Given that it’s the first month of the New Year (Happy New Year’s everyone!), and most people are writing up an abundance of “New Year’s Resolutions”, we thought we would touch on how to successfully incorporate New Year’s Goals into the lives of our littles ones – no it is not just for adults!?
Although wanting to develop healthier habits is exceptionally great, when applying them into resolutions, it becomes the concept of “all or nothing”. The last thing we want to teach our children is that when they don’t achieve a specific resolution on a specific day, they have failed their resolution. According to Active.com – unfortunately – only 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions maintain it throughout the year. This is a direct product of people setting goals that are essentially unrealistic and far too broad. When trying to incorporate resolutions into a child’s everyday life, it is setting them up to become a part of the 92% of people who don’t stick to their new beneficial habits.
So how do you make these resolutions last? The answer to this is simple; have them set GOALS that have acquire the following attributes:
- Specific, Measurable
- Instead of “I want to learn to read better”, alter the goal to “I want to read 15-30 minutes every day to increase my reading abilities”. By initiating this statement, it makes it much more tangible for the child to achieve due to the goal becoming measurable.
- Attainable, Achievable, Gradual
- It is unlikely that a child who has done hardly any reading, begins reading for an hour straight every day. Gradual goals will allow more room for achievement and growth to be acknowledged. Instead of, “I will read an hour everyday”, have them make it more obtainable by initiating, “I will raise my reading time to 15-30 minutes”.
- Realistic and Relevant
- Although you – as a parent or guardian – may want the child to work vigorously on their reading skills, is it really something that your child wants to do? Is it realistically exciting for them? The child will be more engaged and set on achieving something they are willing to invest time in.
- Time-Limited and Trackable
- Setting time-limited and trackable goals gives your child a date to complete their goals by. In regards to reading, they could set their goal to end at the end of the month, and from there they can increase the difficulty of their goal depending on how much progress they have made (you will need to help them figure this out). In another example, if a low-mid level student wants to achieve better grades, they may have their goal end at the end of the term or next grading period.
- Smaller Goals to Achieve the Grand Goal
- Developing smaller, attainable goals on a daily or weekly basis allows a sense of achievement to be made. The 15-30 minute increase of reading will allow the child’s desire of reading faster/better become far more achievable simply due to the daily to increase of this skill. Another example may be a student who wants to raise all their grades by one letter grade by the end of the next term may set a goal to do one-two additional hours of studying every week to make their overall goal more attainable to reach.
- Multiple Goals
- One goal is not enough and could put too much pressure on your child! However, too many goals are unrealistic and could be overwhelming. We recommend around three goals 🙂
One of the largest barriers of people/children not attaining their resolutions is that they are often far too unrealistic and broad. Teaching children to incorporate these methods and this level of detail into their goals – rather than resolutions – and everyday lives will give them something more attainable and sustainable to strive for. This will promote proper creation of goals to be constructed in the future, as well as a greater success rate!
We hope we have provided some valuable information about the construction of goals and hope you implement them into the lives of our young ones, as well as yourself! Thank you! ?
January 10th, 2020