With a plan, comes purpose. When life feels a little crazy, not knowing the road ahead can be overwhelming. But you know what calms the crazy? A long-term plan.
Goal-setting is a lifelong skill, and we see every day how important it is for kids to feel ownership in establishing their goals. This ownership is part of self-direction—driving forward the actions needed to achieve goals, with or without help.
Goal setting and planning allow kids to practice skills they need for independence.
Goal-setting is an important habit to develop your child’s motivation, sense of accomplishment, and self-awareness. It is a key part of Self-direction, which is one of the top three habits (along with Curiosity and Purpose) named by Dr. Brooke Stafford-Brizard that set kids up for success in school, and in life. It is an essential skill that helps people of all ages pursue interests, develop new skills, find purpose, and contribute to the world around them.
Use this activity to help your kid think about long-term planning like a GPS with three parts:
- A destination: Long-term goals for making this year meaningful
- A current location: Where they are and what challenges they are facing right now
- A route: The short-term goals that will help them navigate the twists and turns that lead to their destination
With this activity—or any time—you can help kids become self-directed by:
- ensuring they feel seen, heard, and known, by you and others;
- showing them you care about them and want to help them make this year meaningful for them;
- helping them think about their long- term goals;
- prompting reflection on where they are in relation to those goals;
- giving them the tools to identify obstacles, stay on track, and learn from the challenges they face.