Goal Setting Exercise for Children

Goal setting is a skill that allows us to recognize our wants and develop a plan to attain it.  By stating our goals and making a plan, we stay organized and develop confidence by accomplishing the steps required.  Simply put, this is the way we achieve our own success.  Of course, we all want our children to learn how to accomplish their goals as well, the question is…how?   If a child is able to practice goal setting effectively, then he/she will be able to learn the important skills of time management, organization, and (as a result) building positive self esteem.

I always say that success is a loose term and should be defined by the individual. I believe that my child will also only be successful if she can meet her own goals (not mine). I will be very careful to not define success for her. But, I also want to give her the skills she needs to meet her goals and feel confident in the little successes in life. So, I came up with a little skill setting exercise…


Help your child figure out a ffew things that they want. Ask them to be specific and tell them to picture themselves doing (or having that). Have them close their eyes and visualize the goal or draw a picture of what it will look like.

Setting Goals

Whether your child’s goal is to build a huge Lego castle, save money for something cool, or make a good grade, have your child write it down. Then, help them create a plan spelling out what they are going to do to attain their goal.

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Search Google about the subject. Find people that have accomplished the same goals that your child is working toward. Make yourself knowledgeable (at least a little bit!) about the subject and try to create an environment where your child feels that can accomplish their goals.

Tell your child a story about something that you wanted (and accomplished) that was not easy for you. Explain how it took time, patience, focus and perseverance. Never say that what they want is impossible or silly. Instead, ask them how that will happen (even if it sounds outlandish).

Next, follow up by asking your child [occasionally] how they are making out with their goals. Take time to listen to their response  and ask them if there is anything you can do to help them with their plans.

Finally, plan a party or something special (even it’s their favorite dinner or an ice cream treat) when they accomplish their goal. Make sure it’s a surprise because you don’t want it to be the entire reason that they wish to fulfil their goals. The most effective payoff is their own pride for accomplishing the task and the joy they feel associated with that result is something they will cherish and remember in the future.

Remember, the goal that your child sets today will probably change tomorrow…and that’s OK! The important thing is to show them how to organize their thoughts, set their goals, and feel pride in the steps leading to their accomplishments. Also, letting them know that you believe in them and what they want to accomplish.

by Expert Mommy, Toni Langdon


  1. Zen Mommy says:

    So important. We are creative beings after all!.Kids take to this so quickly… just feels right to them I think. Thanks for breaking goal setting with kiddos down into easy to follow steps.

  2. Honestly, my baby is learning very fast, I am surprised how fast he learn compared to his brothers. I think it is all related to information that they received and all the latest electronic toys.