Monday, September 3, 2012
Write it Down!
Several days before the start of the new school year, my husband and I invited our daughter to go out for a nice dinner at her restaurant-of-choice. She chose Bahama Breeze, based solely on the fact that they offer a tropical smoothie that she adores. We told our daughter that the purpose of the dinner was to talk about her upcoming semester (her first in high school), to understand what she wanted to achieve in the different areas of her life, and to help her capture those dreams on paper.
Over house salads with pineapple vinaigrette and toasted pumpkin seeds, we asked her to brainstorm with us as to her different roles that she feels are important in her life. She came up with things like "student", "athlete", "daughter", and "sister". We suggested that she also fills a role at church as "first counselor in the MiaMaid class presidency", as a "friend", as an "individual", and as a "daughter of God".
After she decided on her specific roles that she wants to focus on, we suggested she list them in order of importance. We asked questions like, "Is being a soccer player as important as being a friend?", "Is being a friend as important as being a sister?" and "What do you think is the most important role you have?" We explained that with a very busy schedule, there would often be times when she would have to choose between "good, better, and best", and that it might be helpful to have already decided what her "non-negotiables" were, or what was "best" if she only had a small amount of time.
As she savored her main course, we encouraged her to set a goal or two under each role, something that she would love to be able to accomplish by Christmas. We talked with her about goals that were specific and attainable (a certain grade point average, a weekly letter to her sister), versus others that were too broad or difficult to quantify ("work on Personal Progress", or "get in great shape"). She reworded some things so that her own goals were measurable.
The idea of creating her semester in her head and heart in advance is that it encourages her to be constantly working toward excellence within a balanced life. Rather than just succeeding in soccer at the expense of everything else, wouldn't it be amazing to be able to have success in each of the important areas of her life??!
Tonight, she is going to type up her goals and print them out, and then we will encourage her to hang them on her bedroom wall where she will see them each day. Here's hoping that her first high school semester is memorable and is a great success!