Goals and Resolutions

Last month I gave my 15 year old an assignment. The topic was goals and he was to list 10 goals (each) he wished to accomplish:

  • Over the next year
  • Over the next 5 years
  • Over the next 10 years

I took a hands-off approach to this activity, cialis offering no ideas or suggestions. The results were surprising! A few examples:

Over the next year:

  1. Apply for a job
  2. Earn driver’s license
  3. Keep my workout on track
  4. Find mission work with the church

Over the next 5 years:

  1. Graduate high school
  2. Try to get a mission trip to another continent
  3. Start dating
  4. Get a bank account

Over the next 10 years:

  1. Search for a college
  2. Visit DeRossett, TN (Yes—it exists!)
  3. Find a wife
  4. Make my wife love Cowboy (his dog)
  5. Go to veterinarian college

Why is it important to teach your child to begin thinking about their short-term and long-term goals?

It teaches planning skills: From the smallest of details, such as saving money to go to the movies (to see The Hobbit? Or is that just me?), a goal is set and when the money is saved the plan is fulfilled and the reward is found. What if the goal is not met? It is time to re-evaluate the plan for next time.

It creates motivation: In a society that is breeding children who are feeling more and more self-entitled due to parents who do not say no or give the child what they want with no expectations in return we’re creating a huge problem! When soliciting advice from other parents on how the Christmas lists were turning out the results blew my mind. $300 headphones, $400 phones, $150 shoes, etc., etc., etc. What if for once we said no? No to expensive electronics, phones, latest fads, and huge gift cards? The reward would most likely be met with children who work to buy these things for themselves or decide they don’t want them as much as they thought in the first place. If they work to buy these things for themselves we’ve instilled the need to save money in order to meet their initial goal! This, my friends, is a life lesson. I highly recommend teaching this to your children while they’re young.

It enables a parent to better guide their children: For example, my son mentioned above how he would like to go on a church mission within our country and also on another continent over the next 5 years. What role do I, as a parent, have in helping my child to succeed? A few things like: take my child to church, instill Christian values within our church, help him become involved with the groups that go on missions. This one can potentially be pretty easy. Making his wife love his dog, Cowboy? I am staying OUT of that one.

We are starting a new year this month and in the season of “resolutions” we have the great opportunity to teach our children how to set goals and seek the sense of accomplishment that follows when one is fulfilled. We have the chance to create opportunities and instill excellent life lessons. I challenge you to make this one of your “resolutions” for 2013.

 

 

Comments

  1. I love this…we are going to try it this weekend!

  2. Love the variety he has in his goals over the next several years! I bet this activity spurred on some great discussion between you two, as well.

  3. This is a wonderful exercise! I will be havin my daughter work on these over the next few weeks. She is 12, so she might have a more difficult time setting the 10 year goals since she has only lived a little longer than that now. I’m working on letting go, letting her have more independence as she gets older. I’m very NOT ready for her to be in high school. I’m pretty sure I have to prepare me for her potential goals before I can guide her. I’m reading all I can on various blogs about having a high school student. I found a site called Let’s Homeschool High School. (WWW.letshomeschoolhighschool.com) Have you heard of it? It has good advice for parents and students. Anyway, loved the tip about asking your son for goals, both short term and long term, and though I would share. Thanks!

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