Before your child starts scoring goals on the field, you should teach them how to set goals! Taking the time to teach kids about goal setting can help them to grow and develop in a variety areas and will also help them be more successful as adults.
Teaching your kid about different types of goals, how to define their goals and how to track progress will help set them on course to make their dreams come true. Follow this approach to goal setting with your child and help them build a plan for success!
Types of Goals
Goals can be categorized by timeframe (short-term and long-term) and also by accomplishment type (physical goals or character goals). Short-term goals are meant to be accomplished in a small amount of time, such as a week or a month. Long-term goals are intended to be achieved in a longer amount of time, as in several months or years.
Physical goals are skill based and require practice and learning. Mastering dribbling, reading chapter books, learning to do a cartwheel, or building up endurance for running are all examples of physical goals. Character goals require practice too; building good habits takes time. Examples of character goals are always telling the truth, being a helpful teammate or remembering to say please and thank you. Have your child pick one short-term goal and one long-term goal to accomplish and then have them define whether their goals are physical goals or character goals.
Goal Setting Techniques
Your child can use the WOW and SMART methods to help define their goals. WOW stands for “Within One Week.” If your child can add the phrase “Within One Week, I will…” in front of their short-term goal, then they’ve set an attainable, well defined goal. WOW goals are typically short goals, but several WOW goals can sometimes be used to help to achieve a long-term goal.
Long-term goals can be defined using the SMART method.
- Specific: The goal is detailed and exact. The goal should address who, what, when, where, why and how. Ask your child to answer each of these questions to ensure that they’ve clearly defined their goal.
- Measurable: Your child should determine a way measure their progress so that they can know exactly when they have met their goal.
- Attainable: Goals should be realistic and within your child’s reach in the time frame they have defined.
- Relevant: The goal your child chooses should be something that is important to them right now. Choosing a goal that is relevant will help keep your child motivated to achieve.
- Time: Establish a time frame in which the goal will be met. Time can be defined in terms of weeks, months or even a year. Having your child set a “due date” for their goal can help keep them committed to working towards the goal.
Teach your child about the importance of regularly checking in on the progress they’ve made towards accomplishing their goal. Explain that monitoring their growth can help them stay focused and on track. Measuring their progress can also help them determine if their goal needs to be changed. Sometimes your child may need more time to reach their goal or they may need to make their goal to be even more challenging.
Creating a chart that shows their improvement can be a fun craft project and a great way to help your child meet their goal. A chalkboard, a whiteboard or even a sheet that you can add stickers to are all great methods for measuring growth. When your child is checking in on their progress, be sure to ask them “What can you do TODAY to move towards completing your goal?”
Goal setting is a lifelong skill that you can be used in many facets of life. Use these guidelines to teach your kid how to set and achieve their goals – New Year’s Resolutions aren’t just for adults!