Many youth and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will soon be participating in a new Home-Centered Learning Program. It’s personalized and family goal setting at its best–and the basic principles can be embraced by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation.
For our purposes in this post, we’re going to talk about getting started with setting goals. The actual program focuses on four key focus areas: spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social. But before you or your child consider specifics, let’s talk about some “big picture” things first.
Ask yourself why you want to change a habit or learn a new skill. Spend some time on this initial phase. Jot down your ideas. What improvements do you hope to see? How will learning something new bless your life? If you’re helping a child think of goals, “the why” can be a really good discussion.
Take time to listen to your son or daughter. What do they want to achieve? What interests them? In this phase, I can hear my oldest son saying he wants to reach a new level in a video game. Rather than just roll my eyes at him, which is my go-to response, I’ll hear him out. Maybe there will be something in the discussion that will lead us to a tangible skill he might work on. So far he’s never wanted to learn coding or how to make video games, but maybe he’ll consider starting. The magic of setting some goals is just to try out new things. Not all new goals have to be lifelong goals.
In a community well-being course I recently participated in, we learned the importance of focusing on “the why.” Don’t skip this step. Take the time to brainstorm and write yourself a list of why you want to do something new or change to a new habit.
Your Mission Statement
Then create a short mission statement and write it on an index-size card. Put it in a place where you can see and review it daily. When you’re tempted to give up on a goal or digress to old habits, remind yourself of what the card says.
To make this phase easy for you, I’ve created a beautiful postcard-size printout you can easily download and print (simply click on image).
Some of us are visual learners and it helps to set goals in motion with a visual representation of what we want to achieve. I have yet to create a Vision Board but reached out to some blogger friends for a couple of great ideas to get you started.
Valerie at MamaLikesThis.com shows us her version of a vision board. With her simple instructions and list of materials and supplies, you can create YOUR own vision board. Everyone’s is unique, of course, and you can use supplies you already have on hand. But I like that her idea is frameworthy and something decorative you’d be proud to hang in your home.
I like that Adree at TheKeeleDeal.com shows us another vision board that’s beautiful to display AND entirely flexible. I don’t know about you, but many of my goals adjust as time goes on. So I love this versatile option.
Both of these vision board options are great for all ages, and I can see my teen son resonating with the second one especially.
As you brainstorm goals individually or with your family, make sure they’re SMART goals. What does this even mean?
You’ve likely seen this acronym before. It’s a great way to remember the most effective way to set goals. Teach this simple method to your children, select a small goal for starters, and apply the five criteria.
Holly at SimplifyCreateInspire.com explains the SMART method in more detail and shows you how to help your kids apply it. She even offers a free, goal-setting worksheet.
TheKeeleDeal.com, as mentioned previously, also gives some great ideas for following the SMART method and some helpful examples of goals you might want to consider and/or modify to meet your needs. I think it’s super helpful to see others’ goals as I begin to brainstorm my own.
And just when you feel like giving up, grab some ideas to stay motivated. For me, I find it helpful to break things down: make daily, weekly, then monthly goals. And if I work on too many all at once, I hate the whole thing! So I’m making a pact with myself not to do that. In our family, we’re going to begin small: regular personal prayer in the morning and evening. We’re pretty good at saying family prayers in the morning, but unless I say a quick prayer with each boy in the morning before sending them off to school, they don’t begin their day with prayer. So we’re trying to fix that. Give us some time to work on that goal, and we’ll write a post showing you how we did it. Stay tuned.
These are my ideas based on my own experience. Kelly, a Certified Transformational Life Coach, seems to share similar ideas. I’m pleased to see I’m on the right path. Don’t be part of the 80% who fall off the wagon after just one month of working on a new goal. Keep going, even if it takes you a long time. Otherwise, there’s no change, no improvement. And if you look at the mission statement you created for yourself, that’s not what you want. So move in the direction of what you DO want. Stay true to YOU!
SAVE this post for future reference. You might also like my free 30-Day Family Strong Challenge. It’s packed full of great ways to help you build strong family ties.