Encouraging your child to set goals will help them get the most out of life, experience fun and a gain a sense of achievement and self respect. It is however important that they do not feel pressured to continually achieve and constantly set high goals as this can lead to a feeling of not being good enough. Children must understand that having goals are there to make us feel good about ourselves and adds fun to our life. Goals are most powerful when you are passionate about them and really want them in your life. If they are someone else's goals and set of expectations put upon a child, they will more than likely not have the enthusiasm to go for the goal. Goals also help us discover our passions, values and what we really want in life. Having goals are a way to feel better about ourselves rather than worse.
Once children have established their goals and are working towards them, they must learn not to give up. Failure is part of life and makes us strong. We just have to pick ourselves up and start again. Remind them that Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb, tried thousands of ways to make a light bulb before he was successful. The story of Robert the Bruce is also a great example of not giving up. Robert Bruce had failed 6 battles and was just about to give up when he saw a spider weaving her web. She worked slowly and tried to throw the thread from one edge of the wall to another. Each time it failed, but she did not give up and was successful on the seventh attempt. This gave him courage and strength not to give up and he went out and won the battle.
When children are making a list of their goals they need to think about the impact of that goal on themselves and others. Goals that are most successful are ones that benefit the self and others and bring further positivity and success. It is also important that children must believe that it is possible. For example if the goal was to fly, they will know that it is not possible for humans to fly without wings. Children can work towards their long term goals and punctuate them with short term goals. This allows them to enjoy the journey and treats along the way rather than having a long term and almost unattainable goal.
For younger children, you may like to draw a ladder or a winding path. They can mark out their goals and have a treat along the way.
Here are 5 steps to help children make and achieve their goals
1. Make a list of your goals
2. Close your eyes and really believe that it can be true. Imagine that you have achieved your goal. How does it feel?
3. Make a list of 5 things you are going to do on the way to get closer to your goal.
4. Everyday when you wake up, say a positive statement such as 'I am brilliant at dance/school work/ music/sports' 'I am successful' 'I believe in myself'
5. Everyday, try and do one thing that helps you get closer to your goal.