Survey Says: Kids with Goals won’t be on your Couch in 20 years
You’ve likely got a laundry list in your head of all the things you need to do in order to set up your child for lifelong success: teaching social skills, assigning chores each week, and emphasizing the value of education, to name a few. But a big indicator of lifelong advancement might be easier than you expect: showing your kids the importance of goal setting.
The Stats: People who write down goals are 50% more likely to achieve their objectives than those who don’t set any at all. This applies to kids too! In a 2012 study of a Missouri school system, students who set a tangible goal of testing well on a spelling test did significantly better than those who didn’t set a goal at all. Not to mention, goal setting also teaches kids about internal drive and self-motivation.
Why it Matters:
Based on the statistics, it’s easy to see how teaching kids about goal setting early on enables them to achieve greater success, but goal setting is also important in teaching children how to manage five critical areas of life: how to stay organized, how to stay fit, how to manage their own time, how to manage others, and how to manage their finances. (Which is obviously something we’re all about!)
Finally, goal setting not only teaches kids about the incremental steps necessary to achieve success, but shows the importance of grit – in rising after failure, in evaluating what went wrong, and in trying again. Goal setting FTW!!
How to: Start small by simply having a conversation with your child about some of your own goals – whether it be at work, at the gym or with your own finances. Lead by example and show them how you set goals and the steps you take to obtain them. Having an interactive tool such as a Goalsetter account can help them visualize the concept: that the things you want take time, diligence, and effort each day.
- Sign your child up for Goalsetter and ask them about something they really want. Perhaps they’ll say something like, “I want to learn how to take pictures like daddy”, “I want to learn how to play chess”, or “I want to learn to swim underwater.”
- Set a monetary goal for the item or experience that will help them achieve their goal- a new camera for your budding photographer? Swim lessons for your baby shark? Saving towards something – anything – is teaching them to strengthen that all-important muscle of foregoing small things to save for something that really matters.
- Figure up how much it will cost and discuss with them what they’ll need to make their goals a reality.
- Do a quick weekly check-in with your child to talk about their goal and review and progress.