My 7 year old son wants to be an inventor when he grows up. For now, his aim to is create lavish Lego creations based on dinosaurs, Minecraft, Avengers and more. He gets ideas and doesn’t stop till he has completed his creation. And he often gets overwhelmed!
He gets it from me. I too am like a steam roller when I get an idea into my head and I just cannot stop till I am done with the many, many items on my list. Only in the past year have I discovered the power of goal setting and the many challenges that they encounter and believe that it is an essential trait for kids to learn at a young age.
Not only does it prevent overwhelm, it is of great importance to learn what goals to focus on and how to keep them instead of having to give up.
Why would kids need goals ? To apply effectively to
- Hobbies or interests
- TV viewing
- Free time
- and much much more.
It is often that overwhelm comes in the form of overzealous goal setting. The most important step to learning how to be a person of perseverance is to attain the fine balance to awareness, priority, work and time.
1. HAVE SPECIFIC GOALS
“Little goals are the best way to get kids moving toward big goals,” says Jim Wiltens, a leadership-training instructor in the San Francisco-area schools. “Meeting a goal gives kids an incredible surge of energy.” It is important to teach kids that not every goal is worth attaining even. Listen to what the kids want and steer them gently towards what is something that they can actually work towards. Make sure to take baby steps.
Reading a page a day, picking up toys in a room or in our case creating one creation in a set amount of time is a good enough goal to begin with.
You know your child best. Crafting a vision board or making a list of their dream goals and picking the ones that are specific to them are essential.
2. KEEP THE RIGHT TOOLS
You will need to make a goal kit for your kids. This could be a calendar, timer, a marker and a log of some sort to maintain the goal/s they set for themselves. Download the ones below and ensure they go through it at a time every day.
Journal writing is a great way to stay on top as well .
3. PLAN THE WORK IT TAKES
Every goal takes a different amount of time and energy. It is important to ensure the kids think through the steps it takes to achiever the goal.
Teach them to break the goal down into smaller actions and work on how much time each action takes.
4. FOCUS ON THE TIME
Something that many kids lack is an awareness of time. Make sure you mark the calendar or teach them how to set a timer for everything they need to achieve. This is a great way to educate them about time awareness, taking breaks and moderation.
Keeping To Goals
This is the trickiest part and something all of us struggle with.
5. HOW TO PRIORITIZE
This is something that is totally essential to creating goal oriented, self driven kids. It is important for kids to learn how to put their goals above other things. The number one lesson they need to learn is that the only way to tick that goal off their day is to put it first and put in the work.
Set a time for your goal and then tick it off!
A neat trick is to tie it into something that the kids love depending on the goal. So, if the goal is something they love doing, they could forgo their favorite treat or activity for that day. And if the goal is something they don’t like doing so much, they could get an extra treat or something they rarely get to do within the time period they are trying to achieve their goal.
6. DEAL WITH SELF DOUBT
A big part of goal setting that many kids do not know how to deal with is the self doubt that comes with when they fail to succeed on the way. It is important to encourage them to push a little harder some days and equally important to let them know when it is okay to forgive yourself or let go.
7. CELEBRATE SUCCESS
And most important of all is to ensure to celebrate any and all successes big and small. A special treat that you have thought of before hand itself is specially great. Preferably an experience vs something materialistic.
Let Them Fail
This will possibly be the most important thing to teaching kids to reach their goals. As parents we hate to see them fail but nothing teaching a child the important aspect of staying on top of Their goals than failing to meet a deadline and suffering the consequences. Better early than late. Taking ownership is a big part of teaching kids to be responsible .
Download the complete free Goal Tracking Template.