We all want our children to be successful and happy in life. By teaching children early on how to write and achieve goals, you’re creating a healthy habit that they will carry with them into their adult years. Keep reading to learn how to help children write and achieve goals; including a free printable goal sheet to keep those goals posted and in sight!
Fact: if you write down a goal, you are more likely to achieve it. How much more likely? Studies say about 62%! Now, did you know that on average only 3% of the population write down goals? And of that 3%, only 1% actually sit down and review those goals and rewrite them. This is why it’s so important to get kids in the habit of writing goals down early in life.
Writing down your goals is such a simple step but so crucial to achieving the goal. As a matter of fact, it is the first step to achieving a goal.
STEP 1: WRITE
To get started right away, print off the MY GOALS printable below and have your child write down some things they’d like to achieve. They can be short term, long term, specific, generic; whatever comes to their mind. This paper can be printed off as many times as you’d like so use it first just to get the ideas out of their head and onto paper (remember, this is just the start and gives them an edge over 97% of the population). Help your child pick one goal per area; the more specific, the better. And if that goal has a timeline, even better. After they’ve picked their specific goal in each area, print out a new sheet and write those goals down in each square. Don’t forget to hang it in a place they will see daily. This is key to keeping goals!
STEP 2: PLAN
Now they need to plan out how they’re going to achieve that goal. For example, let’s say my child wants to learn to play the piano. That’s still very generic but for sake of time, that’s what we’ll go with. So they’d write this:
Learn to Play the Piano
- Purchase a piano
- Find a teacher (or an app)
By writing down the steps of the goal, they can easily see how to achieve it. This works with anything and everything. My son wrote down as one of his spiritual goals to “be more loving and kind.” This is what his plan would look like:
Be More Loving and Kind
- Write down someone’s name
- Make it a point to do something kind for that person every day for a week
- Serve that person (like if it’s a sibling, make their bed)
- Write a sweet note
- Give them a special treat
- Hug them
- Write down all the positive things about that person that you can think of
- Write down how you felt at the end of the week
- Repeat with a new person for x amount of weeks
STEP 3: ACT
After planning the steps to achieve a goal, you need to get to work. Some goals are fun, some are hard, some will require a lot of commitment, others might only take a few minutes a day. The important thing here is to keep going. Teach your kids that they don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be consistent. If they fall off track, tell them to start back up where they left. No big deal, just keep going. One of our favorite books that will really help with this step is called The Compound Effect. My 10 year old has been listening to the audio book and it has seriously opened her mind.
Our children attend an awesome (and free for everyone who wants to join) youth program through our church that encourages them to write and achieve goals. It is where we got the four goal areas for the ‘MY GOALS’ printable below. There is a group that meets twice a month for the younger, pre-teen aged children and a group that meets weekly for the teenagers. This youth program does activities to help the children grow in four areas of life. Me and Stacey have both had the opportunity to serve (and currently serve) in both groups. These groups are scattered all over the United States and all throughout the world. We all use the same outline, no matter where you are around the world. The goal is simple, to teach the youth that they have a purpose. Here is an excerpt from the book we use to do this program, explaining a little bit of why it’s important to learn, develop talents and grow:
“Your Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, know you and love you. You are an important part of Their work. You can help to make the world better.
Heavenly Father has given you talents and spiritual gifts. He wants you to use these gifts and talents to be happy and bless others.”
The program has four categories. They’re titled as “Following the Savior in All Areas of Your Life” and go along with the scripture Luke 2:52, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” The four areas broken down are:
In the back of the book, there are ideas on goals to accomplish. Here is a small sample of some of the fun activities we’ve done throughout the years to help the kids grow in all areas:
- Service projects
- Book drive, donating to the local women’s/children’s center
- Cleaning and organizing the nursery
- Visiting the elderly at a local retirement center (play games, paint their nails, sing them songs)
- Clean up an elderly or disabled neighbors yard
- Putting together hygiene kits for women and girls around the world that need them
- Care baskets for the widows in our local ward
- Learning how to create a stop motion video
- Learning how to draw
- Lots of art activities encouraging them to create
- Cooking activities, teaching them how to make their own healthy snacks
- Cultural nights, learning about cultures all around the world
- Physical activities
- The teenage kids love when the activity for the week is to play a game of kickball, basketball, or soccer
- We’ve done bigger activities like rappelling, ziplining, hiking, bike riding, and more
To read/learn more about the program go here or here. If you would like your child to join one of these programs, contact your local missionaries here and they’ll connect you with all the information you need (who’s in charge, when they meet, where they meet, etc). If you would just like a book to do at home with your own kids, contact those same missionaries and ask them for a copy. They’ll be more than happy to give you one.
STEP 4: REFLECT & CELEBRATE
It’s so important to take a look back and see how far you’ve come. There’s a reason they say hindsight is 20/20. When we look back, we can clearly see all the steps that led us to our goal. We can reflect on the things that didn’t really work and the things that really helped us succeed. It will also help us set new goals moving forward. After that, go and celebrate! They’ve just achieved something that very few people do; they’ve accomplished a goal!
Learning how to set goals and achieve them has given our kids direction and we know it will for yours too. Don’t forget to check out this “30 Days to a Better Me” post that would go perfect with setting goals and will easily help crush bad habits and create new, healthy ones. And don’t forget about your little ones! The earlier you start teaching your kids how to set and achieve goals, the better. Check out our Reward Chart post for helping little ones achieve success.
All our love and aloha,
Stacey + Niki