With the New Year right around the corner, it’s a time of preparing for the future and setting (SMART) goals or resolutions. Sometimes, however, teens may find that the difficulty doesn’t lie in setting the goals, but reaching them efficiently and productively. With these tips, you’ll find it significantly easier to meet your goals in a timely and practical manner.

Eliminate Negative Thoughts
First of all, understand that your number one enemy is yourself. When you’re in the process of reaching your goals, your self-doubt tends to become more vocal in your head. To reach your goals, you need to find a way to silence that voice and any negative thoughts you produce. Believe in yourself and be confident in your ability to hit your targets. If you find that your self-doubt overwhelms you and slows down your progress, it helps to remind yourself of your past success. Focus on the immediate progress you’ve made or even how far you’ve come to meeting your certain goal.

Set Aside Distractions
When pursuing a goal, it is important that you remove anything that will be an obstacle for you. If your goal is to raise your grade in Spanish, but you’re always on Snapchat when doing homework, you’ve got to put away your phone and get to work. Keep it away in another room until you’re done studying. Another potential distraction could be your peers. Sometimes, your peers may not agree with your goal. Remember that you set your goals for nobody else but yourself. It shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If you need to take some time away from a friend that is bringing you down, instead of cheering you on, don’t be afraid to do so. A real friend should be apart of your support system, not a barrier to your success.

Create Sub-goals Along The Way
This is an extremely important trick to efficiently reach your goals. Let’s say your goal is to get your grade from a “C-” to a “B“ in English by the end of the semester. While it is a SMART goal, to maximize efficiency, you should set a series of short, sub-goals to reach the ultimate one. Maybe your sub-goals could be to study each lesson the night before so you are exposed to the course material. That way, you can ask your teachers to elaborate on a particular part of the lesson that you didn’t understand. Another subgoal could simply consist of doing what it takes to ace your English quiz. Overall, a sub-goal is just a short-term goal that helps you meet your long-term goal.