It could be that your kids set themselves one big goal for the term or year, or maybe they’ll set several smaller ones. It could be that your child sets an academic goal, a sporting goal and a social goal. It could be that their goal is to overcome a fear of something.
Some children might have victory in mind – winning the cross country or taking home a particular trophy at end of year prize-giving. Still valid goals, but also a good segue into another important conversation: Let’s talk about the ‘Why?’…
“Because I want to beat James this year.”
Yep, still a goal, but perhaps not such a worthy one. Our goals are personal, yes, but they can also benefit others. While this sounds idealistic and potentially beyond the average 8-year-old who just really really wants to win the cross country, effective goal setting is enhanced by a clear purpose. The goal needs to matter. If it matters to more than just the individual, all the better. Studies have shown that we are more successful when we can see that our learning benefits others. We’re more motivated if we can see how our efforts will contribute to something bigger than ourselves. That’s a deep conversation right there, but by all means worth a go!
You could try chatting about people who have made amazing advances in medicine, technology or social justice. The benefits of their efforts are experienced far and wide, but the story possibly began with a personal goal or two.