Happy New Year! I love new beginnings – whether it’s a new year, a birthday or just a new day. New beginnings present us with opportunities to set fresh goals and achieve greater heights.
I’d like to kick off 2016 by sharing a few tips as we work with our children in setting goals. (Of course I’m assuming you have set your own goals. If you haven’t please don’t put it off any further). The benefits our children stand to gain from cultivating the habit of setting goals are priceless. In addition to fostering a can-do spirit and the boost in self-confidence, they also develop vital character traits such as discipline and perseverance that are essential in becoming efficient, well-rounded and productive individuals. Here are a few things to help:
- Explain the process of goal setting in basic terms
- In working with our children and making suggestions, we should be careful not to take over. Remember it’s their goal not yours. The chances of success are more when they take full ownership of the goal.
- It must be written down. Goals that are not written down are just wishes and you know the saying “if wishes were horses beggars would ride”! Wishes are not as compelling as goals.
- While they should dream big, they should set as milestones, small, achievable and realistic goals and move from one milestone to the next.
- Encourage them to consistently take action that would move them closer to achieving the goal. No Action – No Achievement.
- Let them know that failure isn’t final – it’s not the end of the process. I saw an interesting acronym for F.A.I.L. – First Attempt In Learning. Rather than allow them throw in the towel at the first setback, work with them in making necessary adjustments that would improve the chances of success.
The next time your child -no matter what age (if the can “want to” then they can “do”) comes to you and says “I want to…” that’s your cue to help determine if it’s a goal worth pursuing and guide them in taking the necessary steps in achieving what they want. Oh and while we’re still on the matter if you haven’t quite articulated what your goals are, you could start with “teaching my kids to set goals”. Use this simple PlanningOutMyGoals document to help you get started. Tell us how it goes and please share your experiences on our blog www.parentinvestment.com.
Good luck and I pray that 2016 delivers to you and your family great accomplishments and rich fulfillment.