Every parent wants to help make their kid’s dreams become reality. I know I do! The good news is it’s very possible. How? By teaching children to set goals and work to achieve them. Doing this also encourages perseverance by helping kids learn that even if they fail at first, they have the power to get back up and try again. Here are the 4 basic steps to successful goal setting and achievement to get you and your child started…
1. Set the goal
Have your child write down the things he or she would like to accomplish this week, this month, or by the end of this year. If your child needs some help coming up with ideas, recall the times he’s said, “I wish I could…” and decide together of ways to transform that wish into a specific goal. Make certain the goal is specific and includes a deadline so you’re both clear about when it has been achieved and when to celebrate success. Not “I want to learn how to play a song on the piano,” but “I will learn how to play Mary Had A Little Lamb by Monday, August 10th.”
Here’s a free Goal Achievement Chart to help organize action steps and monitor progress!
2. Create a plan
Once you have decided on a goal, break it down into smaller pieces. Using the example goal set in #1, the action steps may look like:
- Learn to play the first line of the music by Monday, July 6th. Practice the section 5 times without mistake each day.
- Learn to play the second line by Monday, July 13th. Practice the section 5 times without mistake each day.
- Learn to play the third line by Monday, July 20th. Practice the section 5 times without mistake each day.
- Learn to play the third line by Monday, July 27th. Practice the section 5 times without mistake each day.
- Learn to play the final fifth line by Monday, August 3rd. Practice the section 5 times without mistake each day.
- Have the song perfected by Monday August 10th. Practice whole song 5 times without mistake each day.
3. Record your progress and offer incentives to keep the momentum going
Each action step that has been successfully completed should be recorded so your child can monitor her progress. Charts are excellent for creating a visual reminder of the steps completed and the steps that still needs to be taken to reach the final goal. Stickers on a chart are a great way to acknowledge and celebrate small milestones and keep the excitement going!
Here’s a free Weekly Goals Chart to help monitor progress!
4. Reward achievement and praise specific efforts
Decide on a great way to celebrate your child’s success! Whether it’s a fun afternoon at the park, an extra hour of video games, a toy your child has had their eye on… just be certain it is something you can and are willing to deliver because your child’s determination and hard work deserves a celebration!
Also, keep in mind that while celebrating your child’s achievement is wonderful, it’s just as important to praise her for specific efforts such as practicing daily without fail or studying diligently all semester. This will help your child understand that growth and improvemet is just as important as the final win!
That’s it! These are the same 4 steps I followed with my very own son. I wish you the best, and here’s to making your kid’s dreams a reality!