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Intermediate-Term Goals for Teens & High School Students

A great middle ground to help you reach your long-term goals.


Intermediate-term goals are a great stepping stone between short-term and long-term goals that can help you reach whatever you’re striving for.

Typically, intermediate-term goals are typically goals you can accomplish in one to five years. Sound daunting?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Dive into this guide and discover how to set achievable targets, distinguish good from bad goals, and even get your parents on board.

Let’s unlock your potential together!

Importance of Setting Intermediate-Term Goals as a Teenager

It’s crucial for teens to set intermediate-term goals as it provides a roadmap for their future success. Picture it like this: you’re on a journey, and these goals are your milestones, guiding you towards your ultimate destination. They break down the overwhelming long-term objectives into manageable chunks that seem less daunting.

You might wonder, why bother with these smaller targets? Well, they keep you focused and motivated. You see, every time you achieve one of these goals, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s like ticking off tasks on your to-do list – satisfying, isn’t it?

Moreover, setting such goals helps develop essential life skills like planning and decision-making. As a teen, making choices about college courses or career paths can be pretty stressful. However, having clear intermediate-term goals can help ease this tension by providing clarity and direction.

Remember, though, while setting these goals is vital, don’t forget to enjoy the journey, too! Life isn’t just about reaching destinations; it’s also about learning from our experiences along the way. So go ahead – set those intermediate-term goals, but make sure to cherish every milestone reached in your path toward success!

How to Set Intermediate-Term Goals as a Teenager

As a teenager, you’ll find that learning to set mid-range objectives can be a game-changer in your personal growth and academic success. It’s not just about setting these goals but also crafting them so they’re achievable, measurable, and time-bound.

Here are the steps you’d want to follow:

  • Identify what you want to achieve: This could be anything from improving your grades, learning a new skill, or even building better relationships.
  • Be specific: Instead of saying, ‘I want to do well on my exams,’ say, ‘I aim to get at least 85% on all my subjects this semester.’
  • Create an action plan: Break down the goal into smaller tasks that can be accomplished over time.
  • Keep track of your progress: Regularly check how well you’re moving towards achieving your goal.

Remember, intermediate-term goals serve as stepping stones toward reaching more significant life ambitions. They help keep you focused and motivated while providing valuable experiences along the way.

Examples of Good Intermediate-Term Goals for Teenagers

For instance, a good mid-range objective for a young person might be learning to play a musical instrument within a year, acquiring conversational proficiency in a foreign language in one to two years, or saving enough money from part-time jobs to buy your first car before graduation. These goals are achievable yet challenging and serve as motivating forces that can help shape your teenage years.

Also, you could aim to improve your athletic abilities by training consistently and making the varsity team. If academics is your forte, setting a goal to maintain an ‘A’ average throughout the year or qualify for an academic scholarship would be apt. Participating in community service projects and aiming to clock in specific volunteer hours is another commendable intermediate-term goal.

Remember that each person’s goals are unique to them. While it’s great to draw inspiration from others’ objectives, it’s crucial that you set goals based on what you’re passionate about and where you see yourself heading. After all, these goals aren’t just checkboxes – they’re stepping stones toward shaping who you’ll become. Keep striving!

Examples of Bad Intermediate-Term Goals for Teenagers

On the flip side, you’d want to avoid setting objectives that are either unattainable or could have negative impacts on your life. It’s exciting to aim high and set ambitious goals, but it’s also essential to be realistic about what you can achieve. Setting goals that are too hard may lead to disappointment and a lack of motivation.

For instance, here are examples of bad intermediate-term goals:

  • Aiming for an unrealistically high GPA: Yes, getting good grades is important. But if you’re pushing yourself beyond your limits just to maintain a 4.0 GPA, you’re likely sacrificing other aspects of your life.
  • Trying to please everyone: It’s impossible and exhausting. You’ll only end up feeling drained and unhappy.
  • Ignoring personal health in pursuit of success: Health should never be compromised for success.
  • Setting vague goals with no clear plan: Goals like ‘I want to be famous’ or ‘I want to be rich’ sound great but they don’t provide any guidance or steps.

How Your Parents Can Help You Set Good Intermediate-Term Goals

Your folks can be a valuable resource in helping you establish achievable objectives. They’ve been through the highs and lows of life, so they know what’s realistic and what’s not. Sit down with them and discuss your dreams, aspirations, and goals. They might provide insights that you hadn’t considered.

Don’t underestimate the power of their wisdom; they can help guide you toward good intermediate-term goals. Whether improving grades for college applications or mastering a skill for personal development, their experience counts.

They’re also great at helping you stay on track. They’ll nudge you back into line if you’re falling behind or losing motivation. Remember, they want what’s best for you – their input isn’t about controlling your life but guiding it to the right path.

Furthermore, involving them keeps them in the loop about your ambitions, making them more supportive when challenges arise. Involving your parents doesn’t mean surrendering independence; it means making smart decisions with trusted advisors by your side.

Get Started With Those Goals!

So, there you have it. Remember, setting goals isn’t a mountain too high to climb. It’s all about taking small steps towards your dreams.

With these tips and examples, you’re well-equipped to set the right intermediate-term goals.

Your parents can be your allies in this journey, lending their wisdom and support.

So buckle up, get started, and watch how your world transforms!

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About the Author

David McCurrach

David McCurrach is the founder of Kids' Money. Following a career working in finance for several banks and credit unions, David started Kids' Money in 1995 and has since published three books on kids' financial literacy and allowance programs.

Last updated on: August 28, 2023