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Ask my husband, my kids or anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you I’m big on setting goals. Goal setting is a huge hobby of mine. Strange but true. But it’s not just the act of setting the goals that’s fun for me, but the reality in knowing I’m going to achieve them. There’s nothing like crossing off something you’ve worked to accomplish. Whether it’s just a simple daily goals checklist, a short-term goal, or a long-term goal, achieving a goal you’ve set out to accomplish is such a rush.

Daddy daughter workout is an example of helping kids as they work towards their goals

This is the time of year when many of us are looking to set new goals. New year, new goals right? I already have my Passion Planner ordered and ready to go. But the truth is, you can set goals at any time. But since it is still January I am going to talk about setting goals for the new year. Particularly goal setting for kids. 

Goal Setting With Kids

This week we are sitting down with each of our kids (well, the two big ones, Lee Lee is still a little young) and talking to the kids about setting their intentions and goals for this year. We are specifically focusing on four areas our church is encouraging: Spiritual, Social, Intellectual, and Physical. 

It has been so fun to talk with our kids about what they want to work on this year, and to help them write down those goals. I’m excited to see how they progress in these areas of their lives.

Goal setting for kids isn’t as tricky as it might sound. It’s actually a really good idea to teach your children how to effectively do this by starting early. Too many of us as adults set New Year’s resolutions and then quit them in a month or less. Help your children set goals and reach them, by teaching them how to do it properly. Here are some ideas for doing that.

Teach Them What a Goal is

First, it’s important that a child knows what a goal is and why it’s beneficial to set them. Drop down to their level and view the concept like your child would. Use ideology that suits their frame of reference. For example, their favorite show or toy can be the subject matter. For my son, who likes PJ Masks, I told him how their goal is to save the world before bedtime, and asked him for ideas about how they work to do that using their talents. We also talked about how Rocky Balboa (my husband got him into this) had a goal to win a boxing match, and all the things he did to prepare. Once a child knows what a goal is and why they’re important, they will better be able to hone in on something they would like to better about themselves.

Biracial boy working on setting new goals using a tablet. Listing to his mom tell him about goal setting for kids

Help Them Stick to it

Even adults need a pep person that keeps them encouraged and on track. When they want to give up, push them a little and help them understand why it’s ok to struggle, but never give up. Help them see the positive side of the goal work. However, don’t forget they’re children. Depending on the goal, help them also understand when it’s ok to relax and pick it back up the following day. Getting overwhelmed is the quickest way to fail any goal, especially for children.

Biracial cheerleader pulling a scorpion one of her cheer goals as she spoke with her parents about goals setting for kids

For my daughter who is a competitive cheerleader, I take her lead on her goals, ask her what she’s like to work on and how she’d like me to help her. Sometimes she wants me to set an alarm reminding her to stretch, or watch her work on a new skill, or requesting private lessons from a coach. I try to help support her where I can, but the motivation has to come from within herself.

Also, goals change. I had a goal to be a 9pm news anchor in Atlanta by the time I was 30. After getting married, working in television news for a decade and having a couple of kids, those goals changed. That is totally ok. 

Be the Example

The best way for children to learn and understand is for them to glean these ideals off of their parents. So, set a family goal everyone can work towards together and set your own personal goals. Don’t hide your struggle with it either. Let them be involved like you’re involved in their goal setting. Let them see you struggle and make it through, let them see you cheer in victory over a milestone. Children emulate these values, especially from their parent figures. 

Do your kids have goals they’re working towards? Family goals? I’ve love to hear what your families are working on. Please leave a comment and let us know so we can cheer you on!

Goal setting with kids is something we like to sit down to do every year. Here are 4 ideas on how to start if you haven\'t tried this before.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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