Mission Possible


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A Personal Development
Program for Adolescents

Mission Possible is a program consisting of 16 tasks with the help of which you will be able to identify a cool goal for your mission and to set up a fun project to achieve it.

In order to do Mission Possible you need:

  • These instructions
  • A folder to collect the reports of your tasks
  • A coach who is familiar with Mission Possible whom you can consult with
  • A friend (or several) to do the tasks with, preferably a friend who is him or herself also doing Mission Possible
  • A group of supporters who will support and encourage you and with whom you will be able share the joy of your success.

Mission Possible consists of 16 tasks. The following is a list of the 16 tasks including a brief description.

  1. Time Travel

  2. Imagine that things are going very well for you in a year or two from now. Write a letter to your coach from the future and let him or her know how your life looks like then.

  3. Broadcasting
  4. Show your letter to your coach and any number of other people.

  5. The Project
  6. Find yourself a goal that will help you reach your good future as described in your letter and make a decision to start a project to attain that goal.

  7. The Name
  8. Give your project a cool name.

  9. The Icon
  10. Acquire a lucky charm or some other item that will symbolize your project.

  11. Supporters
  12. Recruit a number of supporters for your project.

  13. The Payoff
  14. Discover how your project will benefit yourself and find out from other people how it will benefit them.

  15. Optimism
  16. Answer the question why you believe that you have good chances of making your project work.

  17. Support
  18. Find out from other people why they think you have a chance of succeeding with your project.

  19. The Stairs
  20. Create the steps of progress by looking at what you have already done, what will be your next step, what will be your following step and what will signal you that you have completed your project.

  21. Action
  22. Take a small step to advance your project.

  23. The Report
  24. Go public about your first step and acknowledge other people for their support.

  25. The Log book
  26. Continue with your project by taking small steps and keep a log of the things you do and the headway you make.

  27. The Ending
  28. Pre-plan how you are going to celebrate the gains you have made with your project at the end.

  29. Setbacks
  30. Prepare yourself for eventual setbacks.

  31. The Future
  32. Carry out your celebration plan and decide how you are going to continue to pursue your good future.

    task 1
    Time Travel

Take a sheet of paper and write down a date within one or two years. The date can be any date that comes to mind - it could be your birthday, a holiday, or any particular day that means something to you. Now imagine that you can travel in time - you are now in the future and it is that day. Things are going very well for you and you decide to write a letter to your coach in order to let him or her know how life is treating you. You may wish to say something about where you live, your relationship with your family, what's happening in your studies or work, whether you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, how it's going with your friends, how you spend your free time, your health -- whatever you'd like to tell about your life. You may also wish to write something about recent good news and what you are looking forward to.

task 2
Broadcasting

Show your coach your "good future" letter. You coach may ask you further questions in order to help you create an even more detailed vision of how you would like your life to look in the future. Complete your letter by including the responses you gave to your coach's questions. When you are done, show your letter to some other people. You decide who will be entitled to see your letter. If possible, show it to people who are also working on Mission Possible and who will in their turn show their good future letters to you.

task 3
The Project

Find a goal for yourself -- one that would bring you closer to your good future -- and start a project to reach that goal.Your project may have to do with studies, work, changing your lifestyle, improving your relationship with another person, taking care of some obligation, or just about anything you believe will help you move closer to your good future. In order to find an appropriate goal, you may wish to consult with your coach, with your friends, or any person who knows you well.

Observe: There is only one rule about the goal - it should be positive, not negative. It should be getting rid of something bad but trying to attain something good. A negative goal would involve stopping, or reducing some undesirable behaviour, or getting rid of something you deem to be harmful to you. Such a goal is not OK in Mission Possible. A positive goal, instead, involves starting or increasing some behavior you believe to be useful to you. Such a goal is OK. To transform a negative goal into a positive one, just think about what is the good thing you would like to come in the place of the bad thing you want to get rid of and make that good thing your goal.

The list of examples below will help you transform negative goals into positive ones.

