“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
It’s a question that youngsters are asked more than they can count.
But what about today? Do children have to wait till they reach a certain age to be or achieve something significant?
They can start dreaming big right now. Better more, students may begin to make those ambitions a reality by learning the proper technique to create and achieve objectives. And, with time, kids will gain confidence and resilience, knowing they have a great ability that allows them to achieve everything they set their minds to.
However, there is a drawback.
Did you know that 92% of individuals never reach their objectives? Yikes! It’s no surprise that setting goals may be intimidating.
Fortunately, there is a tried-and-true technique for defining and attaining objectives. It’s a simple four-step technique that allows anyone of any age to achieve any objective.
HOW TO HELP KIDS SET (AND ACHIEVE) GOALS IN 4 EASY STEPS
When children learn to create and achieve objectives, they are acquiring a crucial ability that will benefit them in all aspects of their lives, including:
And a lifetime habit of pursuing and attaining their goals.
Don’t you think that sounds fairly good?
So, how can we encourage our children to create objectives and get the benefits? Here are four research-backed actions to take:
- LET THE GOAL BE THEIRS
If we want our children to work on objectives, they must be enthusiastic about them. That involves allowing them to make their own decisions.
As parents, we tend to be generous with our advice and ideas. When we do, though, we sometimes deprive our children of the opportunity to pursue their own interests and abilities.
That doesn’t mean we can’t assist them along the road. We can assist our children to identify what aspirations they wish to pursue by asking questions. Try questions like:
- What would you do if you knew there was no way you could fail?
- What has always piqued your interest?
- Is there anything in particular that you’d want to improve?
- What is something you would be proud to have accomplished?
It is now time for them to choose ONE GOAL to work on. Once they’ve made their decision, have them summarize it in one line – and make it detailed.
“I will perform better on my next arithmetic test,” for example, is not as effective as “I will study my flashcards for 10 minutes every day for 30 days.”
They will have a considerably higher chance of success if their objectives are precise and quantifiable (or trackable).
- HELP THEM DISCOVER THEIR WHY
People usually perform better when they are motivated to do so. People who have a purpose tend to be more successful than those who do not, regardless of their age, position, or what they are working on.
In order to assist your children to understand why they want to focus on a specific goal, ask them questions like:
- What makes you want to work on this project?
- Is this objective worth putting in the effort to achieve?
- How would achieving this objective benefit you in the long run?
- What is the relationship between this aim and your larger goals?
Consider going a step farther and asking:
- How can you put what you’ve learned to use to aid others?
“The aim is not only for you to cross the finish line, but to see how many people you can inspire to run with you,” Simon Sinek writes in his book “Find Your Why.”
When children can add this final component to their “why,” they will discover an even greater sense of purpose in working toward their objectives. And the larger the goal, the better the outcome.
- HELP THEM DECONSTRUCT THEIR GOALS INTO SMALLER STEPS.
It is now time to develop a strategy. And in order to accomplish so, we must break down the enormous aim into smaller steps.
Help your children brainstorm all of the events that must occur for them to reach their objective. Don’t overlook the minor details!
Inquire about things like:
- What should you do first?
- What more do you require?
- When is it necessary?
- Who can help you if you need it?
They can write down the actions they need to do in the order they need to be finished after they have a notion of what they need to accomplish.
Fill out a basic goal-setting worksheet, such as this goal ladder, to help them visualize the process.
(A printable version is available here.)
They can put their main objective at the top of the ladder, then fill in the blanks with the steps needed to get there.
Goals are intended to help us progress. They should be difficult enough to make us work hard, yet still within our grasp.
And the easiest approach to keep our goals in sight is to divide them into doable stages.
If your child becomes discouraged while working toward a goal, tell them that it’s alright not to complete the task right immediately. It is about the growth process. This is accomplished through making progress and fulfilling smaller, short-term goals.
They are coming closer to success as they move up the ladder, rung by rung, even if they have to adjust their strategy as they go.
- DON’T FORGET TO PLAN FOR OBSTACLES
In a perfect world, everything would proceed as planned. However, this is not always the case.
Setbacks and roadblocks can (and frequently do) arise. But if we plan for them, we can keep going. Even when we want to surrender.
We can assist our children to stay happy and motivated by encouraging them to consider potential roadblocks. Take it a step further and have them write out their solutions in their action plan.
When defining goals, keep in mind that it is always OK to adjust the plan if something isn’t working. The process, rather than the end result, provides the majority of the learning.
WHAT IF MY CHILD STILL WISHES TO QUIT?
When it comes to having a backup plan, parents are no exception.
Here are some ideas to help a youngster who is feeling really frustrated and wants to quit up:
- Remind them of their “why”.
- Assist them in brainstorming solutions to the problem.
- Point out the progress they’ve made.
- Share your personal experiences dealing with adversity.
- Teach them the value of using positive self-talk.
- Offer your ideas or suggestions if they are receptive.
- Inform them that you appreciate their perseverance and dedication.
Rose .A. Milani,
Parent Coach and Registered Mental Health Counsellor
Based in Melbourne, Australia