We have all made a New Year’s resolution at some point in our life. Whether you believe in them or not, making positive changes at the start of a new year is always a good idea for everyone to do, especially if you have kids. Even if you do not feel like you need to make changes, it is always good to teach kids to reach new goals. Helping kids to make positive goals that they can strive to reach as the year goes on can be very educational for them. You can make the goals easy for your kids to achieve, allowing them to experience the excitement of achieving something that they set out to do. Research has proven that kids that achieve their goals have higher self-esteem, better grades and are more motivated.
Make them Attainable
One of the most important factors to consider about the goals that your child sets is that they are attainable. Help your child set goals that are within their scope of abilities. My suggestion is to set a couple of goals, one from each category:
• Educational – such as the number of books a child will read per month, the number or type of genres that he will try to read or the number of new authors that he will discover
• Active – If your child is into sports, help him set a goal, such as increasing the number of hours that he practices or increasing the number of goals or points that he makes by one or two
• Financial – Even young kids can set financial goals. If you give your child an allowance or he earns money some other way, help him set a goal to save a certain amount of money per week or month. You could even help him set a goal to make a purchase that he has always wanted.
Make them Count
Teach your child how to set a goal that he can physically see or measure. Simply saying that your child is going to read more books next year is not a measurable goal. You should help him set a number for his goal. This will allow him to track his progress, seeing how close he is getting to his desired outcome. This is true for any goal that your child sets, whether it is educational, pertaining to sports or a financial goal. Having a final number to strive towards can continue to be motivational for him.
Make them Time Sensitive
While you want to set your kids up for success, it is best to put a time limit on their goal. This helps to give them more motivation to push towards their goal. If you leave the goal open for an indefinite amount of time, there is no sense of urgency to make the kids want to meet them. Help your kids determine how long they think it will take to meet their goal and set that amount of time to it.
As you work on your child’s goals, make sure to write them down. This helps to reinforce the goals in their own mind as well as can serve as a mental reminder. Whether you make something formal, such as a chart or progress report or simply write down the goal on a piece of paper, make sure it is always visible to help your child stay on track. Most importantly, have fun with your child’s goals and possibly even set a few for yourself to help your child have a role model to look after and a bit of motivation to help him stick to his plan.