Positive Education – When it comes to setting goals for ourselves, it can be often an anxiety-inducing task. What if we don’t live up to our own expectations that we set? Or what if we don’t really want to set goals for ourselves in case we don’t enact them? All these worries and uncertainties don’t just occur to us when we enter adulthood; children are just as susceptible to these exact insecurities. But not to worry, goal-setting isn’t as daunting as it may seem!
Here are some ways to teach your child to set achievable goals for themselves in the coming year as we round off 2021 on a positive note:
Using the SMART method for goal-setting
One way of helping yourself and your child set goals is by using the SMART method: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Relevant, and Time-limited & Trackable.
Firstly, to be specific means setting a goal that is localised to what you aim to achieve, such as wanting to get Bs for all your school subjects as opposed to wanting to get better grades in school, for instance. Next, you want to make sure your goal is measurable, like checking your report card to see how much progress you’ve made. When it comes to attainable goals, you have to ensure your goals are achievable and not impossible. They have to be realistically doable as well as relevant to what your end goal is.
Finally, put a time limit on your goals ; the time frame must be set within the realm of what you can achieve realistically so plan accordingly.
Creating a simple goal-setting worksheet for your child
When it comes to helping your child determine what they want to achieve in the coming year, don’t make the process too convoluted. Instead, invest in creating a simple worksheet for them to write down what they aim to achieve for themselves. Make it as simple a process as possible.
All that’s in the worksheet is the child’s particulars, followed by five simple questions they can ask themselves:
- “What am I good at?”
- “What am I not so good at?”
- “What can I improve on?”
- “How can I make these improvements?”
- “Do I have a plan B in case my plan doesn’t work?”
Have a family bucket list, sort of
One creative way to set goals is getting the whole family in on the action; it’s a great way to encourage your child to practice how to set goals for themselves and establish effective goal-setting practices.
How do you go about it? Grab some coloured markers and mahjong paper (or any other white paper), then as a family sit down and brainstorm what you wish to accomplish, experience or achieve together over the next year. Over the course of he next year, look over what has been accomplished and celebrate your achievements together; and for the goals you are unable to achieve , set them aside for the year after.
Create a vision board for yourself and your child
Now this is a pretty interesting concept: vision boards are a unique way for you to set meaningful goals. Vision boards can help your child think creatively and be intentional about what they wish to achieve for themselves (in addition to providing them with ample motivation moving forward).
To create an effective vision board, get some some old magazines or newspaper clippings (you can even print out online articles) and have your child select and cut out pictures that best represent their hopes and dreams for the future. Next, help your child arrange the picture cutouts on a board (can be simple cardboard or even a notice board) and use glue, pins or any sort of adhesive to secure them in place.
After that, you can provide your child with ribbons, glitter, stickers or any other forms of decoration that they would like to embellish their vision board with. Finally, you can get your child to describe to you what their vision board represents and how they wish to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. By doing so, your child will now have a much clearer and definitive vision of what they hope to achieve for themselves in the near future.
H/T: Positive Psychology
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