Saturday, September 15, 2007

Goal Setting for Kids

Goals Must be Exclusive

The basic rule is "One goal at a time!" It is better to set oneself single-mindedly to achieving one goal first and then the other, rather than dividing one's attentions between two equally important goals. Like the old Native American saying “An eagle that chases two rabbits catches neither.”

Having said that, it is desirable to have goals in different aspects of life – school and hobbies for instance – as long as they don’t compete or interfere with each other.

In addition, your child’s long-term goal will often be made up of numerous short-term goals to be completed one after the other. Bear in mind that, for many children, a month may seem like "long term", while an adult's set of goals may be spread over the next five or more years. So don't expect your child to see his day-to-day goals as a means to accomplishing something when he's grown up! A few children really do have a very clear idea of what they want to do in life, but they are in the minority.

The main point is to make sure that you never have two goals that are competing with one another. For instance, your child might have a goal of improving at school, split up into different topics, with one topic covered by each day of the week. In addition, he might have a goal of getting better at his chosen sport. This would not compete with the time he needs to devote to his schoolwork, and the two are compatible.

So it might be better to state the one-at-a-time rule in clearer terms: "Do not have more than one goal competing with each other for time, concentration or any other commodity."

Happy goal setting with your kids,


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