When both my sons were born I remember staring at them through the side of the little plastic cot in the hospital wondering what life would have in store. I had big dreams for them as they grew and wanted to support them to ultimately succeed in life!
As a coach I am passionate about setting goals for myself and encouraging those around me to do the same. It certainly feels the beginning of each new year gives us a fresh opportunity to start anew and set targets or goals for ourselves to move forward in our lives - to dream big for the year.
In this blog I share my thoughts on helping your child to set goals for ultimate success and why that is important. See link at end to request our exclusive goal setting sheets to use with your children.
I'd love to hear your thoughts after reading my blog.....
I am sure you, (like me), want your children to achieve the things they want in life, for them to be successful, to live their dreams!
For that, they need to learn the valuable skill of goal-setting. Once learned, it can become their KEY to success and happiness.
Goal-setting is something even adults can struggle with: studies say that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions and 80% of people give up by the second week of February!
So why is it important for our children to have goals?
As a coach I passionately believe in setting goals. All of us need goals in our lives to give us direction and our children are no different. Feeling good about the future is really important for our mental health and happiness.
Learning how to set and achieve goals is a real life skill to master. If you think about it, setting a goal is like having a target to aim for, it gives direction to life.
Teaching your child to set goals will build independence, self motivation, confidence, empowerment, and a “can do” attitude to life which will enable them to reach their full potential.
(want some help in goal setting with your child? Email us to request our goal setting sheet and New Year Commitment Sheets for young people)
How can we enforce positive and healthy goals to our children?
For our children’s well-being and happiness we need to support them in having a balance of goals for different areas of their lives like;
school work etc
You might talk about areas where they want to improve, or something new they want to learn.
Firstly, if your child has never set goals before, I would definitely recommend starting small and maybe with a fun goal, something they can achieve in a short period of time – think “mini goals or mini habits”
These smaller goals (mini habits) make it easier to get started and more often than not, leads them to exceeding that goal, which boosts self esteem and the feelings of success.
They also need to be encouraged to think about their goals in a positive way – e.g I am xx or I will xxetc,.
The reason for this is because our brain is very obedient. In essence a bit like your very own faithful genie, it will obey your commands and will focus on what you are thinking about.
So if you say "I don’t want xxxxx" it will focus on what you don’t want and find all the ways to attract that into your life.
e.g. I don’t want to fail my exams or I don’t want to be sad
So setting positively framed goals are important. A positive goal/mini habit might be;
I will be successful in my exams and I will practice for an extra 20 minutes every day to improve my maths
Successful people think about what they want, and unsuccessful people think about what they don’t want!
Oh, and importantly, encourage your children to set their own goals around what they want to achieve and not just choose a goal that pleases us!
What are my tips on helping children achieve their goals?
Firstly, a goal needs to be challenging enough to excite them, but also achievable.
Help your child to choose a meaningful but realistic goal, something that will give them a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of satisfaction when they achieve it. No one becomes truly successful by doing something they don’t enjoy. Help them to grow and develop by including goals around that “thing” that makes their heart sing
2. Once they have chosen their goal, they need to write it down or create a vision board or picture of what they want to archive –
That gives the goal power and it has a much greater effect on us than just holding it in our head like an idea. Put the vision board on the wall, somewhere it can be seen, that will turbo charge their "inner genie" to focus on success.
3. Next write down the goal. When writing it down it needs to be written in the now or the present and positive tense.
If the overall goal is big then it might need to be broken down in the smaller steps, to make it achievable.
4. Then follow the 3 w’s; Who, what and when.
Who can help them – e.g. a parent, a coach, a teacher etc
What do they need to do - this is about writing a list of what needs to be done for each step of the journey.
When do I need to be doing these things – e.g. practice every day for 15 mins at 4pm
Then as each small step goal is achieved, it’s important to celebrate that as it moves them forward towards the final overall goal.
Things like what one thing will you do this week to move you forward? is a great question.
Being able to set goals is an amazing gift to share with your children. However, the real prize in this is not the achievement of the goal itself, but the person your child becomes as a result of achieving it.
Goals help turn failures into success, by teaching them to stay focused on what they want. It develops that growth mindset that allows them to learn from what went wrong and have another go.
So what are you waiting for? In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"
Email us to request our goal setting sheet and New Year Commitment Sheets for young people
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