Hey Winnie…How Do I Start Planning For My Future?
When you are young, it can be hard to think about your future. But as you know, the future catches up with us pretty quickly. Help the young women in your life to prepare for what lies ahead. Talk to her about her plans and any goals that she has for her life. She trusts your wisdom, help steer her in the right direction.
Help her know that she can make a difference in her own future.
Begin by talking together about what she wants for her life. She may be reluctant to talk about her dreams, but keep at it. Help her to start thinking about setting goals for herself. Here are some ideas to get you two started:
- Health: Eating more vegetables and fruit in her diet. Being active for at least 30 minutes, 4 days a week.
- Education: Making the decision to go back to school. Taking classes to get ahead in her career. Working towards earning her GED or Associate’s degree.
- Relationships: Reconnecting with a friend that she’s lost touch with. Spending more time with her partner.
- Career: Handing in all her work on time. Showing up on time or early for work each day. Taking the lead on projects. Working on being more organized or a better listener.
- Family: Having a family dinner together once a week. Setting up a family game or movie night. Planning a day trip together.
- Volunteering/Charity: Volunteer for an organization or cause that she feels passionate about. Getting involved with events or activities at her church. Working on a community garden.
Be encouraging and make sure to let her take the lead in deciding what she wants for herself. Next, talk to the young women in your life about the importance of breaking their bigger goals into smaller pieces.
Big goal: Deciding whether or not to have a baby.
Small goals: Talking to her partner about it. Visiting her doctor to discuss her options. Creating a reproductive life plan.
Big goal: Getting her GED or Associate’s degree.
Small goals: Gathering information about how to enroll. Taking one class. Getting into the habit of waking up early.
Big goal: Moving into her own space.
Small goal: Finding affordable houses or apartments in her area. Figuring out her budget. Starting to put aside money each week for rent.
Remember, the goals that she sets should be:
- Important to her. Her goal needs to have value to her. She should relate it to something she likes. This makes her more likely to reach it.
- Detailed. Make sure that her goals are very clear. Include exact details. The more details her goals have, the easier they are to follow.
- Real. Her goal should be something that is within her control and not something that will be unlikely to happen. Have her write out her goals on a piece of paper. Put it in a place where she will see it each day.
Your own children might have been part of your plan or an unexpected joy. But you can probably agree that being prepared will make things easier for her. Being ready for these changes–mentally, physically and financially–can lower a woman’s stress. It can help her to enjoy this exciting time in her life.
You’ve been through it before. It’s up to you to let your loved ones know what a difference having a plan can make in her life, even if life doesn’t always follow your plan.
Family planning involves creating a plan for her future and her family. It includes:
- Choosing if and when to get pregnant
- Birth control methods
- Knowing about sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Talk to the young women in your life about setting a reproductive life plan. She may not want to discuss the details, but encourage her to think about it. Her plan will help her to think about her next steps. It can then help her put those steps into action.
You can connect her to the resources that she needs to put her plan into action. Let WIN Network help! Call us at 313-874-4581.
Goal Setting Resources
- YWCA: mentoring program for young adult women. They are matches with outstanding women though out the community to develop an easier transition from school to the workplace.
- Mercy Education Project: Located in Southwest, this organization provides classes for literacy, adult basic education, GED prep, and career/workforce development services. Open Doors is a new program for women to re-integrate into society after being in prison.
- PATH Program: Partnership Accountability Training Hope is a work participation program required for those receiving cash assistance. It helps to identify barriers for the participant and connect them to resources for employment.
- Focus: HOPE: This organization offers a variety of GED prep classes, skills enrichment courses, and job placement.
Family Planning Resources
- Planned Parenthood Detroit Health Center in Midtown offers pregnancy and STI testing as well as options for birth control
- Summit Medical Center provides screenings and testing for pregnancy and STI’s as well as reproductive care services
- Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center has location is Midtown and Southwest provide bilingual healthcare services
- Detroit Community Health Connection, Inc. offers prenatal care at various locations all over the city regardless of your ability to pay for services