Every achievement, great or small, has a first step. For many teenagers, that first step can be the most difficult one to take. The task ahead can seem too hard. The bigger goal seems too far away. But no significant achievement happens all at once. Taking that first step, and the feeling of accomplishment that goes with it, may be just what teens need to give them the confidence to achieve their goals.
Teens may also hesitate to take that first step because they’re waiting for a lucky break. They wait around, hoping for things to happen for them or to them instead of making things happen themselves. Sometimes this is because they see the lifestyles of the athletes and entertainers they look up to, but they don’t see all the small steps they took to reach superstar status.
Kobe Bryant didn’t wake up one day with elite basketball skills. He had to develop them through years of practice long before he won his first NBA title. Sure, he has a ton of natural talent, but he still had to develop his skills. His focus and practice day after day, compounded over time, turned him into one of the best and most accomplished basketball players of all time.
In SUCCESS for Teens®, teenager Jacob Suarez tells how he learned to break big projects up into smaller pieces. He used to be a procrastinator, often rushing to complete his schoolwork the day before it was due. One day he got a big assignment to design a school theatre production.
“I had to choose the lighting and draw the sets to scale; I had to have a budget; I had to have costumes,” Jacob says. “I had two months to do it for our final.”
He knew he couldn’t put this project off and scramble to complete it at the end. So, he created a schedule of smaller tasks to complete over the following two months. “I made a list of everything I needed to get done and what day it needed to get done by,” Jacob says. “I would do a costume this day, a set design the next day.”
At first, it seemed like a huge project, but Jacob set a goal and took small steps to organize and complete it piece by piece. He had to break his bad procrastination habit, but he learned that even though some goals are difficult to reach, they are much easier to achieve by taking small, important steps along the way.
“It seems like a daunting task at first to change your attitude and the little things here and there, but once you break it down it will make you so much more successful in the long run,” Jacob says of his experience.
Make sure your teen knows that the first step is the most important one. Breaking up a task into smaller steps makes achieving your goals easier. It’s the small steps and choices you make over time that eventually lead to achieving your dreams.