Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Before we get into why it's important to help our children set goals, let us get something out of the way. There is a big difference between goals vs. resolutions.
Some believe the two are one and the same. However, the two are very different from one another. Here's why:
A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something.
A goal is the objective of a person's ambition or effort, whereby they aim for the desired result.
Now that we have that all cleared up. Let's discuss why goal setting for children is just as important as it is for adults.
Well, for one goal setting is a life skill.
It teaches them to take responsibility
It helps boost their confidence and improve their self-esteem.
It creates motivation to reach for larger goals
- Small achievements maintain the motivation
Here's how we can help our kids set realistic goals that they can follow through and achieve!
1) Let your child set their own goals
What's something you would like to improve on?
Provide subcategories - school, sports, friendship, personal
2) Discuss why they have selected that as their goal.
How will this help you?
3) Write down each of their big goals and begin breaking it down.
I want to do 100 juggles with my soccer ball by the summer.
- I can start by practicing for 10 minutes every night, aiming for three juggles in a row.
I want to improve my marks in math by the next report card.
- I can practice on NetMath every night for 20 minutes.
I want to be on time for school in the morning.
- I can pack my lunch and select my clothes at night.
- I can set my alarm 10 minutes earlier.
4) Discuss how they are going to keep themselves motivated.
How will they celebrate their small victories?
What happens if you forget one day?
How can I help you when you are not feeling like working towards your goals?
Here is the exact template I used with my two kids ages 13 & 10.
Personally I don't use this exclusively for the New Year. I typically have my kids set their goals at various times of the years.
Here are some examples of when we complete this exercise.
Begining of their sport season (they both play soccer)
After they receive their first progress report for school
Any other time that they are trying something new.
Happy Goal Setting!
Sylvia Corzato is a parent consultant & behaviour coach, and owner of Success in Steps. With over 20 years of experience supporting children and their families, Sylvia provides parents with tailored support and strategies to help them understand the 'why' behind the behaviours along with 'what' is maintaining them.
Her mission is to enable parents to be the driving force behind reaching and maintaining their family goals.