Be the Goal Model They Need: 5 Tips to a THRIVINGLY Organized Family
Invest in your future (and theirs) by teaching your kids to set and meet goals
As a parent, one of your primary goals is to raise successful, well-adjusted people who are THRIVING in life. The reality of accomplishing that amid busy work schedules, sporting events, school projects, family time, and chores is intimidating, to say the least.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to:
- teach kids to take ownership and create their own goals
- start with small goals so they have a feeling of accomplishment
- write goals down to keep their eye on the prize
- make goals measurable so they have direction and can track their progress
- be a good “goal” model for your kids
Nathan and Sarah are well-acquainted with the struggle of being organized. Sarah owns a hair salon and is still a relatively new business owner after two and a half years in business. Nathan is the Associate Director of Operations for a major foundation that builds smart homes for combat veterans – an admirable effort that involves a busy travel schedule.
Nathan also coaches football. On top of all of that, they have three kids who are busy with school, sports, and activities. Staying organized with who is supposed to be where and doing what is practically a full-time job. A 1THRIVE Center wasn’t their first attempt at getting organized, but it’s on track to be the lasting solution.
“Before the 1THRIVE Center, we had a makeshift bulletin board that we would pin papers on, so it was a hodge-podge of a mess. Having the 1THRIVE Center has kept us super clean and organized. Don’t you think?” Sarah said of their previous efforts, before turning to her husband for his opinion.
“Yeah, absolutely. The way we set it up specifically, we have one 1Thrive Center for the family’s events, and then each of our children have their own. It’s a great way for them to be involved as well. It teaches them responsibility, teaches them routines, and hopefully encourages traits that are going to help them be successful later in life as well.”
That’s really what this whole parenting gig is all about, right? Trying various methods until you land on what works, and then breathing a sigh of relief that you managed to make life easier? Oh, and raising kids who can embrace routine, learn responsibility, and adopt traits that lead to success – that’s a pretty important part of all of this, too.
Success takes on many forms and can be achieved through a variety of paths, but organization, perseverance, and focus are key ingredients to creating an empowered existence – and it’s easier to develop those skills at an early age.
Chores and goal setting are two powerful tools for teaching children the value of making a commitment, creating a plan to achieve something, and persevering through the challenges they encounter along the way. Incorporate this mindset of accomplishment into your kids from an early age like Nathan and Sarah have with the following suggestions.
Focus on the future
Setting goals is crucial to making your wishes come true. It’s also easy to do. It’s accomplishing those goals that become the challenge. Teach your children to identify what they want, how to get it, and to develop the self-discipline to make it happen with these steps:
Let kids take ownership
Wouldn’t life be great if we could set goals for other people? Sounds easy and enjoyable, and frankly, I’m sure we could all offer some suggestions to our loved ones. However, that’s not how it works. Goals have to be specific and require at least a small sense of personal urgency to be attainable.
Have a family meeting and ask everyone to make a list of three to five things that would improve their quality of life. By the way, you’re not excluded from this brainstorming session. Listen to your child’s answers and don’t discount things that seem trivial but do encourage a reasonable balance between silly and significant.
Start with small goals
The thing about goal setting is that once you experience some small successes, you gain momentum. Achievements make you feel empowered to make other changes. As your family identifies worthy goals, encourage one or two that offer a small start, such as finishing a book or completing a project.
You know that satisfying feeling you get from checking something off your to-do list? Let them experience that. It may serve as the foundation for bigger and better accomplishments.
Write goals down
“Out of sight, out of mind” is a popular phrase for a reason; it’s an unfortunate truth. Writing down our goals helps make them specific and solidifies them as a real desire. Displaying our goals somewhere that we’re forced to face them adds an air of accountability as you view them each day.
A personal command center can help define and organize your goals in a way that keeps them present. The Taylor 1THRIVE Center is the system that worked for Nathan and Sarah and is an ideal choice for children.
With a streamlined silhouette, you can assign one to each child to create a wall of inspiration. Customizable pieces such as a whiteboard, blackboard, corkboard, file holder, hooks, and cups for chalk and markers can be transformed into whatever suits the needs of each individual.
Make a chore chart, a goal list, a running to-do list of steps toward their goals, inspirational quotes, a vision board, or whatever works best for them. The most important factor is that the goals stay in their sight and mind.
Make goals measurable
Goals should be specific and should have a set of steps that lead to eventual success. Something like, “Be healthier,” is too vague – what does that mean? What’s the indicator of accomplishment? What are the signs of progress? What’s the timeline? These questions are your first hint that a goal is too vague.
Help your child create an overall goal and then break it down into smaller accomplishments along the way, with dates set for a self-check-in. Also, don’t forget an end date, and whatever reward or celebration comes along with it. (Don’t worry, your child won’t let you forget the reward part of this equation!)
Be a good “goal” model
Your child looks to you for hints on how adulthood works. I know -- it’s terrifying. Let that fact of life inspire you instead of intimidating you. Talk about your own goals, customize your command center, point out the actions you take toward accomplishment, and recruit your children into being your accountability buddies.
Yeah, it’s a bummer when your kids call you out for sneaking a brownie when you’ve sworn off sugar, but you’re taking a stand for each other’s successes, and that’s what love is really all about.
Work together to set and meet your goals as part of your family’s culture and enjoy the eventual satisfaction of a job well done. Stop functioning on chaos and start THRIVING by developing a greater understanding of how your family operates and what each of you needs individually and collectively to succeed.
1THRIVE creates beautiful, entryway wall organizers with interchangeable components that support your efforts to live a more organized life. We make setting goals easy with our free printables. Sign up to receive access to all our printables or shop our selection of 1TTHRIVE Centers today!