New Year's has come, and our resolutions have been made. It seems that this time of year we become obsessed with improvement. It's a new year, and a new you- right?
According to statistics, only about 8% of people follow through on their New Year's resolution. This may be because many resolutions are just words we say to ourselves on New Year's Eve. They're dreams, not goals and they often don't make it past February. The reality is, New Year's is not the only time for self improvement, and it is definitely not the only time to set goals.
Goal setting is a huge part of my tutoring sessions, especially with pre-teen and teen students. Learning how to set a measurable goal, lay out a course of action, and carry out the plan until the goal is achieved is a skill that can insanely boost a student's performance and and confidence. It is also a life skill that will help my students achieve long after they are out of the classroom. We set goals all year long, and celebrate many successes throughout the year. The best part? Even if my student doesn't meet their goal- they almost always end up doing better than they were before the goal was set.
Want your child to be one of the 8% who keep their resolutions as adults? Help your child become a goal setter this year by making goal setting a part of your family's routine. Here are five easy ways to keep goals at the forefront of 2018.
1. Set family goals
I once had a student whose family had a goal board posted on one of the doors in their kitchen. They wrote family goals on the board as well as the goals of each individual family member. Since the board was in the kitchen, the family looked at their goals all the time. The posted goals reminded them to check in with each other about their aims as well as discuss family progress.
Sit down as a family and decide what you would like to accomplish as a unit. This may take some brainstorming. Once you land on what you would like to do, make it measurable, lay out what you need to do to get there, and post it somewhere that the whole family can see. Ex: If your family decides to increase their bike riding time by one hour every week this month you might list that you will go for a 30 minute bike ride after dinner on Mondays and Wednesdays. You might even make check boxes to check off every week when your ride is complete!
2. Set reading goals on goodreads
One of my favorite things to do in the new year is to set a reading goal on Goodreads. You enter the number of books you would like to read in the new year, and then log each book that you read. Set everyone in the family up with an account and log away! This is a great way to keep tabs on a long term goal that must be worked on throughout the year.
3. Help your child set academic goals
Academic goals are a great way for your child to boost their learning mid-school year. These goals can be grade related, knowledge related, or enrichment related as long as they are measurable and actionable. Help your child set their goal, create a plan on how to achieve it, and then check in with them frequently on their progress.
Need more guidance on how to help your child set academic goals? Check out this blog post.
4. Set your own goals
The best way to teach goal setting is through example. Set a goal and tell the whole family what you intend to do. Post reminders to yourself to do what it takes to get to your goal and check in regularly with your children to let them know how it is going. Be realistic with your child about when it gets tough, or when you slip up, but keep at the goal until it is accomplished.
Seeing you set and achieve a goal will teach your child how to set their own goals and persevere.
5. Cheer on others who have achieved their goals
Know someone who intends to run a marathon this year? Someone who will be graduating with a degree? Someone who is writing a book? Find people around you who have set big goals for themselves and cheer them on as a family. Have your child write them encouraging notes, and ask them how their progress is going whenever it's appropriate. Whenever your family member or friend achieves their goal, find a way to cheer for and celebrate them as a family. Watching others go about achieving their goals can spark great family conversation and goal setting sessions.
Want a roadmap to help your child set an academic goal for 2018? Check out the new goal setting worksheet that I made specifically for students. It even comes with a parent guide!
What goal do you hope to achieve this year?