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5 Tips to Help Students Set Healthy Life Goals
5 Tips to Help Students Set Healthy Life Goals
Wednesday, 19th May 2021 ThinkSmart Software

In today's day and age, people often have a desire to become more fit and healthy. When people think about becoming healthier they usually only think of one aspect - physical health. However, when it comes to physical activity, whether that's dancing, swimming, gymnastics, or even playing a musical instrument, mental and emotional health are also equally important. If your students don't feel well in any aspect of their life, it may impact their performance. Conversely, if all they do is set goals for their dancing performance, for example, and do nothing else, that could wind up affecting their health in other ways.

In order to support students, instructors need to assist them to set healthy life goals. Yes, those goals will invariably involve getting better at their craft, but it's also essential to have secondary objectives. These often work in tandem to create a better, well-rounded individual.

Encourage Students to Think of the Bigger Picture

Depending on how young your students are, they can sometimes be susceptible to not thinking about the "big picture". An adolescent might want to drop out of school to pursue a career in tennis. On the flip side, there are cases where students wish to drop out of their sport or activity because they feel they need to spend every waking moment studying for school.

Both extremes tend to cause issues. Physical activity and hobbies are essential to creating a well-rounded personality and a healthier lifestyle. Plus, most activities, like music or gymnastics, help keep the mind sharp in ways that often show up in academic endeavours.

When discussing goals with your students, consider taking the time to ask about what they want out of their lessons. Please encourage them to think about how these lessons fit in the bigger picture of their dreams and goals. Are they a hobby or something that they're serious about doing professionally? Having this information will help you provide guidance to set achievable goals.

Encourage Students to Avoid Burnout

In the UK, 74% of people "felt so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope". Young adults and even young children are often more susceptible to this than adults. Juggling extra-curricular activities, school, getting grades, preparing for university, and more all take their toll on mental health.

The pressure to excel at their academic courses and outside activities can lead to burnout. Unfortunately, for younger people, this can often have catastrophic consequences. If an adult feels burnout, they may choose to take some time out to recharge their batteries. However, if a young person experiences burnout, their participation in academic scores, sports, and hobbies could be affected. In turn, this can have life-altering consequences, including being unable to go to university or get to the next level in their other activities or pathways.

Therefore, when it comes to goal-setting, consider each pupil’s current situation. If your students are in school and exams are coming up, maybe they should reduce their attendance over the exam period. Being flexible and working with students to help them make healthy choices will model realistic goal-setting for them. They can then take that knowledge and apply it to other aspects of life.

Consider Encouraging Your Students to Live an Active Lifestyle

Unfortunately, in today's world, people don't get enough physical activity. In Australian teens, for example, 9 out of 10 kids don't get enough exercise. Australia ranks 140th out of 146 countries in this study, with the UK, USA, Canada, and other Western nations doing much better.

Leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause a wide range of problems, including diabetes, heart issues, and more. Fortunately, dancing, swimming, playing tennis, and more encourage kids to be physically active. Even if your particular niche isn't "active" per se, you may wish to encourage your students to get other forms of physical activity. Exercise is not only excellent for the body, but it's also fantastic for the mind.

If you want to encourage your students to set healthy life goals, you should also encourage them to set goals to be healthy. The path to being an excellent swimmer, for example, almost assuredly requires setting a goal to be healthy.

Make Goals Achievable Through Incremental Progress

Often, the problem with setting goals is that they are either too ambitious or under-ambitious. Setting a goal to be a billionaire at the end of the year is probably too ambitious, but setting an objective to have $10 in your bank account is an example of being under-ambitious.

Instead, encourage students to set realistic goals that have a roadmap. If you are a guitar instructor, the plan could be to learn a new song. However, instead of "learn new song" being the goal, maybe the goal has multiple components. First, the student needs to learn the chords. Then, they need to know the solo parts. There's also timing that needs mastery.

By breaking down each goal into smaller parts, achieving it seems much more attainable. With every goal your student sets, encourage them not merely to think about the objective but also to list specific steps to achieving it.

Be a Role Model for Goal Setting

Ideally, as the coach, instructor, or mentor, you would be a role model for goal setting. That means having a crisp, clear vision for what you want to achieve and always making sure you can articulate that to students.

For example, let's say you're a dance instructor who has never mastered one particular move. When talking about goals and what students want to achieve in the class, you could say that you're working on learning this one move/technique, but that since you work regularly, you recognise it will take longer than usual. Plus, you're demonstrating that learning and mastering skills are lifelong endeavours, which is essential for all students to know. This also highlights that goal setting is a lifelong endeavour, where continuous improvement is a constant process.

Setting Healthy Life Goals Is One of the Keys to Success

Healthy goals are one of the keys to success. The trick, of course, is not to set unhealthy ones (ones that are too ambitious, would lead to burnout, or cause other problems). Setting goals is also a bit of an art, where you will eventually develop a feel for how high you and your students can strive without leading to any problems.

Please take the time to work with your students to develop these goals. They're essential for success, not just in your industry but in life in general.

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