I always find it amusing to frequent the gym in January. It is so crowded! Almost annoyingly so. But I just smile inside, knowing that in the next two months the population will die back down to normal.
The gym example is easy to mock, but I too have been guilty with my New Year’s resolutions. I love the concept of the Roman god Janus–looking backwards at the year completed and all that was accomplished, as well as ahead with renewed hope for fresh starts and new beginnings. I love the ambition and motivation that come as I sit down and think of how I want to improve myself for the forthcoming year. But just like most people, routine takes over, goals get shuffled in the mundane, and I rarely accomplish all that I set out to conquer.
So how do we master goal setting and achieving? There are some wonderful resources on the website I will link to below. We need to be able to master this ourselves to be able to teach by example.
Just as important as self-mastery, how are we to teach this concept to our children? What are some ways we can help our children find joy in setting goals for themselves, tracking their goals, and ultimately accomplishing them?
We want to hear your ideas! Please share in the comments below!
Some ideas that we have used are:
- My Development Books: The credit on this idea goes to my father-in-law. He would sit down with his children periodically (quarterly works for us) and write down their goals in each child’s special notebook. My husband interviews the kids and lets them illustrate their goals and their books. They get smiley faces if the goal was mastered, half-smiles for “could still be worked on,” and a frowny face if they didn’t work on it. After goals are evaluated, they set new ones or continue on the ones they had.
- Clip-Board: Each child has their own clipboard with their daily responsibilities. Under their job chart we keep their “goals.” This can be in the form of school projects, record sheets, scout requirements they are working on, etc.
- White Board Brainstorming: For family goals we have a family brainstorm session of things we want to see happen for the upcoming year, including: outings, family vacation ideas, service ideas, and things we can improve on. We encourage the kids to think of the following categories of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual. This can be done on a whiteboard or even a large piece of paper or poster board. For this brainstorm I used the roll of paper from IKEA and taped it to a kitchen window. After the brainstorm we narrow down what is most important for us to accomplish and write it in our Development Books. (This process sometimes takes a few days.)
- Make Them Visible: One idea I heard from the recent Mom Conference was to have an ongoing “bucket list” of things your kids would like to do and keep it in a high visibility area, like a wall in the kitchen or family room. Un-visited goals and ideas are sure to be forgotten.
Here are those links that I mentioned:
- New Year’s Goals that Fit Our Current Stage
- Getting Excited About Goals: Episode 37
- Create Space for Goal Setting: Episode 189
- S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Episode 190
QUESTION: How do you help your children set and achieve goals?
Images provided by the author.
Feature Image from Shutterstock; graphics by Anna Jenkins.