Goal setting is an extremely important skill for people of all ages, whether goals relate to academics, careers, or personal life! Forbes Magazine explains that setting goals helps children make noticeable differences in behavior (for the better), focus on productive tasks, be motivated, track their progress, and achieve self-mastery. It is important that children feel good about themselves and their accomplishments; setting goals and actively working toward them is a great first step! Keep reading for some great tips for New Year’s resolutions for kids!
A Guide to New Year’s Resolutions for Kids
Goals can be short-term or long-term, easy or difficult. According to PositivePsychology.com, it is important to set goals that are challenging enough that children can grow and feel a sense of accomplishment. However, they should not be too challenging that they cannot be attained. So, where is the happy medium?
One of the most promising ways to ensure that the goals kids set are attainable is to follow the SMART goal model:
- S stands for Specific. Goals should be clear and detailed so that there is no room for loopholes. For example, imagine a child’s goal is to make it across the monkey bars. The child should clarify, which monkey bars he or she wants to cross, as the monkey bars at one park may be much longer than another.
- M stands for Measurable. When setting goals, it is important that the outcome can be measured so that students are able to track their progress and know when the goal has been completed. For example, if a student’s goal is to raise his or her overall grade in math class, that goal can be considered achieved when the student reaches a 90-average.
- A stands for Attainable. As mentioned before, children must make sure that the goals they set are able to be achieved. For example, if a student is close to failing a class, setting the goal to get an A may not be possible and could lead to feelings of failure.
- R stands for Relevant. If students are going to spend all this time and effort working toward their goals, they had better be applicable to their lives! An example of an irrelevant goal would be to beat the boss-level of a videogame if the student wants to get a good grade on a test the next day.
- T stands for Time-bound. Setting a timeline to achieve goals is extremely important because it keeps students focused and motivated. Just as students prioritize assignments with upcoming due dates, children are likely to put forth the effort to achieve their goals when they are meant to be completed by a certain day or time. For example, if a child’s goal is to earn an A on a test at the end of the week, he or she will realize that studying over the next few days (instead of the night before) is a good plan – isn’t it strange how kids still haven’t figured that one out?
Sticking to Goals
Behavioral changes and goal achievement do not happen overnight. Especially for long-term goals, these adjustments require persistence and focus. Luckily, there are several strategies that are sure to keep your child on track to achieving success:
- Write them down and keep them visible: When students write their goals down on paper, they are essentially signing a mental contract that this goal is something they really want to do. Once written down, children are encouraged to hang the paper with the goal written on it somewhere that it can be seen often, such as on the refrigerator or in their rooms. That way, there is no chance that they can forget about their goals over time! Check out the goal sheet we gave our students at A Grade Ahead.
- Tell other people about your goals: Sharing aspirations with others is a fantastic way to remain accountable for them. When children’s parents, friends, and teachers ask kids about their progress towards set goals, there is a much higher chance that those goals will be achieved!
- Devote a little bit of time each day: Children will not want to work towards their goals if they think it will require an excessive time commitment and effort. Splitting up the task into 15-30 minutes a day can ensure that large goals don’t seem too daunting.
- Stay positive: Goals are meant to challenge children and help them grow into better versions of themselves! That being said, it’s important that they can envision themselves achieving their goals and look forward to the results of their efforts.
At our academies, we asked our students to write down some New Year’s Resolutions of their own. A lot of these goals related to grades, friends, and personal interests. What are your child’s goals for the New Year, and how does he or she plan to stick with them? Do you have any tips for New Year’s resolutions for kids?
Author: Morgan L., Writer and Teacher at A Grade Ahead
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