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Checklist for Helping Youth Set Prevention Plus Wellness Goals

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One of the many unique aspects of Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) programs is our emphasis on helping youth and young adults set, monitor and achieve multiple health and fitness behavior goals.  We want young people to set goals to avoid alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and illicit drug use, while also making plans to improve wellness-promoting behaviors. 

Below is a check-list you can use to help youth and young adults set and achieve effective goals that with improve and protect their overall health, well-being and identity.   

1. Do the youths’ wellness goals address one or more of the key PPW behavior topics?  These include: 

  • Getting 8 or more hours of sleep each night;
  • Eating a healthy breakfast every day and eating a daily variety of nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • Participating in some fun physical activity, exercise or sport like riding a bike, running, swimming or playing soccer for at least 30 minutes on most days a week; and
  • Practicing daily stress control like meditation, deep breathing or yoga. 

2. Are they measurable?  All goals should include:

  • A specific health or fitness behavior you want to increase.  For example, jogging, swimming, soccer; NOT just I’ll get more exercise.
  • An amount of the behavior.  For example, how long each day (e.g., 10-60 minutes each time, number of servings).
  • How often the behavior will be performed.  For example, on how many days a week, and which days of the week.

3. Is the goal level set high enough to make youth have to work to achieve it?

4. Is the goal level set low enough to give youth a good chance of experiencing the success of reaching it?

5. Do the goals include a statement that youth pledge to avoid alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drug use, to ensure they will be successful in whatever other life goals they set?   

6. Did you ask youth to share examples of varied behavior goals they set to provide feedback on how to write an effective goal?

7. Were the goals signed and dated by the youth and a witness?  This public commitment will increase the youths’ motivation and seriousness to monitor and achieve their goals. 

8. Did you tell youth to set a date, time and place to review their initial goals one week from today?  This strategy gives them a chance to assess what successes and failures they’ve had, and allows them to revise their goal statement if needed to ensure they achieve future goals.

9. Did you congratulate the youth for taking the first and most important step toward improving their future health, fitness and success by setting goals?

10. Did you tell youth to post their goals in a place they could see and monitor them each day?  For example, on a wall, mirror or desk. 

11. Did you tell youth to focus on and celebrate the small gains they achieve each day, week and month?  This can include giving themselves small rewards for achieving goals reached.    

12. Did you encourage youth to keep trying to reach their goals?  Being successful in life and improving yourself and feeling good about yourself takes hard work and persistence.  Tell youth you know they can reach any goal they set their minds and hearts to achieve.  The key is to never quit!

For more information about Prevention Plus Wellness goal setting and programs, go to: http://preventionpluswellness.com or call: (904) 472-5022 


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