Goal setting for kids



The importance of goal setting for kids: If you’ve read the ”About Goals” tab on the NavBar, you will know that people who succeed have goals, and people with goals succeed.

The same applies to your kids. Their goals may not be the same, but kids who have goals – whether sporting or academic – will do better than kids with no plan at all.

So teach your children why goal setting is important and how to do it. Get interested in their interests and if appropriate, help them set their own goals to achieve.

Kid’s goals are obviously much different from adult’s, and their goals will change often as they grow older, as they learn more things, as they gain their own life experience and opinions. I think we all wanted to grow up to be a fireman or nurse, and not all of us did. It’s not that we failed to achieve our goals, its just that our goals changed as we grew.

So setting longer-term big-picture goals is less important than the short/medium term goals, and most import is teaching them the process of setting their own goals and achieving them.

But, goal setting for kids can help them keep focus on skill development like learning how to play a sport or musical instrument, saving pocket money or doing chores for reward. You can help teach goal setting for kids by:

  • Get interested in their school work – read their assignments, check their homework, ask them to explain what they are learning at the moment at school – you’ll be surprised how much more interested they will be if you show that you are genuinely interested in what they are achieving and that there is value in what they are doing.
  • Help them set academic goals – we all know that if you do well at school, the world really is your oyster. So let your kids know this too [even if they just want to be a truck driver, a good education is essential for surviving the pitfalls of modern life] and help them set academic goals – and rewards for these goals of course!

    A friend of mine paid his son $100 for every A, $50 for every B and $20 if he just passed a subject – but he didn’t get a cent if he failed any subjects. His son did very well after that! Of course this model is not appropriate for all children, but I’m sure you can come up with some reasonable targets for your children with suitable rewards. The important thing is do develop these in conjunction with your kids, so that the process is ‘owned’ by them.

  • Get into discussion with your child about what they want to achieve over the next year – it’s good to do this at the start of a school year to introduce the concept of deadlines for goals, but anytime is better than no-time.

    When you’ve found out what they want to achieve, help them identify the steps required to get there and in particular, ask them what is the first thing they need to do to progress towards this goal. By doing this, you are starting the set the framework for goal setting for kids – keep at it!

  • And most importantly – FOLLOW UP. Your child may just forget about the goal setting activities you’ve been through. Follow up regularly – that way they’ll learn that they need to take action to achieve their goals and they will also learn the important of monitoring progress against their goals if they are really going to achieve.

When discussing goal setting with your children it is useful to go through the section on ”About YOU” on the NavBar – the behaviour profile and multiple intelligences are equally applicable to children as they are to adults, and armed with this information, you will get a better idea of what makes your child tick!

This will allow you to focus on what they are good at and what they may need to improve.

Try the DOPE Test and HGMI Test in the ToolBOX [under the FREE Life Planning Workbook] with your kids – you may have to reword some of the answers so they understand the questions.

And check out the tools in the ToolBOX under the section on “Goal Setting Forms for Kids” – you’ll find a number of basic tools to help your children set and achieve their goals.


Do you have a story or some advice that could help kids set goals and achieve? Write a page on it and help kids get ahead!

More on goal setting for kids

Related Topics: