Have you tried setting New Year’s goals with your kids?

January 2, 2009

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Have you picked up an ad lately and noticed a few more sleek runners, fancy exercise equipment, and weight loss products? I know it’s what I need after the fun abandon of treats, treats, and more treats over the holidays. 🙂

Yep, it’s the New Year – the traditional time for a few new resolutions to do better this year. Everyone likes a fresh start.

You may have thought about what you’d like to do better this new year, but have you tried setting goals with your kids?

Sometimes we plan out our homeschooling in detail and leave out one of the most important details: our kids’ input. Sure, we may adjust it along the way based on how they do. But, if we help our children make and set homeschool/life goals, they’ll gain ownership and a sense of accomplishment when they reach them.

Besides, it’s a life skill that many of us wish we had learned earlier in life, so why not teach it to our kids, even the littles. And even better (like many homeschool topics), learn it together!

Here are some good starter ideas:

1. Get a kick start yourself by reading Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which teaches you how to write a mission statement for your life, how to develop a character ethic, and many other life and leadership skills.

And have your teen join you with his/her own copy of The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens:

Both books are only about $10 each and are also available at most libraries. Get a copy of each and work through them together as a ‘learning about life’ unit.

2. Have you ever asked your kids, “What do you really want in life?” This easy-to-read book, What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! A Guide for Teens, is written for teens and includes lots of worksheets to help them define their own goals. And even better, are quotes from teens about how they achieved some really interesting goals.

3. Don’t have much time? Squeeze a simple goal-setting session here and there into your schedule:

  • Have your child pick a short-term goal that can be completed in under a week along with a long-term reason. Pick one yourself, so you can do this exercise together. Example: Exercise 20 minutes every day this week in order to be more healthy and relieve stress.
  • Write down each step and post it in a place you see everyday. Example: Post on the refrigerator: “Jump rope 5 minutes, weight lift 10 minutes, stretch 5 minutes.”
  • Mark progess. Example: Use a simple weekly calendar and put a check box in each day you exercised.
  • Sit down, discuss, and evaluate how you did. Adjust and make a new goal. Example: Maybe you forgot to exercise a couple of days, and think that picking a regular time and place to exercise may make it easier to remember. Add specifics to your new goal.
  • Add more ideas and concepts as you go: life mission statements, long-term goals, planning and scheduling techniques, brainstorming, etc., etc.
  • Enjoy setting a goal with your children and growing and improving together!

4. For more ideas, see some of these websites:

Do you set goals with your children? What works best for you? What are some of the goals you’ve had success setting together?

P.S. I appreciate those who have clicked on my links to Amazon and then gone shopping. I get a small commission every time a reader goes to Amazon from my site and shops. Thanks!!

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7 Comments so far

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  4. PrieloxSleeno June 12, 2011 2:43 pm

    hi great post we have going here!

  5. docmisty June 11, 2011 2:57 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. PrieloxSleeno June 11, 2011 2:42 pm

    just examined the topic! Awesome job.

  7. Sarah January 13, 2009 9:46 am

    One of our new goals was reading aloud more for better fluency — so far, we’ve been doing great and the kids have started to read to each other to get to “their” goal (cooperation!)


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