One annual tradition in families around the world is to set goals, or resolutions, on New Year’s Eve. If you and your family celebrate this tradition it is a great opportunity to start to talk to your children about how to set goals that are going to help them to achieve their personal objectives in life.
Goal setting is really a very complex endeavor and one that needs to be scaled down to an appropriate level for a child. Most children, even those that just starting school, can grasp the concept of having a goal and then developing a plan to achieve that goal when they focus in on one specific focus area.
Talking About Goals
A great option to help kids with goal setting is for parents, grandparents and other family members to talk about their own goals with children. This can be done in fun ways through drawing your goals or writing a story about your goals and why they are important to you.
It is critical to choose concrete, measurable goals so that children understand that these are not just wishes or dreams, they are attainable changes that they can control. Wishes and dreams are important too, but they are different than goals.
Making Family Goals Together
Moms, Dads and other family members that interact with the children can all come together and make group goals. Group goals for families are a real bonding experience and can highlight how a family works to support each other throughout the year.
Often family New Year’s goals focus on helping each other, spending more time together, or perhaps everyone agreeing to help out at a local charity or community organization.
The key is for parents to model goal setting in their own lives and talk to children about how goals help to provide measurable milestones and accomplishments in life. Kids should be encouraged to set goals that are meaningful to them and not necessarily the same goals that the parents may have for the child.
A great exercise is to then have the family share their goals and everyone else gives one way that they will help their family member achieve his or her goal. This is a positive and relationship building exercise that is a great way to start off a new year in any household.