“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
I looked at my son’s end of term result and smiled.
Flashback to last year, we set a goal.
“Seyi, I want you to get all As in your subjects”
“Mommy, that’s impossible. Nobody gets all As”
And then he went on to tell me the various reasons why it was impossible.
So looking at his results I just had to smile. He got all A’s. That’s when I realised, if there is no goal, there can be no real success. Since then I have learnt to set goals for my children. Not all goals are academic, some are about skills, health, spiritual growth, saving money or even something as simple as breaking an annoyingly bad habit.
All parents share that sense of frustration when their child doesn’t try hard enough to accomplish something they know he’s perfectly capable of. What can you do? One way to foster a can-do attitude is to help your child learn to set goals and meet them, one small step at a time.
Children who have goals – whether sporting, academic, or even personal ones – will do better in life. With this in mind, teaching children the necessity of goal setting and how to actually go about it is important.
Here are four steps to get started on setting goals for your children
- Help them agree on their goals. Remember it must be SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time-bound. Remember to write down all goals.
- Help them come up with an action plan to achieve their goals by asking the Three W’s. “What do I need to do?” Practice my numeracy more, “Who can help?” A private tutor, parent, or friend “When?” 30 minutes every day.
- Monitor progress and help them stick to the agreed action plan. Usually, it takes a lot of discipline and determination to “stay the course” for an adult how much more a child. So they will need a lot of encouragement along the way
- Celebrate and reward them if they managed to stick to the plan and achieve the goal they worked so hard for! And finally, SET NEW GOALS!!!!
Your child may not always achieve his goals, this is especially true when the goals are linked to academics or even extra-curricular activities. It’s also important to tell them not to lose faith when they fail to achieve a goal. Even if your child hasn’t reached his ultimate goal, he would have learnt a few valuable lessons about planning, goal setting and should have noticed measurable improvements along the way. More importantly, they have probably learned some things about themselves.