As I watch my kids mature, I’ve see over and over that these little people have big dreams! As parents, we get the privilege of helping our kids set goals to make those dreams reality.
How can we encourage our kids to successfully meet their goals? What are some practical tips, strategies and resources?
I want to share with you:
- 3 reasons why goal setting is so important for kids
- 5 ways to help kids experience the power of goal setting
- 13 Resources that help kids plan and inspire them to greatness
Here’s how I encourage my kids to meet their dreams (whether during New Years or anytime)!
3 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is So Important for Kids
2) Kids can do hard things. Setting resolutions reminds kids that they can do big things and hard things. I love this scripture in 1 Timothy 4:12 that says, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”
3) Kids need to be challenged to become their best selves. When kids set goals, they’re able to experiment (under the watchful guidance of a parent) what it’s like to grow and change for the better. Goal setting is a wonderful way to teach kids that there is always room for self-improvement. it’s important to set goals and make self-improvements.
5 Ways to Help Kids Experience the Power of Goal Setting
1) Talk about goals regularly as part of everyday conversation. Goal setting doesn’t have to be formal or intense. Goal setting can start small (and not even be labeled as “setting a goal”). Listen to what your child is interested in, and help him or her set goals that match his or her current interests.
2) Avoid a power struggle by guiding toward a goal instead of telling them. Intrinsic motivation has been shown over and over as the best motivator, so capitalize on this when helping a child set goals. Instead of telling a child what the goal should be, listen deeper to what he or she is truly longing for and suggest tangible action plans that can help them meet that goal.
For example, my son is on a basketball team and wants to improve his stamina, especially as it relates to moving quickly to the other side of the court. My first thought was “That boy needs to be doing sprints everyday!” However, to avoid a power struggle, I asked him a series of questions such as, “What do you think is the best way to increase your stamina? What are some good activities that will make you faster on the court? How often do you think it make sense to do this?”
3) Encourage goals that are quantifiable and realistic. In his 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever Course, Michael Hyatt suggests setting goals that are SMARTER (specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time-keyed, exciting and relevant). Help kids create goals with tangible parameters, including natural consequences that occur if the goal is or is not met.
4) Give a child room to both succeed and fail. We are crippling our kids if we set them up to always succeed at their goals. Perhaps that sounds counterintuitive, so let me explain. While we would never plan to intentionally sabotage our child’s goals, I’m suggesting that we allow kids to experience the natural consequences that come from meeting or not meeting a goal. Like the rest of us, kids need to experience both the elation of meeting a goal and the disappointment of not making a goal. We can learn so much about ourselves from both sides of the process, can’t we?
5) Invite your child to witness your goal setting. Inspiration is an incredible motivator to success. What a wonderful example of sacrifice and diligence we set for our kids when we establish goals and work hard toward them! I share my personal goals with my kids often. I want them to see that there is always something to work toward and to be excited about!
13 Resources that Help Kids Plan and Inspire Them to Greatness
Does your child need help with creating a schedule? This post is great:
This post is also encouraging and helpful on how we can encourage our kids to change the world:
Calendars: Here’s a simple, free printable calendar (in kid-friendly colors) from Short Stop Designs that children would like. This one for Delineate Your Dwelling is also pretty. And this post from Yes Missy has 20 free printable calendar page designs.
Goal Setting: Here’s a fun goal setting worksheet for kids and adults from Moritz Fine Designs.
Planners: There’s some adorable kids planner designs here on Amazon.
Journal: I think everyone (including kids) should have a journal for writing their thoughts, dreams and plans! I love this one from Somewhat Simple, and here’s a free 31 Day gratitude journal from Enjoy the Learning Journey. Kids can even make their own journal at this post from Polka Dot Chair (this is more of a summer journal, but I think the “adventure” vibe totally fits for goal planning).
Enjoy inspiring your kids to greatness through goal setting!