Teaching Goal Setting to Children

Goal settingJanuary, it is the months of resolutions! And no plan, hope or goal seems to fail like a resolution. So for the most part, I don’t believe in resolutions but I do believe in goals. The difference? A plan!

Goal setting doesn’t come naturally to most people and needs to be taught. So why not set up kids for success by teaching them goal setting?

Goals can be long term or short term but the approach is the same. Since we are talking about kids lets aim for short term goals! Once they get the emotional payoff they will use goal setting to achieve more and more!

1) Come up with a goal!
2) Put it through the dream test! What do I mean? Are there any reasonable steps at all that can help you achieve your goal? Wanting to be taller isn’t a goal but a dream. You can’t really do much about your height.
3) List 1 step you can take tomorrow to work towards your goal. Just start with 1 but it is something you can do almost immediately!
4) List 2 more steps that you can take to achieve the goal.

If you go much further with young kids you will overwhelm them! Help your kids practice goal setting with you. Maybe once every month or 2 ask them to give you a list of 3 goals with 3 steps each. When they start out resist the impulse to criticize the goals. They may seem a bit wonky but remember, they are kids;).

That is what we did here in the NerdFamily for New Year’s. Goals do not have to be complicated either. Here are some that my kids did.

NerdBug (12):
Goal: Beat Adventure Mode in Plants VS Zombies
1) Take time to strategize before playing
2) Ask for advice from siblings
3) Try different techniques every day

NerdPie (10):
Goal: To write in my diary every day
1) Set aside the first 30 minutes of room time for writing.
2) No mp3 player if I don’t write in the first 1/2 hour
3) I will sit on my bed until I write.

Nerdster (8):
Goal: Be stronger
1) Run
2) Exercise more often
3) Play minimum video games

NerdPud (6):
Goal: Time with God
1) Go to my room
2) Sit down
3) Pray

Their goals may not be what I would have chosen (and I could lead them into some goal choices) but they are theirs! Allowing them to set goals also really reveals what is going on in their heads and hearts too. So it is a double parenting win;). Go get your kids to set some goals!

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