A goal is something that you aim to achieve and direct your efforts at. It’s something measurable that has an end result. If set up properly, goals can take an idea and turn it into something achievable. Imagine playing soccer without a goal at either end of the field - the result is a bunch of people running aimlessly until the timer runs out.
Goals are important to give you direction. Sometimes all you need is a little direction to take you to places you never thought possible. Goals are what makes the difference between the talker and the do-er.
Fortunately for us, kids are like sponges. When taught in a way they like to learn, they learn FAST.
For some kids, setting goals might look like writing everything down. For others, it might be talking it out, making a vision board, or even be doing interpretive dance! However your child sets goals, here’s some help for you and your child to focus on achievable goals which lead you to be the best versions of yourselves. After all, what kids learn now will be what they take with them for the rest of their lives.
We think of a short term goal as something that can be achieved in 6 months or less. Something along the lines of getting a good grade on a test, making a new friend, or walking your dog every day for a week. A long term goal is anything longer than 6 months, like running a marathon, getting accepted to a specific university, or learning a new language.
It doesn’t matter what goals your child has, they’re all important.
When setting short term goals, we recommend setting a few daily or weekly attainable goals with your child. These should be something they can continuously achieve, which helps them to build up self-confidence and inspire motivation to reach those bigger goals.
A good goal should be SMART:
Specific- What, when, why, and with who are you going to do this?
Measurable- How will you know when it’s accomplished? How much, or how many?
Attainable- How are you going to accomplish this goal? Is this achievable?
Relevant- Is this your goal or someone else’s? What about this goal drives you?
Timely- Giving your goal an end date will give you a better idea of how to break it up in days/weeks/ or months to help you achieve it. It’ll also help you to be super specific on when it starts and ends.
To start goal setting with your child, we recommend letting them pick their own goals. Ask them “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”, and watch them create goals that are important and relevant to them. If you would like some guidance, you can use our goal-setting template here.
Goals are something you should always be set to increase motivation and success. Empowering your child with invaluable tools like this one is crucial to a successful future.
To find out how you can help your child learn more life skills like this, one click here.