Yes, a brand new year is right around the corner and one of the things I love doing most with my daughter is set goals for the New Year. Not resolutions but goals, because goals are more concrete, actionable, time-oriented and have a result attached to them.
Here are my fave tips on helping kids set goals for the new year:
1. Be a Good Goal Model
Start by being a good role model at setting goals for yourself too. Talk to kids about the changes you’d be making and how you’d be doing that. Also, share what changes you made this year and how you feel about them as well as how they affected you.
Let them see you take action on your goals in some way, every day.
For example, if your goal is to get healthier by the end of 2015 and your action plan includes eating better, drinking more water, exercising regularly; make sure the kids see that you’re taking these steps.
Nothing works better than parental inspiration.
2. Encourage, not Enforce
Encourage children to think about what they’d like to be at the end of the year. Do they want to be neater or more compassionate towards their friends or siblings? Better at a sport? More confident with public speaking?
Or maybe, they have a goal of having the best stamp collection in their community? Yes, goals with things attached can be goals too!
Talk to them and help them brainstorm but don’t make the goals for them.
Give them gentle guidance but let them take the decision. Not only will they feel more independent, it will encourage them to follow up on it as well.
3. Focus on 2 or 3 Goals for the Year
Once you’ve brainstormed on a few broad ideas, narrow down and focus on 2 to 3 goals for the year. Not only will this be realistic, it will be more concrete and specific for a young child to follow as well.
Let kids write down their goals.
4. Help them Plan an Action Plan
Then, break down the 2-3 goals into specific action steps. How would they get better at public speaking? Or build that stamp collection?
Make tiny, doable steps for them. Write down a plan for each goal and let your child have a journal to keep them in and review it regularly.
Baby steps are key. They’re less overwhelming and easier for kids to do which keeps them motivated.
Also, set timelines or milestones, especially for older kids. That serves as further motivation too!
5. Check in, but Don’t Nag
Finally, and most importantly, check in with the kids about how they’re going with their goals but never, ever nag them about it or criticize that they’re not making enough headway.
Instead, sit down say, every month and you share your goal progress while they share theirs. Let it be a family activity and you’ll have them moving forward better than anything else.
Do you do goal setting with your kids for the New Year? What are your tips? Do share with us!
Prerna Malik is the owner of The Mom Writes, a site that offers smart solutions to work-at-home moms. When she isn’t blogging for a living or running a social media agency with her husband, she’s baking cupcakes with her daughter or organizing a closet in her home. Download her free eBooks on organizing and productivity for busy mom entrepreneurs today!