Do you remember when you learned how to set goals? I’m still working on it. I’ve achieved some goals and fallen short with others, but I am starting to see a pattern with goal setting tools. When I have a chart where I can see a finish line and progression, I am more likely to stick with it (If it’s pretty and looks nice on my fridge or mirror, that helps too!).
Wouldn’t it be great if we could help our kids pinpoint the system that works for them? If they could start setting and accomplishing small goals now, they’ll have the confidence to tackle bigger ones down the road. Not sure where to start? Here are 11 goal setting tools for kids along with some free printables.
The geometric habit tracker is on my fridge right now. This is a great way for your kids to track small things they want to do on a consistent basis. We have 6 different styles, including trackers for prayer, chores, and even being kind to a sibling.
Word of the Year, Jr.
Most of us are familiar with picking a Word of the Year. It’s the word that will help us focus on an area we want to grow in, like “patience” or “humility.” Why not try this with your kids? Have them think of a word, write and decorate it, and find a quote or Bible verse that goes with it. Follow up every few weeks to ask how well they’re staying focused.
Reading is the building block for so many areas of learning and it never stops. Even adults should set reading goals. Use iMOM’s Reading Chart to track consecutive days of reading or a number of books.
Dear Future Me
For kids who enjoy writing, have them pen a letter to their future self in which they talk as if they have achieved the goal they’ve set. “Jenna, I’m so proud that you stuck with soccer and worked so hard at practice. You can do anything you set your mind to.” Then pick a date when they can open the letter.
To, What, By, So
The best goal setting tools provide structure, specificity, and measurability. These four words—to, what, by, and so—will help your child set a goal that has some strength behind it. For example, your daughter’s goal might be TO: read, WHAT: three new books, BY: April, SO: I can improve my verbal test scores on the SAT.
iMOM’s Brilliant Goals Chart for Kids helps your child focus on wholeness. It’s up to us to remind our kids that goals aren’t just meant for grades and sports. Even for kids, it’s healthy to set goals with the whole person in mind.
3 Stars and a Wish
This is a good goal setting tool for younger kids and it’s super simple. Help them come up with three things they’ve accomplished (I learned to tie my shoes! I stopped wetting the bed! I made two new friends!) and then one thing they want to learn to do (I want to learn to ride a bike).
A goal ladder is a good tool for deconstructing what it’s going to take to get from A to B, from goal setting to the finish line. Your child writes his or her goal at the top of the ladder and on each rung, write a step that will help get him or her there.
iMOM’s Progress Roadmap is another great way to teach your child that there are steps between setting a goal and succeeding.
Channel the power of yet! One side of the board says “I can’t” at the top and “yet” at the bottom. The other side says “I can” at the top and “now” at the bottom. Grab a pack of mini Post-it Notes and when your child talks about something he or she can’t do, write it on a Post-it and stick it on the left side. When your child has accomplished it, move it to the right under “I can.”
Which one of these tools would be the best fit for your child? Why?