plans recently when a participant at the CBC, who had set a goal for himself, wanted to, for lack of a better word, quit. His initial goal was to build a bike and instead of paying the $5 he would do chores around the shop to help pay off his bike.

The day he completed his bike, he had not yet completed his end of the deal, but instead brought in the $5 to pay for the bike. At first, I thought it to be okay, but after I really thought about it, I sat him down and explained to him what I was thinking. Of course, the tears started rolling and the participant thought he would never come back. After a while, we came up with a plan to stick to the original goal. He showed up the next day, worked off his bike, and rode it home that night.

Not only did he build a bike, not only did he work it off, he achieved a goal and
it is experiences like these that we look forward to as volunteers and staff.

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