Shooting for the Moon One Small Success at a Time – Setting Attainable Goals
Lesson 5 talked about how we need to redefine our perception of success to better fit who God has created your young dad to be. Once we have the correct perception of success and aren’t projecting our perception of it onto these young dads, we then can begin to show them a path toward success that is attainable, rewarding, and honors their God given dignity and calling. For many of them, success is something they see as belonging to others and not themselves. The events of their lives are often discouraging and those surrounding them have lived a life of futility and making it seem like they have no options. For that reason, not only achieving success but even the thought of pursuing it can seem overwhelming and just not worth the stress, strife, and effort to get there. It’s easier to just live the life those around them have lived and accept their fate, which usually ends up with them losing contact with their child.
This is one of the main reasons they need mentors. They need to be encouraged to pursue opportunities that will help them support themselves and use the gifts and talents God has given them. To do this, we must set attainable goals that will allow them to taste some level of success and leave them ready to work for more. Many of you, like me, are big picture people. You look at where we want to end up and undauntedly pursue that end until you’ve reached it. For these young dads, we need to show them the big picture, but emphasize the individual steps that will get them to their goal as much as we emphasize the goal itself.
Knowing how to set these goals will take a working knowledge of your mentee. Hopefully, you’re getting to know him well enough to understand some ways of motivating him. For some, it may be just overcoming the fear of walking on a college campus. Being the first in your family to do something can be scary and will take encouragement to overcome the fear. For some, just sitting down and thinking about what they want to do is a great first step. Then laying out how to get there, talking about the obstacles that need to be overcome and how they will overcome them, looking at what they can do right now that will start them down the road, and then scheduling the first step. By consciously pursuing goals one small step at a time, you’re building the confidence your young dad will need to succeed.
Be prepared to push your him somewhat. If they’ve never had someone in their life pushing them toward their goals, they may get lazy and even resent your constant push toward the goals they’ve set. The laziness can come from immaturity or maybe a defense mechanism. If they fail, they can live the life they’re familiar with. Pursuing the unknown is scary and will take encouragement. Your encouragement/push to succeed will be better received if you have a relationship with them. If they begin to think you care more about them reaching their goals then you do for them as a person, your encouragement will seem little more than nagging and will ultimately be ineffective. The better you know and care for your mentee, the better goals you’ll set because they will come from a place of caring. This is a great opportunity to remind them they are created in God’s image and for His glory and that He has a plan for them. A plan that they will be able to reach one small goal at a time.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. 21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. - Proverbs 19:20-21