008. Part 1 Why Goal Setting Should Start in High School

One of the most overlooked skills for student success is goal-setting. Even the most capable students fail to reach their full potential without solid goals setting their course. But when is the best time to start setting goals with your teens? In this episode, Dr. Beth Dennard and Certified Educational Planner and Bright Futures Consulting’s Director of Operations, Elana Guerra, M.Ed will reveal the important reasons why your teen should start setting goals now.

Why Your Teen Should Start Setting Goals Now

Recently and into the near future, the world has become and will continue to be unpredictable. Summer camps and college entrance tests have been cancelled, and it’s hard to know what the coming school year will look like. This uncertainty leads a lot of teenagers to ask, “what’s the point of setting goals now?”. By the end of this podcast, you’ll have an answer for them.

In this episode we’ll talk about…

  • The importance of focusing on a goal, end point, or finish line
  • The difference between setting goals and living strategically (there’s a big difference and I’ll share which one is better to aim for)
  • Why teenagers (and their soon to be empty nester parents)  need to start setting goals now and the likely consequences if they don’t. 

Listen to the episode here.

For the blog version of this episode, click here

Self-Accepted Homework

Parents, here are some goals for you!

  • Start engaging with your teenagers on their level – whether it’s video games or sports; help them to practice goal setting even in those situations. 
  • Release the grip on your teenagers’ success and let them fail. If they forget their homework at home, don’t bring it to them. They need to learn how to be responsible for themselves.
  • Encourage and cheer on your teenager to reach for their goals – even during setbacks and times like these.
  • Listen to episode 1 on self-acceptance. This will help you build a framework to approach your teenager on goal setting.

Related Articles, Resources, & Content

As a bonus, we wanted to include Elana Guerra’s Peanut Butter & Applesauce Cookies mentioned in this episode.


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (Stevia also works!)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg (or substitute 1/4 cup applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2.  In a large bowl, cream, butter and sugar together.
  3.  Add all the wet stuff – egg, vanilla, and applesauce. Lick some mix off your finger – if it’s way too sweet, add some salt.
  4. Add Peanut Butter – mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the dry stuff – baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and flour.
  6. Mix the dry bowl concoction into the wet bowl concoction. You might need to add more flour if the mix is too wet. It should have the consistency of thick frosting. Stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes or the fridge for 20 minutes.
  7. Place balls of dough onto a cookie sheet – no bigger than a ping pong ball. Do a criss-cross pattern with a fork to smoosh the cookies down a little. If a ton of dough sticks to the fork, it might be a little too wet. If only a little dough sticks, you’re good!
  8. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cookies should be golden and the bottom should be just starting to turn brown.
  9. Enjoy some chewy cookies!

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