Teaching Our Children How To Set Achievable Goals.

Surrounded by all the New Year hype, I can’t help thinking about my achievements, my failures, and even my hopes for dreams yet to be achieved. I’m reminded of all the NY resolutions of my past, you know… The ones that sadly didn’t make it. I guess we all have some of these, right? Resolutions that never made it past January 31st…

It got me thinking about how I set my goals. What I do (or don’t do) to help me achieve my goals. And what I do (or don’t do) that contributes to those times when I fail to follow through?

As a parent, this question takes on a new level of meaning for me… Obviously we want our children to succeed at everything they do. So, how do we channel their abilities and guide them towards setting realistic goals, that they will follow through on? According to Forbes.com 92% of people FAIL at achieving their New Year Resolutions. I wouldn’t want my children to fall into that category – if it can be helped, of course.

So let’s look at how we can help our children set realistic goals.

Acting as a guide

It’s important for us to realize that we are only there to help guide our children to set the goals that they themselves would like to achieve. It should be our child’s goal, not ours. We shouldn’t push/demand or nag the child. This is their goal to achieve. We should see ourselves as an assistant coach/cheerleader.

Determine the goal

Guiding our child to finding a goal that is both achievable and suitable to his/her personality/likes/dislikes/age/etc. will make achieving the goal more likely. Helping them figure out the different steps needed to reach their goal, and a suitable time frame to reach their goal, are all part of goal setting.

Set deadlines

It’s vital that our children have realistic deadlines when setting goals. Breaking it all down to smaller goals (within the larger dream), with realistic expectations of when those smaller goals should be achieved will be more sustainable than simply having one deadline (looming intimidatingly large on the horizon). Creating a calendar that our child can follow, and mark off once these small deadlines have been reached, creates a visual “map” of achievement, which encourages overall achievement.


As adults we know all too well how hard it can be to reach our goals. We need to offer praise when goals are reached, and encouragement to stay committed when our children become despondent.

Make it Fun

No one likes to participate in something that has no enjoyment. Children especially need fun filled activities to keep them interested and engaged.

Review & Reflect

Once the goal has been reached it wont hurt to sit down and reflect on the positive and negative aspects of the road to reaching it. One can even look at how to approach future goals as well.

Goal setting can be fun and easy for children of any age, whether it’s a three year old needing to clean their room, homework that needs to be completed, or an older child dealing with a school project or sports commitment.

Here’s hoping 2017 is filled with achievable goals for us and our children!

With Love

One Messy Mama


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66 Comments on “Teaching Our Children How To Set Achievable Goals.”

  1. Cool idea! I think this is great to start with elementary age kids – that way they get in the habit of making a goal and achieving it! Of course evaluation at the end is key. Great steps! #familyfun

  2. I’d really never considered the kids perspective on this at all I’ll definitely have to keep it in mind as my little gets older. I’d hate for him to fail unnecessarily. Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

  3. Ah this was really interesting. I wonder if mine are a little young for this to apply but I’m not so sure they are. It’s certainly good for thought hat I will take with me. Thanks for sharing at #familyfun xx

  4. I never really considered setting goals for my daughter for the new year. Maybe it’s something I will think about for when she is a little older. For the moment I guess I will set them for her without her knowledge and give her encouragement to achieve them. #GlobalBlogging

  5. I think a lot of parenting involves setting goals but it is how we communicate these that is important and I certainly agree that we should be a shining example. Thanks for linking to #eatsleepblogRT

  6. One of my daughters goals this year is to pass her driving test. I will be encouraging and give as much advice as possible but I definitely wont be sitting in the passenger seat while she’s learning! #globalblogging

  7. I feel shamed by all the inspirational goal posts out there this week. I feel like I should be setting myself more goals. Maybe I’ll use these tips as a start point! #GlobalBlogging

  8. Mine is a little young at the moment but I do think this is a great idea and definitely something I’d think about for the future!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  9. Such a good idea, making goals is always great, but no better time than the new year. I have so many goals for the year but I’m still lacking the motivation to get the ball moving! #GlobalBlogging

  10. My eldest has been rather independent during the last year and has learnt enough words to be able to carry out little tasks. She likes putting things in the bin and getting out a spoon for her favourite yoghurt. I think as Mary Poppins would have us believe if fun can be found in setting and achieving goals then whatever age we are they’ll be all the more achievable. #globalblogging

  11. See now I’m a marketing planner in my day job. So I LOVE to plan. I’m just not so good on the execution. My husband’s given me one task this year. Make stuff happen. Great tips to making sure I deliver on my one goal this year LOL #globalblogging

  12. Aww these are great… everyones all about goal setting at the moment! I think it is so super important for goals to be achievable; I have seen so many of my friends and family low in a pit of disappointment when they cannot reach their goals and it is usually because their timescales are completely warped or the goals they have set are momentous and need to be far smaller steps towards a greater goal…
    Love it. #globalblogging

  13. Really great ideas and exactly right goals and targets have to be achievable otherwise you have very disheartened children #globalblogging thanks for hosting glad you are back

  14. I am such an advocate for instilling a good set of morals and manners in my little one and I hope as he grows older I will be a good influence on him and he will learn from me. I just need to stop my potty mouth hahaha! #globalblogging

  15. This is a great post! Setting goals can certainly help children focus on what they need to do, and when they achieve it, it can be very motivating! I do set mine goals but I’ve never really considered how I do it so these tips are really useful. It’s silly that I didn’t think about it because I set goals at work constantly!

    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

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