What’s the difference between a DREAM and a GOAL? “A GOAL is a DREAM with an action plan.” We should always dream and we should dream big, but in order to make a dream come to life, we must look at all the little steps it’s going to take to get there, make a plan of attack, and then ʻonipaʻa or be steadfast to the course of action.
This quarter our kūkuluhou boys are focusing on the theme of ʻonipaʻa or to be steadfast. We began the year by asking the boys to look back at 2018; what did they accomplish, and where did they fall short. In order to learn lessons and move forward, one must look at how he/she arrived at this place in time, re-evaluate choices, and then make a plan to move forward toward new goals.
ʻOnipaʻa was a fitting theme for the start of the new year and with so many new participants in the program, it was a great way to set the tone for not only the year but also the vibe amongst the boys. In circle time we started the year by having the boys share about 2018. It was a powerful bonding exercise for each person to have a chance to let their voice be heard. As we began to focus on individual goals, they were able to see how someone else goals and the steps they needed to take might also be relevant to their own lives.
We continued our conversation looking into the future, allowing them to hone in on some short term goals plus action points to help to achieve them. We challenged them to use those achievements as stepping stones to reach their bigger long term goals. Through journaling exercises, they have been breaking apart each of their short term goals into little “manageable” steps and then coming up with a coping mechanism and ways to overcome the obstacles that will stand in their way.
Some of the boys want to become electricians, mechanics, and carpenters. They named “finishing school” and “getting a job in the field” as steps to achieve their big goal. Throughout the quarter we have been working on steps for them to take. Like “finishing school” for example. The reason they were going to school was that they didn’t get up on time. As we stepped back, it was staying up late the night before and partying that made it hard to get up. So in order to get up and go to school on time, they needed to work on their nightly routine.
Looking at past behavior, gaining insight, reflecting on habits, and then coming up with an action plan is where our focus will continue to be. We want to instill in the youth that if they want to achieve something they have to be willing to bring it to life and do what it takes to get there. For us, building these skills is one of the steps towards helping our Kukuluhou participant realize that their lives have meaning and purpose.