 

I will stop eating chocolate - I start to eat chocolate in moderate quantities
I will stop smoking - I will start cleaning up my lungs
I will no longer be truant - I will increase attendance in school
I will cut down on alcohol - I will start to drink in moderation
I will argue less with so and so - I will improve my relationship with so and so
I will stop doing (x) - I will start doing (the opposite of x)
I will stop biting my nails - I will take good care of my nails

 

task 4
The Name

An important project should have a cool name. If you find it difficult to come up with a cool name for your project consult with your coach, your friends, or any other person who is likely to have good suggestions. Write the name of your project on your folder. You may even come up with a slogan, a facial expression, or a gesture, to remind you of your project.

task 5
The Icon

Find yourself a piece of jewellery, a good-luck piece, an amulet, or any other symbolic item, that you can carry with you at all times that will give you luck and remind you of your project. Show it to other people when you talk to other people about your project.

task 6
Supporters

Recruit supporters for your project. Take a sheet of paper and draw a sun on it. Around the sun write names of people you wish to support you in carrying out your project. Show the sun to those people whose names you have included and ask them to become your supporters or supporters. Don't hesitate to tell them that you have included their names because you appreciate them and because their support means a lot to you.

task 7
The Payoff

Answer the following questions and write down your answers on a sheet of paper:

In what way will your project help you make your good future come true?
How will your project influence you positively?
How will your project influence other people positively?
What other positive consequences do you believe your project may have?

Also ask other people – your friends, coach, your supporters and perhaps even someone else who knows you well – how your project, if successful, will affect them positively. Ask them to write down their responses on a sheet of paper or write their answers down yourself.

task 8
Optimism

Answer the question: "Why do I believe I have a good chance of succeeding with my project?" Find a at least three reasons. If you find it difficult to find for optimistic arguments consult with your coach, your friends, your supporters, or any other person who knows you well.

task 9
Support

Ask other people why they believe you have a good chance of being successful with our project. Ask your friends, your coach, your supporters, and even other people who know you to tell you why is it that they believe in you, why they think you could be successful with your project. Ask them to write their responses on a sheet of paper you have reserved just for support, or write their answers on it yourself.

task 10
The Stairs

Take a sheet of paper and draw a set of stairs on it -- four will do. Be sure to leave room for you to write on each of the stairs.

On the first step write what you have already done to promote your goal before you even decided to initiate your project. It is  likely that you have already done something.

On the second step, write what you see as the next step in your project, one that will take place within a few days. Imagine that the project will start effortlessly, almost by itself, and picture how the start will look in your mind's eye.

On the third step, write what you see to be the following step in your project, one taking place within a few weeks. Imagine that the project will continue effortlessly, almost by itself, and form a mental picture of what will happen next.

On the fourth step, describe what will signal for you that you have completed your project. You can choose to either set a termination date or describe an accomplishment that will tell you that you have reached your goal.

task 11
The Action

Now decide what you want to do to advance your project and write down your plan on paper. You should not do anything big or extraordinary. Instead, you should take a "baby step". Plan to do something modest enough that you are sure to manage it. Reveal your planned baby step to your friends and to your coach, and even to your supporters if you like. Then carry out your plan and take your baby step.

When you have carried out your plan, you have reason to feel proud of what you have accomplished! (Even if you feel that what you have done is nothing special or could be seen as insignificant).  Write a brief report of your action including a description of how it went.

task 12
The Report

Tell your coach, your friends and your supporters what you have done to advance your project, how it went, and what the consequences have been. When you report your progress to people, make them feel special by telling them -- each one separately -- how much you have benefited from their help and support. As they will probably want to continue to support you, ask them to write a few words of encouragement onto your folder.

task 13
The Log Book

Continue with your project by taking further steps. Keep a log of everything you do regarding your project and write down all signs of progress.

Keep your friends, your coach, your supporters, and other people who know you informed about what you do and what progress you are making. Don't forget to acknowledge them for their help and support and, if appropriate, ask them to write words of encouragement onto your folder.

task 14
The Ceremony

Prepare to celebrate the gains that you have made at the end of your project. Describe in writing when you intend to end your project and how you intend to celebrate: Where? When? Who do you intend to invite? What will you serve? How will you let people know about your progress? How will you acknowledge other people for their help and support? What will your celebration look like?

task 15
Setbacks

Prepare yourself for possible setbacks or frustrations and find a way to keep up your motivation up in such a situation. Take a sheet of paper and write down a description of what you intend to think or do if and when you experience a setback.

A tip: When something happens, you can never know for sure what consequences it will have. Therefore your reaction to what happens is based on what consequences you imagine that it will have. If you experience what seems like a setback, one good way of regaining your spirit and getting back on track is to think about three possible positive consequences that what happened might have for your project - or even for your life in general.

task 16
The Future

When you have completed your project it is time to organize and carry out the ending ceremony you worked out previously and then shift your focus to the future. You may continue with your project, or you can pick up a new goal in order to continue working to make your 'good future' come true.

When you have successfully completed a round of Mission Possible you have become an expert on it. You may now wish to become a supporter or even a coach to someone else who wishes to do Mission Possible.

 

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