Goal Setting

Happy New Year!  There is so much pressure at this time of year to ‘start fresh’ and be the person you always wanted to be.  We start out by making grandiose ‘resolutions’, many of which are unrealistic and unattainable, so we end up throwing in the towel by the time February rolls around.

Our children witness this behavior and it can dampen their motivation.   So, instead of encouraging them to make resolutions, we should be teaching them (and ourselves) the more practical life skill of ‘goal setting’.

Regardless of their age, this is the perfect time to teach your children how to set goals the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) way.  They can apply this approach to almost anything that they want to achieve…making the basketball team, getting an A in math, learning how to skate, you name it!

To better ensure success, make sure they break down the ultimate goal into smaller goals (e.g. monthly, weekly and even daily goals) and then cross goals off once they’re attained (successful completion of goals along the way helps provide the motivation to continue).

What has your experience been with New Year’s resolutions (I got frustrated with trying to attain the unattainable, so gave up on them years ago)?  Share your stories in the comments.

If this article was of interest to you, you might also wish to read my posts entitled “You are what you think” and “Patience“.