Mentor Tip: Goal Setting

Send this message to the mentors only.

Subject: Mentoring tips on goal setting

In the following statements successful people with disabilities share how they have set goals and developed high expectations for themselves. These quotations may serve to prepare you for helping teens set high yet achievable goals for themselves.

  • As for personal goals, I had a saying after I became disabled: "Once I am able to water-ski again, I'll know I can do anything, because water-skiing takes strength, endurance, and balance, three things that I lacked. When I can water-ski, I'll know I have these three things again." Well, I am proud to say that this past summer I not only water-skied again, but I got up on my first try!!! So, although reality says that I may not be capable of doing ANYTHING, I know that I can accomplish a lot more now that I came up on the skis! (college student who had a stroke)
  • I'm just stubborn and I refuse to lower my expectations. (college student with a mobility impairment)
  • Very early on, I became the stubborn guy I am today. "Can't" wasn't in my vocabulary, which was helped by parents who offered me opportunities to do most of the things everyone else did and encouraged me to set high standards. By now, I realize that everyone has a path in life that their unique set of talents and lack thereof give them. I will never be mistaken for an athlete. However, knowing what talents I do have, I press myself to be the best historian/philosopher/writer that I can be. (college student with a mobility impairment)
  • I am still in the process of learning to "stretch," but I start by identifying what I can already do—what I am comfortable doing and feel good at. Then I say to myself (sometimes in writing), I can do more. I can do better; what is it BEYOND what I already can do that I want to be able to do? Then I write down goals and make efforts to "stretch" myself. (adult with hearing and mobility impairments)