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Self-Improvement Month: Teaching kids to set goals

Self-Improvement Month: Teaching kids to set goals

We all have dreams. The best feeling is when a dream becomes a reality. Goals will help your child achieve that thrill. Teach organization, commitment, drive, and patience through goal setting. Here are some tips to help your kid set personal goals, map out a plan and stick to it. Ready – GO!

Be SMART about it

Setting a goal can be inspiring and scary all at once. Every kid is different. They have different ambitions, skills, abilities, and passions. Goals are born from desires. How can you teach kids to set an appropriate goal? Be SMART and write it down.



Example: Save $200 to buy a snowboard for Winter break. The goal is:

  • Specific: they want a snowboard
  • Measurable: it costs $200.
  • Attainable: maybe they already have $80 saved. They have $120 to go.
  • Realistic: Have a conversation about how realistic this goal is in their current world and what would need to change (see ‘action steps’).
  • Timely: Snowboarding season may be just around the corner – a great incentive to stay committed.

Make action steps small

Now that a goal is established, now comes the real work: achieving it. A plan is needed. Visuals are motivating and bring thoughts to life. Use charts and pictures to illustrate each action step. Make checklists and a timeline. Break the goal down into smaller steps. In the example above, there are 4 months until Winter Break. That means that $30 per month needs to be saved. That’s $7.25 per week. That equates to just over a dollar a day. What chores can earn your child a dollar a day? Be creative and have fun helping them work through a plan.

Reward progress

Seeing accomplishments inspires all of us to go further, try harder, and keep working toward our goal. Add a ‘$’ to the chart each day money is earned. Offer a bonus incentive if all chores are completed by 10 am each day. Consider matching what was earned when extra effort is put forth. Reward progress, check off accomplishments, and encourage more than they imagined.

Be their biggest fan

Visuals, progress markers, and incentives keep the commitment alive. Do not forget encouragement, understanding, and love. Goals require hard work. Hard work can be frustrating at times. Kids always need your support. Be their biggest fan.

Image Copyright:  iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

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