by Kathleen Boucher
Congratulations! A New Year has commenced and with it comes the hope and dreams of millions of creative mothers and fathers, children and extended families!
What will you accomplish this year? What are your children looking forward to achieving? How are you going to motivate them to stay on track? How are they going to savor their success?
Here are a few basic rules to follow.
- Is the goal yours or theirs? Make sure that whatever your children’s goals are that it comes from them and not you or their grandparents, teachers, or caregivers. They have to have a yearning that is garnered from deep within them.
- Solicit a rock solid commitment. Ask them how committed they are to following through with their goals?What do they intend to do when they come up against obstacles? Cultivate a stick with it attitude before they embark on each goal.
- Write goals down. Purchase a small note-book at the dollar store and have them record each goal.
- Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.¹
- Use a SMART format when writing goals down.
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic)
- Time bound (time-based, time limited)
- For example: an 8 year-old boy has a burning desire to play hockey but he does not know how to skate. His parents don’t skate either. They have reservations as to how successful he may be. Instead of discouraging him they sit down with their son [or daughter] and map out what he needs to do to bring about a successful execution of this goal.
- He needs skates and an opportunity to practice. His parents rent second-hand skates (with the option of buying them) and one of his parent’s friends offers to show him how to skate at a public skating rink. He has a ball! Three times a week he practices skating on the rink.
- His parents take him to the library to research how hockey is played. He devours the information. Eventually, he gets to try out for a hockey team. You get the picture.
- Mark progression on a calendar: Map out the time frame on a calendar and what daily steps are necessary to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from people who have already done what your child is working on.. Why re-invent the wheel?
- Create a vision board & an accomplishment board: As your child meets a target he transfers a visual representation from his vision board on to his accomplishment board. What an easy way to build confidence! Teach him to savor each success. How is he going to celebrate? Is he going to keep a journal of his progress?
- Everyday ask this simple question: “What is one thing that your child can do today that he cannot fail at, to move him closer to reaching his goal? Teach him to take it one step at a time while visualizing the outcome clearly in his mind. This is a key motivating factor. He has to see the end result and feel he has attained it. Visualizing the end result helps him stay motivated on days he encounters stumbling blocks.
- Perseverance: If he does not make the team the first time have him ask the coach what he needs to do to improve. Never take NOas a confirmation that a goal is unattainable. Never give up. Keep on keeping until he feels satisfied with the outcome.
“Most “impossible” goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they are routine.”-Don Lancaster
Thank you to laith-abuabdu-35514 on unsplash.com for the lovely photo