Goal Setting for Kids

Goal Setting for Kids? Have you ever heard or said “if I only knew then what I know now”.

Here's another, “no better time than the present”.
This is a great time to teach your kids a skill they will use throughout their life.

When I was a kid I had dreams and goals. I had great work ethics. I worked hard, harder than I probably needed as it turns out, although I have no complaints. It just could have been easier had I written out my goals and made a plan. Even if easier isn't the correct word I could have been more focused and more likely to have accomplished the things I set out to accomplish sooner and more efficiently. Granted it was all a great learning experience but there really was no need to graduate at the top of my class from the school of hard knocks.

Encourage a child to Dream and have them set Goals on how to turn those dreams into reality.

I have worked with groups of teens in the past and based on their feedback I have found they are grateful that someone took the time and talked to them about something they might not have considered without suggestion.

I've received over 60 letters from kids I have spoken to, here's what a couple of them had to say:

Thank you letters

Letters from Goal Setting for Kids seminar 2012

Make learning fun and exciting. Use goal setting strategies that fit the child's interests.

Start by having a goal defining session and ask what their interests are. Print a goal defining worksheet from the free goal setting worksheets page and take some time to brainstorm with your child while encouraging them to answer as detailed as possible. Here are a few examples of questions to start you out.

Have them answer questions like:

  • What do I want out of life?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • What am I good at?
  • What gets me motivated?
  • Who do I admire and why?
  • Where do I see myself in 5-10-15 years?

Based on the answers they provide, you can help them with setting and achieving their goals.

Here are a few ways to help with goal setting for kids:

  • Review Goal Setting Ideas for specific steps on how to define their goals.


  • Brainstorm and discuss with them the steps and actions they need to accomplish their goals.


  • Identify potential hurdles and how they can overcome and adjust as needed.


  • Have them set timelines in which they plan to accomplish their goals.


  • Have them track and report their accomplishments. This will help them stay focused and motivated.

Visual goal setting is one of my favorite goal setting activities. Have them not only write out their goals and post them but post pictures of specific items they want (toy, game, bike, car), maybe they want to go to Disneyland, have them post pictures of the Magical Kingdom where they see it constantly. These visual aids will keep them motivated and doing the things necessary to accomplish them.

If your child has the Dream or vision to think far enough in the future as to what they want to be when they grow up or what they want out of life, have them set a long term goal and then have them break it down into smaller short term goals. These will be stepping stones that will ultimately get them the long term goal they desire.

If your youngsters aren't quite sure of the goals they want to set, play some goal setting games with them and be creative. It's the learning how to set goals and work towards them that is important at this point, even if it is as simple as learning how to play a game.

There are a number of worksheets for goal setting for kids and goal setting for teens on our free goal setting worksheets page. Here are just a few.

Chore Chart

Goal Setting

Monthly Budget for Teens - find instructions in free worksheet section

Things to do Today

S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting

Let these Simple Steps to Success Motivate you!


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