The Shocking Truth about Goals and Leadership

Actively setting and pursuing goals can greatly help you improve as a leader. Many of the skills you need to be a great leader, especially one who works with youth, can be developed indirectly by working toward a goal. You can even set goals to directly address areas where you would like to improve as a leader. Consider the following things that making and achieving goals can do for you:

Having a definite target positions you for success

It’s really good to get clear about what you want and what you’re trying to accomplish. Otherwise, how will you know when it’s done? Class and quorum presidents need help with determining objectives for their callings and may need you to help them get that clarity. If you know how to do that for yourself, it will be easier to help someone else to do it.

Goal-setting helps with self-mastery

This life is a journey of self-mastery. Much of our role as youth leaders requires a certain level of self-mastery. It takes some self-mastery to not come unglued when a teenager is deliberately rude. It takes self-mastery when an activity completely falls apart one hour before it’s supposed to happen. It takes self-mastery to help our youth self-discover an answer to a problem when we already know it.

Making progress on a goal creates a sense of accomplishment

Great youth leaders have good self-esteem. Setting and achieving goals helps with that. I also think that your self-esteem is contagious. People who feel good about themselves build others and help them to feel good about themselves.

Goals help you break down a big project into smaller pieces

Many of the objectives we have in the youth programs of the church are pretty big projects, whether we’re talking about helping our youth prepare to go to the temple one day, planning camp or a Mutual activity. Those are all objectives that are best reached by breaking them down to smaller steps. If you are already practicing this in your life, you will be better able to help the youth “baby-step” their way through everything that needs to be done in the young men and young women programs.

Goals help you get the best results

This might be my favorite reason to set goals. Everyone wants to get the best results they can, don’t they? I know I do. Your class and quorum presidencies probably do, too.

You’ll be better-prepared to set goals with you class and quorum presidencies

Goal-setting and achieving is a skill that needs practice. As you counsel with your youth leaders, there will be times when it will make sense to set goals. You will be a great guide and mentor to help them do that in a way that will help them be successful. That success leads to a sense of achievement and that sense of achievement helps support good self-esteem.


How to Help Young Women Set Goals for Personal Progress

The beginning of the year is a great time to re-focus and reset things personally, as well as a leader. I’ve been thinking a lot about goals lately- How to help my young women set them and what goals I could make for myself to improve myself as a young women leader.

When it comes to making goals, I love the acronym SMART to help me remember how to do it. In case you’ve never heard of it before, here’s what it stands for.

How to Help Young Women Set Goals

  1. Specific. 
  2. Measurable.
  3. Actionable
  4. Realistic
  5. Time-bound

Four other key points to keep in mind.

Limit the number of goals you make. Twenty is not realistic, but 5-7 is doable.

Write them down. My memory is not good enough for me to clearly remember the details of all my goals, is yours? I just read a really interesting post about how to write them down. You should go check it out.

Look at them often. If you’re not reviewing your goals regularly, you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re most likely not working on them.

Tell a few people who can hold you accountable.

Now, let’s take a look at how this works with helping young women make goals in the Personal Progress program.

  • First of all, make goals with them instead of for them. Please. There is plenty of room within the young women program for them to make decisions about where they want to go and what they want to work on. There’s a reason why we have 8 values and several experiences for each value in Personal Progress. This allows them choices within a boundary.
  • I meet with my young women monthly so they can report their progress to me and set their next goal.
  • Before New Beginnings and before Young Women in Excellence, ask them what they would like to accomplish in time for those events.
  • Let them choose the value/experiences they want to work on.
  • If they get stuck on project ideas, give them three or four ideas to choose from.
  • Choose a deadline together. It’s good for them to practice setting reasonable deadlines for themselves.
  • Check back with them once or twice before the deadline and again on the deadline.
  • Write it down. I keep a tracking sheet in my binder for each girl where I write down their goals and deadlines.
  • Have them write it down. This will help them to recall what they have committed to do.
  • Help them break bigger goals down into smaller chunks.

You can also help them to make goals in other areas of their lives. Using some of these same ideas. Every month, my class presidency sets goals when we review our class fellowshipping plan.

What helps you when it comes to setting goals with your young women?