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Goal-Setting for Kids in 4 Easy Steps

Goal-Setting for Kids in 4 Easy Steps

It’s the New Year! And you know what that means for many of us. New ideas, new goals, and new dreams.

Each year, during the week between Christmas and January 1st, my husband and I sit together to review the past year and assess where we are as a family. We also brainstorm about the future and set a few goals, then list the actions we are going to take to achieve them.

We discuss the vision we have for ourselves – both personally and as a family – and then we get the kids involved in the conversation. Because their dreams and goals matter too!

These conversations have helped develop a deep sense of belong and connection.

If you’d like to help your children dream and set goals for their future here are a few simple steps you can take.

Brainstorm together.

Get out oversized sheets of paper, magic markers or crayons and answer questions like these: What are a few things I would like to do this year? At school? At home with my family? For fun? What am I good at? What do I want to be better at? If I could change anything at home or school, what would it be? Have your kids write everything down that comes to mind. No editing or censoring.

You can also create a vision board. Instead of writing their answers, kids can cut pictures out of magazines or print images from the internet and paste them onto a board.


Once your kids’ ideas are all in one place, pray over the words, lists, and images. Ask God what He wants to do in their lives this year. Ask for wisdom about how to cultivate your child’s gifts, talents, and desires.


Pick two to three areas to set a goals in. Remember, goals aren’t just for what we want to accomplish but also for who we want to become! Do your kids want to get better grades, finish reading their favorite book series, make the varsity team? Or do they want to grow more kind and compassionate, or develop leadership skills?


Once your kids narrow down what they want to focus on, create a list of small steps that they can take consistently to meet their goals. It may include practicing the piano for 15 minutes each weekday, saying “Hi” to the new kid at school until they feel comfortble striking up a conversation, or researching and learning about the job they hope to one day have. These small goals will lead to the accomplishing their big goals.

Get excited!

Remind your kids about what God says about their future and keep your eyes open to see how He is working on your lives.

I also would suggest that you read with your kids books that will inspire them to dream big, like Bold & Blessed: How to Stay True to Yourself and Stand Out from the Crowd by Trinitee Stokes. The author is a young actress, singer, inspirational speaker, and fashion designer who knows how hard it can be to follow your dreams. She shares her experiences to encourage other kids to use the gifts and talents God has given them to achieve their goals. The chapters are short and easy to read, and the book includes fan Q&A and simple Biblical principles. It’s perfect for ages 8 and up.

Our kids can significantly benefit from the experience of goal setting. It gives both us parents and our children an opportunity to affirm who they are and who they want to be. Lets grow together in our families as we work together and cheer each other on.

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Help your children discover God’s direction, with…

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Your Turn

What goals do you have for yourself this year? What goals do you have for your kids? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!