By Marli Naidoo
Setting goals and the compilation of an accompanying action plan is a valuable skill that we can develop from a young age. A great family tradition can be created when a family sets out their personal and mutual goals on paper on a yearly basis.
The key to your children’s cooperation lies in it being fun. Collect some coloured pencils, a pair of scissors and glue, and get the family together. Decide what you want to achieve during the year. The younger children can draw pictures to depict what they would like to do. Do you want to go camping before the end of the year, let the youngest draw a picture of a tent. At the end of the year, you can go through your goals, and see what you achieved.
Each person can create a vision board. Let your children page through old magazines and identify pictures that represent their dreams and ideals. Cut out these pictures and paste them on to cardboard. Decorate with stickers and pretty colours. Discuss each member of the family’s vision board, and help one another to identify how to achieve each ideal. Then decide what the first step would be. For your younger children it could be as simple as baking a cake by themselves without the help of Mom or Dad.
You can sit down together monthly and chat about your progress. Don’t put pressure on one another, but encourage one another. Sometimes some of your goals will have to be adapted when an individual sees that it does not make sense.
Goals must be realistic and achievable, but at the same time big and challenging. An effective goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and have a time limit.
Goals that depend largely on luck (for example, winning a competition) sound ambitious, but can in the long term be frustrating and counterproductive. Choose goals that can be achieved through sustained and constant work.
Children sometimes need an extra bit of encouragement in the form of a reward. Decide together what would be a good reward.
Goals give us a sense of direction and achievement, and enable our lives to progress. Just keep in mind that the purpose is to grow, and not perfection.
Big Life Journal: https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/5-fun-goal-setting-activities-children
Education Week: https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-10-tips-for-setting-successful-goals-with-students/2015/01