Those of you who are long-term readers will already know that I’m big on goal setting. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions or get too caught up if I miss a day on my journey towards my next goal, but I do like to work my plans and aspirations into my everyday life. I feel like I’ve perfected a great system which helps me race through my to-do list without it ever feeling overbearing. Recently, I’ve been passing on my tips and tricks to my two eldest kids.
Here’s how I help my kids to set goals and achieve their dreams and I hope you can use these tips to help you kids set goals for themselves as well!
A quick reminder if you haven’t already to check out my 2021 goals blog. We all know just how flexible 12 months can be, so if you’re serious about setting a 2021 target, my advice would be to choose a goal that works for you. Yes, your plan can have a clear number to work towards, cycling 1000 miles for the year for example, but be prepared for some ups and downs along the way. You may only cycle 20 miles in a cold February, but make up for it with a big 100 miles in March. (Plus, you can get my FREE goal setting worksheet to use!)
When it comes to my goals, I’m being pragmatic. One week I’ll be flying; the next, I may have sunk a bit. But the important thing is that I’ve always got my end goal at the back of my mind.
This is what I’m doing with my kids. Our goal-setting isn’t an official family meeting, instead it’s a flexible arrangement. Here’s how I do it:
Be honest when setting goals
The first thing I’ll do is sit down with my kids one-on-one. I want them to choose a goal that’s theirs and theirs only. There shouldn’t be any external pressures. If it helps, this meeting could take place in your child’s bedroom, they should be in their most comfortable environment possible. I’ll then share with my kids my goals, and why they’re important to me. This is crucial. Hearing the goals of a parent or sibling can spawn ideas and also give accountability. But it is important to stress these are mom’s goals. Theirs can be similar, but they don’t have to be.
In my 2021 goals blog, I talked about how a theme is a great basis to work around. When my kids set goals, I encourage them to break them down into categories. We’ll talk about goals for each area, physical, knowledge, socialization, mental health, etc. and then pick our best target for each. Afterwards, we’ll talk about the steps we’ll implement to achieve these goals. I still like to follow the guidelines I wrote in last year’s blog on how to set goals with your kids. Teach them what a goal is, help them stick to it, and lead by example.
Past goals and successes
In the past, Jayda’s goals have often revolved around cheer and a new move she’s hoping to pull off. Recently, she was has been perfecting a cheer move called the needle, now she’s focusing on her back tuck. To achieve this, the pair of us have implemented a small training program. Jayda’s motivation sometimes wanes, but seeing me so enthusiastic about her goals and progress is often all she needs to re-energize and get back to it.
Ty will come up with his goals in the spur of the moment. He has this incredible drive that makes both my husband and I incredibly jealous. He’ll say he wants to get better at X or improve at Y and just get on with it. Unlike Jayda, he won’t need an audience, he’ll just focus entirely on one project undisturbed.
My kids have also set some educational goals for themselves, but – despite their importance – are obviously not as motivated with these challenges. So, I’ll encourage them to finish second grade math early to open up more time to do animal or science studies which they love!
What’s a good age to start setting goals?
I get this question a lot! Here’s my recommendation: start when they can communicate about it. It is different with each kid, we began when we wanted our family to get outdoors more so we encouraged Jayda to start learning to ride a bike. We turned it into a goal and celebrated when she no longer needed training wheels.
And remember, when your kid expresses an interest in something, take that opportunity to make it a goal. A simple ‘ok you want to do that, why don’t we practice every day at this time’ will make a world of difference.
What goals are you kids wanting to achieve? Did this help you know how to help your kids set goals? Let me know in the comments below!