Goal setting gives us focus, allows us to measure our progress, overcome procrastination, help with motivation, manage stress and anxiety and helps us to develop resilience, to problem solve and bounce back from perceived failures. The trick is to make our goals age appropriate and SMART or Specific, Measurable, Achievable Realistic and Timely. To set ourselves up for success rather than for failure.

Any plan you have for the future can be categorised as a goal. For our kids, goals can be as simple as completing their homework after school, getting up on time, hanging out with a particular person at lunchtime, doing their best in a certain class or activity and right up to what career to pursue for our older teens.

Our more creative kids may like to turn their goals into a work of art or a vision board whilst others may simply like to use “post it” notes around their bedroom or house or general lists as a reminder.

Below are some prompts to help you get started with your kids. Learning about how they feel about themselves and the world around them can open the door to creating goals they might not have necessarily thought of so, pop on some relaxing music and follow this guide, using the prompts as a base.


  1. Turn off your phone and give your children your full attention.
  2. Ask them as many open-ended questions as you can. Eg: What makes you feel happy”? These are the feelings that you want to capture and turn into goals.
  3. Turn those feelings into specific goals.
  4. Break down the bigger goals into smaller bite sized ones and discuss with your child the pros and cons of each, what could go possibly go wrong and come up with strategies to combat these setbacks.
  5. Brain storm ideas on how the goals will be measured and achieved.
  6. Set a realistic timeframe that is age appropriate. Eg; our younger primary school kids may like to look only a few weeks ahead whereas our older teens could easily manage 6 months to a year.


Whatever the case, get started and have fun. You never know, you might just discover a whole side of your child you did not know existed.


A book I would like to read.

A movie I would like to watch.

A new sport I would like to try.

Make a new friend?

Spend more time with Mum or Dad?

A bad habit I am going to break.

A birthday present I would like to receive.

A Family Holiday I would like to go on.

A new food I would like to try.

Something I will try harder at.

New Playstation/computer/Xbox game.

“I Am” Statement.

Something I am grateful for.

“I am happiest when?”……………

“If I could do anything I would?”…………..

I am good at……………..

“I would like to be more?”………………

“What makes me a good friend?”…………………….

“The thing I like best about me is?”…………………

My favourite colour.

My favourite animal.



Kim x


You may also like to read:

Goal-setting with your child’s therapist: why it’s so important

Don’t Burn out before you even begin!