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3 simple steps to setting goals

12 April 2018

Parents and carers can encourage kids to embrace setting goals to help achieve what they want in life - whether it's a sports or school-related task, or a special something they've always wanted to do or have.

Reaching goals doesn't come easily, but you can get there sooner and stay on track if you start the right way, with a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve.

To help your child go for their goal, here are 3 simple steps you help them take:

1. Define the goal

Sounds easy enough, but there are 2 important parts to defining a goal:

  • Make it specific. Goals should be measurable and have an endpoint.
  • Make it realistic. Taking on challenges can be really motivating, but don't set yourself up for a fall. If you're not sure if your goal is realistic, talk to someone you trust about your plans.

2. Break it down

  • Sub goals: Goals can seem like one huge thing, way off in the distance. So, breaking up your goal into sub-goals is a great way to stay motivated, particularly when your larger goals will take some time to reach. Sub-goals also help you to recognise and celebrate when you've made progress.
  • Long and short-term goals: Another tip is to separate your sub-goals into long-term and short-term goals. An example of a short-term goal might be to jump 3cm higher in the high jump within the next 3 months, whereas a long-term goal might be to make it to the state finals.

3. Work through a plan of action

We all tend to get distracted sometimes and to lose sight of the big picture. Having a tangible plan of action helps you to stay focused. Here are 2 tips:

  • Write goals down: Once you've worked out your sub-goals, write them down and keep them in a place where you can see them as a reminder to stay on track.
  • Add a time frame: Include a time frame in your goal planning, because deadlines keep you on the go and help you stay motivated. For each written sub-goal, write down a deadline to prevent you putting things off or forgetting your goal.

Top Tip for parents

If you still find it tricky to set goals, encourage your child to find themselves a goal-partner to share the journey and help guide you towards your endpoint.

Reach out logo

ReachOut is Australia's leading online health website for young people and their parents. Working with registered counsellors, psychologists and mental health professionals ReachOut provides online self-help tools that are used by over 1.5 million Australians each year. A valuable resource for many parents, teens and young adults.

If your child, or anyone you know is having issues with self-esteem, confidence or mental or physical health, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

This content includes the views and opinions of a third-party, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Suncorp. Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, personal situation or needs.

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