To make something a habit, they say you need about 21 days. To make sure that habit is a little bit more secure, we say give yourself about 45 days. A reasonable amount of time to set a goal for is 6 weeks because it’s something you can slowly work towards but you also know the deadlines just around the corner. The trick to helping your child make effective goals is to make them S.M.A.R.T goals, this is an acronym for the criteria that should be used to make goals.

Specific

Help your child to include as many details as possible – what do they want to achieve? How are they going to do this? When do they want to achieve this by? Who can help them achieve this?

Measurable 

How will your child know once they have reached the goal? Where will the change be visible: their grades? Their health? The aim of setting goals is to better yourself, tell them to envision how they want to be different by the end of this.

Attainable

Make sure that the goals are realistic – ask your child to weigh up the costs and benefits of the goals, how much time and effort is required? Will they be able to do it in the time frame required?

Relevant

Ask them if the goal is important to them in relation to other aspects of their life. Why do they want to do this? Will it be worthwhile? Is it the right time to be doing this – do they have more important events coming up?


Timely

Time is precious, so advise your child to be realistic but to give themselves a little flexibility too – when setting goals they must be prepared for the possibility that something may go wrong and assign themselves the time to work through this, this is essential for their mental health.

 

Here is a template on how to set effective goals

What is my goal?

When do I want to achieve this goal by?

Who can help me with this goal? Check any relevant answers.

o   Only me

o   Friends

o   Family

o   Teachers

o   Other (specify) ……………………………………………………………….

 

What are 3 actions I can take to achieve this goal?

How do I want to feel at the end of completing my goal? Tick any relevant answers.

o   Accomplished

o   Calm

o   Relieved

o   Satisfied

o   Proud

o   Smarter

o   Stronger

o   Other (specify) ………………………………………………………………….

 

How am I going to measure this?

Routine check-in (weekly or fortnightly)

What went well this week?

 

What did I struggle with?

 

Does my goal need some tweaking or is it still achievable?

 

The date I completed my goal:  ——————————————————–


This is sponsored post by Performance Learning, pioneering behaviour change in schools.