From an article on BigLifeJournal.com
We all know that setting and achieving goals is a life skill necessary for success and happiness. But it’s one that even adults REALLY struggle with: Studies say that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions!
How can we teach children to set realistic goals—and actually follow through?
Make it fun!
Research shows that children learn best when they’re playing and enjoying themselves at the same time. Fun experiences increase levels of endorphins, dopamine, and oxygen, all of which promote learning.
Here are 5 activities that can make goal setting more fun and effective.
1. Make a Bucket List
Typically, a bucket list is a list of accomplishments, experiences, or achievements that someone wants to have during their lifetime.
To teach your kids goal-setting—and have fun in the process—you can create a YEARLY bucket list.
It’s even more fun if the whole family gets involved.
Here's what to do:
Throughout the year, your family will have tons of fun accomplishing items on the list and checking them off.
As the year progresses and you start to notice several items remaining, you can talk about if you still want to accomplish each of these goals or if your family’s goals have changed. If you still want to accomplish them, how can you go about doing so? What steps will you need to follow?
Research shows that in addition to learning through play, children also learn effectively through experience. Keeping track of and planning toward goals will be a valuable learning experience for your child, and it’s a fun way for your family to bond as well!
At the end of the year, you can look back over all of the things your family has accomplished. You may even make creating an annual bucket list into a new family tradition!
2. Draw a Wheel of Fortune
The idea for the “wheel of fortune” was created by Dennis Waitley, author and authority on personal development.
Here’s what to do:
As your child reaches her goals in one segment of the wheel, do something to CELEBRATE, then repeat the process above for each additional segment.
Over time, your child will improve in many aspects of her life, all while learning to set and reach goals.
3. Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a great way to help your child visualize her goals. Your child will also have fun with this meaningful arts and crafts project.
Here’s what to do:
Making the vision board helps your child think through her goals, and it also serves as a powerful visual reminder of everything she would like to achieve.
Revisit the idea of the vision board often. Ask your child what different pictures represent and how she plans to achieve her various dreams.
If the goal is a big one, help her break it into simple pieces. What are some small steps she can take now to achieve her long-term goals in the future?
Your child will learn to set goals, think critically, and plan ahead. She’ll also develop the understanding that what she does now and throughout her life does matter and can positively impact her future.
4. Play 3 Stars and a Wish
3 Stars and a Wish is a fun way to get kids thinking about their goals while also providing some positive affirmation.
Here’s what to do:
Make sure that you or your child write everything down. If your child is old enough, it’s a good idea to have her write about her progress toward her wish on occasion.
Psychology professor Gail Matthews found that writing down your goals on a regular basis makes you 42% more likely to achieve them.
Having your child share her hopes and dreams with you makes her more likely to achieve them too. Dr. Matthews found that people are even more likely to achieve their goals if they share them with a friend (or parent) who believes they will succeed.
5. Ask Fun Questions
Asking your child questions about what she would like to accomplish is a standard component of the goal-setting process.
However, you can get creative and make the process more enjoyable with fun questions like:
Of course, some of these questions may prompt unrealistic answers from your child, but you can help her tweak them to be more achievable.
Then discuss that she may not win the lottery or find a magic genie, but she can take her fate into her own hands by making a plan to achieve her hopes, goals, and dreams.
It’s common for kids to be uninterested in setting goals, and even more uninterested in pursuing them to fruition. You can try to change that by making the process more fun with the following activities:
If you can get your child interested in setting and achieving goals, you’ll raise a determined and successful individual