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Friday, July 27, 2007

Goal Setting for Children

We all know that without goals one can't achieve anything.
Whenever you see anything worthwhile being done anywhere, it's because someone is behind it with a passion, a belief and a goal!

Its common for every parent to dream and have high expectation on their child's performance which can be for academic, sports, dance, or the arts etc. (Many of us hope that "My son will be a doctor, my daughter will be a lawyer" etc) However, unless you teach your child how to set goals and then help her to accomplish it, your child will be among the mediocre. Remember not to force your own dreams and expectation as a child onto her, but let her have her own dreams but help her to achieve it!

STEP 1. Help your child develop a DESIRE to achieve the goal. The desire must be intense. How do you intensify the desire? Let her sit down and write out all the benefits and advantages of achieving her goal. Once the list goes between 50 and 100 her goal becomes unstoppable.

STEP 2. WRITE the goal down. Once it goes into writing it becomes substantial and starts etching itself into her subconscious. Place copies of your child's goal at strategic places in the house. For eg, on the wall next to your child's bed. Having to see it often will give emphasis for her to achieve it.

STEP 3. IDENTIFY 1) the obstacles she will need to overcome, 2) the help she will need to acquire, e.g. knowledge, people, organizations. In each case write them out in a clear list and analyze them.

STEP 4. Every goal must have a definite DEADLINE. Help her analyze where she are now in relation to the goal and then measure how long she will reasonably need to complete the goal. Then set the latest outside date. "Instead of I'll become a millionaire, think "I'll be a millionaire before I reach 21".

STEP 5. Take all the details of steps 3 and 4 and make a PLAN. List all the activities and prioritize them. Rewrite the list, optimize it, perfect it.

STEP 6. Get a clear MENTAL PICTURE of the goal already accomplished. Make the mental image crystal clear, vivid in the mind's eye. Play that picture over and over in your mind. For example, my daughter wants to be the among top 3 students in her class. From the start of the year, I asked her to chart her targeted progress and the actual marks achieved and to increase her marks obtained by at least 5% for each term.

STEP 7. Help your child to be PERSISTENT. Never, never, never give up even when she hits setbacks.

Follow those steps religiously and you can help your child to be successful at goal setting.

Last but not the least - Take these 7 steps and rewrite them on a card or in a notebook for frequent reference. Keep them on your computer in a note on your desktop.

Keep checking your child's goal against the 7 steps frequently to measure her progress and help keep her on track.

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