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Helping Children Set Goals

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

Hi, I’m Britney and I blog over at Color My Happy . I’m excited to be here on Seek Learning talking about helping our children set goals.

I love goals—setting them, learning, growing, pushing myself, and all things personal growth. Naturally, this love of goals has transferred to my parenting and goals have become part of our family culture.

I believe goals are so important for kids. They help them learn the importance of working hard, they help them gain confidence by realizing they can do hard things, and they give them something to learn and strive for—all things I want for my kids!

Today I want to share five tips for helping your kids set goals.

Tip #1: Don’t Focus On Too Much

The less goals you focus on at a time, the more likely you are to complete them. This is also true for kids.

So, if your kids want to set multiple goals, encourage them to work on only one or two at a time. Focusing all their energy on one goal will help them get to the finish line sooner, as well as help them build that confidence and momentum to add more goals in later.

Tip #2 Categorize Goals

Using categories is a great way to help kids narrow their focus and pick a goal. It can be overwhelming for young kids to pick a goal at random, but when you give them a category, they’re able to easily hone in on what they want to do.

The church’s new Children and Youth Program—created for children turning eight in the new year through eighteen—has this built in. Goals are set within four different categories—spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual.

Younger kids may need less categories, more specific categories (like dance, homeschool, music, etc.), or a simpler word for the category (like church, friends, learning, etc.) You can adapt this for what works for your children!

Tip #3 Let Them Choose

Your kids are more likely to work toward and stick to a goal if they choose it themselves. You can guide them toward things you think will benefit them, but ultimately let them make the final decision.

This might mean they choose a goal you think is weird, unhelpful, or boring. That’s okay! This is for them! If it’s not working, you can always discuss changing it later.

When kids feel like they are in charge of their own lives, they’re more intrinsically motivated, and therefore more likely to work toward their goals. So take a deep breath, step back, and let them decide.

Tip #4: Display Goals

Putting goals on display is a great way to keep goals at the forefront of everyone’s minds.  A lot of times we don’t accomplish goals because we simply get too busy or forget.

Displaying goals in a prominent place in your home helps you remember them and keeps the excitement for accomplishing them high.

You can download a free goals printable for kids on my blog here.

Tip #5: Track Goals

Find a way to track (and even reward) your kids’ progress on their goals. Being able to visually watch their own growth will help their confidence and also boost their motivation to keep going when things get hard.

There are plenty of trackers online or you can create a simple one yourself for free using Canva or some other graphic design software.

Importance of Setting Goals for Kids

Setting goals helps kids learn the skills of figuring out what they want, working hard, not giving up, being intrinsically motivated, and celebrating their own successes.

But our kids need our help to guide them at first. The New Year is the perfect time to sit down with our kids and teach them these important skills! So grab your kids and choose a goal to start working on today.


Contributed by

Brittney Gulbrandsen from Color My Happy

Hi, I'm Britney and I'm passionate about helping moms find joy in motherhood by increasing their confidence in who they are and how they live. I believe that confidence brings clarity, peace, and happiness and I love to share tips and tricks for finding your true priorities, loving yourself and recognizing the good that you do, and connecting with those you love! I blog at Color My Happy and spend most my online time over on Instagram.

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