Last December I worked with my children to make goals. This was not an easy task!
The first thing I did was ask them what they wanted to learn.
- What things do you want to learn this year?
- What things to you want to improve?
- Are there any bad habits that you want to stop, or good habits you want to start?
- How about spiritual goals. Do you have any goals about…. (naming categories is extremely helpful)
- How about academic goals. What do you want to learn how to do this year?
I gave them suggestions and allowed them to pick some.
I forced them to write ten goals for the year, and I made sure that they included at least two or three spiritual goals. I didn’t correct vague or wildly impractical goals.
This was a hard activity for them, but after the questions and a few suggestions of goals that would be specific to each child’s interests. (I asked David what bird he wanted to study. I asked Laurel what subject in school she wanted to see the most improvement in. We had the same ideas, but she felt like she came up with them.)
After they wrote their goals down, I folded them up and put them away for the whole year.
Later this week, I’ll get those papers out. All the planning experts will tell you that you need to review your goals, but I figure we will work on one skill at a time. Maybe the kids will see on their own the need to be deliberate with making (and working on) goals.
(You may be interested in knowing why I even bother with making spiritual goals. Awhile back I spent a lot of time thinking through several passages that challenged me. I need to think about them some more later this week!)
[…] Here’s the first time I actually felt like I got them to identify actual goals. I had to give them ideas for goals, and then let them pick. They resisted, in part because they didn’t know any goals they could make. I felt good about making the goals with them, but since my goal was independence and initiative, it ended up feeling less than satisfying. I realized they lacked skills that they needed to meet their goals. When they looked at their goals a year later, they didn’t give me much reaction. Nevertheless, they did make progress in those things they identified, but it was more my work than theirs. […]