Helping Kids Set SMART Goals for Their New Year Resolutions

With each new year comes new beginnings for all, and excitement and opportunities await those who prepare well for them. In this regard, children and adults are more alike than they are not, which is why setting new year resolutions is a common practice in both schools and workplaces. This New Year’s, help your kids set SMART goals to prime them for greater fulfilment in 2023. 

Goal-setting is not only an essential skill needed for a student’s future success, it also instils positive values and behaviours in kids that last a lifetime. For children, setting goals can be a powerful tool to foster their sense of empowerment, helping them develop can-do attitudes and a Champion Mindset. When children learn how to set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based) goals from an early age, it becomes a great asset for all their lifelong endeavours.

The Benefits of SMART Goal Setting for Children

SMART goal-setting provides children with the tools they need to build self-esteem and confidence. It teaches them how to create achievable objectives that bring out their best efforts — whether it’s in the classroom or on the sports field, regardless — and encourages them to take ownership of their actions. Additionally, setting small steps in order to reach larger milestones can help kids feel accomplished each step of the way, which further boosts their self-confidence.

The practice of SMART goal-setting instils a sense of achievement in children and helps them become motivated to achieve aims on their own. It gives them a clear path with steps they can take to reach their desired outcome, which is especially important for those who have difficulty focusing or staying on task. By having an end-goal to work towards, it becomes natural for children to build discipline and positive habits that can be carried over into adulthood.

SMART goal-setting also teaches kids the importance of planning ahead and being organised, an invaluable skill set that equips children with the capacity to plan out longer-term projects or tasks that require multiple steps — something they’ll need as they further their education or enter the workforce.

What are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are clear and concise objectives that focus on specific actions, outcomes, and timelines. They provide direction and structure for goal-setting and help break down large aims into manageable tasks. When helping your kid create SMART goals for the new year, you’ll want to make sure that they follow the five key criteria below.

  • (S)pecific: Be concrete with what needs to be done to reach the desired outcome. 
  • (M)easurable: Define how success will be evaluated by setting measurable markers of progress. 
  • (A)chievable: Choose achievable targets that don’t put too much pressure on your child while still challenging them enough to foster growth.
  • (R)elevant: Make sure the goal is relevant to your child’s current abilities and interests.
  • (T)ime-based: Set a timeline for when each step should be completed to reach the desired outcome. 

How to Help Kids Set SMART Goals for the New Year

Now that you know what SMART goals are, let’s look at how you can help your kids set their New Year resolutions: 

Help Them Discover Their SMART Goals

Start by having a discussion with your child about what they want to achieve and why. Ask them open-ended questions like “What kind of things do you think would make this year better than the last?” or “What skills do you want to focus on in order to improve yourself?” These conversations will also foster a deeper understanding between you and your child, while helping your kid identify potential short-term and long-term goals for the new year. 

Helping Them Plan for Success

Once they have identified a goal that meets the SMART criteria, work together with your child to develop a plan of action. Breaking down the goal into smaller and more achievable tasks will help them stay motivated throughout the process, while having a clear timeline can help children on track in terms of both discipline and focus. 

Break Things Down for Them

Encourage your child to set realistic expectations for themselves by breaking down their SMART goals into manageable chunks and reminding them that it’s okay if they don’t reach their desired outcome right away — this helps kids better cope with the fact that success often takes time and practice.

Shower Them with Continuous Support 

Check in on your child’s progress along the way and give them positive encouragement whenever needed. More importantly, celebrate each milestone your child accomplishes, no matter how small or large. This helps foster positive reinforcement while motivating your child to keep going until they reach their ultimate destination. You can even incorporate some treats and rewards to further motivate them with each milestone reached!

Help Your Child Grow Their Champion Mindset in 2023 

With MindSpace After School Student Care, your child can further develop their Champion Mindset as they work towards set SMART goals. Our after school care programmes perfectly complement the MOE syllabus to let your child stay ahead of the curve academically, while leveraging research-backed pedagogies to teach your child the Champion Mindset Way

Find the MindSpace Centre nearest to you today, and get in touch with us to find out more about our student care services.