For nearly two decades, Jim says he has been involved in talking with teens and developing programs to help young people stay out of trouble and take control of their lives. He says his step-by-step plan was designed to give teenagers tips and techniques to help them reach their goals. Jim says many of the steps he promotes come directly from his personal experience. "It is amazing that I was determined to say, 'Okay, I am going to show you what I am capable of doing,'" Jim says. "It wasn't based on my skills—it was based on what I believed I could do."
Here are some of Jim's 10 steps:
- Attitude: Helping your children find something they are passionate about, whether it is a sport or a musical instrument, is a great way to help build a good attitude. "You give them the opportunity to make some goals and objectives, and all of a sudden, if a kid feels like 'I am getting something accomplished,' it makes a difference in their life," Jim says.
- Goals: Jim says kids need to set goals for themselves personally and academically. "Kids today don't go to a class called goal setting," Jim says. "So, we don't know what their dreams are, we don't know what they are trying to accomplish."
- Objectives: Helping kids set long-term goals and follow through on daily objectives is how Jim says he puts kids on the road to success.
- Organization: Once goals and objectives are set, Jim says kids want to see outcomes. Jim says writing down a to-do list on a large wall calendar will help kids stay on top of their goals.
- Commitment: Following through on daily tasks is important. Jim says the task can be anything from skateboarding to practicing the piano, but the key is the child needs to practice it once a day. "The kid who goes home and is the latch key kid and just watches TV, we have to find something for that kid—something that kid has an interest in," Jim says.
- Inspiration: "I think everyone needs a person to be inspired by," Jim says. "One thing that really inspires is stories." Telling stories about powerful things that other kids are doing is one way that Jim says he motivates young people.