Help Your Kids Achieve More With a SMART Plan!
The Importance of Goal Setting
We are five months into 2019, and many of us have already given up on our New Year’s resolutions. Setting a goal can oftentimes be easy (such as losing weight or going on that dream vacation), however seeing it through can be much more of a challenge.
For children, setting goals and accomplishing them can be even more of a challenge as they may struggle to commit to the tasks and habits required to reach the finish line. They may even get frustrated when a goal is before them but they feel as though they do not have the skills and/or are not getting ahead with all of their hard work. They may throw their hands in the air and exclaim “I can’t do it!” Persevering through to the finish develops “grit” according to Angela Duckworth and is a key ingredient in building resilience and long term success.
While your child’s goal may be a stretch or even possibly look quite different than the goal you would set for them, it is vital that we encourage them in their pursuit of excellence, provide them with some direction in goal setting, and establishing a course of action to achieve those goals.
Setting goals and establishing an action plan to accomplish them builds confidence, gives hope, long-term vision, short-term motivation and a powerful sense of accomplishment. Involving your child in goal setting places them on a pathway to success and higher achievement.
Are those goals SMART?
SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide goal setting with your children to ensure goals are clear and reachable. A SMART plan can help take a desired outcome or ambition and set actionable and attainable steps to reach it.
Setting even small goals to start can help to identify the most important thing to do and work towards and give confidence to set bigger goals in the future.
Specific Goals should be clear and specific. A good way to help is by asking the five “W” questions: Who, What, When, Where, and Why?
Measurable Having measurable goals means progress can be tracked and it’s easy to tell when the goal has been met.
Achievable Goals needed to be realistic and attainable to be successful. They cannot be out of reach. It also helps to break down the goal into morning or afternoon, daily, weekly, or monthly increments.
Relevant Goals need to be personal and matter to your child. It should be worthwhile and important to them at this time in their life.
Timely Every goal needs a target date. There should be a deadline to focus on and something to work toward.
Let’s look at a practical example. Let’s assume your child is averaging 72% in math class and desires to better this grade.
A SMART goal could be:
(S) On my next report card in 2 months, I will get at least 80% in math overall.
(M) I know I will have reached this goal when I get 80% in math.
(A) Is an 8% increase in math attainable in 2 months? With the proper action steps—yes! I will review multiplication tables twice daily, quiz myself every Friday, and complete an online quiz or chapter test monthly, to help boost my average by 8% or more. I can also make sure I ask the teacher whenever I don’t understand.
(R) An increase in math will not only boost my confidence in class, but will help me prepare for next year. It is important enough to me to follow an action plan.
(T) This goal is 2 months away, but with practical action steps daily, weekly and monthly, I can achieve that deadline.
You can do it!
Regardless of the goal your child desires to achieve, setting a SMART goal will be beneficial for them now as well as in the future as a means to accomplish their ambitions. Also, I encourage you, no matter what goal your child is setting out to achieve—find a way to celebrate them in both the process and progress!
For help setting SMART goals with your child, click here for a free download.
We love setting SMART goals in our tutoring sessions at Accelerated Potential Academy. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.