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Four Steps for Effective Goal Setting

Goal setting is critical for developing resilience in your child. It promotes a "can-do" attitude and consequently forms a powerful lifelong habit.


Here are four steps to help your child set effective goals, track progress, and stay motivated in the process.


1 Let your child choose his or her "big goal".

Instead of pushing your child to set a goal that you want him or her to reach, help your child to consider what he or she genuinely wants to accomplish. Talk about something your child wishes he or she could achieve or discuss a challenge your child would feel proud to overcome.

2 Discuss the purpose of your child's goal

Research findings in education revealed that students tend to "buy-in" when they see a purpose for what they are learning. And they will perform better when they understand that their learning can also benefit others. Help your child finds his or her purpose by asking questions like, "What do you think is the greatest benefit to you doing well in this subject? How can that help others?" For instance, if your child's goal is to complete the Kumon English Programme, a purpose like, "I want to improve my English skills so that I can write many stories and share the joy with other children," can deliver a better result.

3 Break the big goal into smaller steps
Your child needs to understand that he or she may not reach her long-term goal right away. Break one's big, long-term goal into small incremental goals that are specific, measurable, and trackable so that your child can recognise his or her progress toward his or her goal. Let's say your child's significant goal is to complete the Kumon English Programme in 5 years. The first short-term goal might be finishing level D within the first year. A step up from that could be finishing level F by the following year.

4 Brainstorm Potential Obstacles
Planning for potential obstacles in advance can help your child follow through with his or her goals.  For example, if your child faces a challenging topic, you can teach him or her to have positive self-talk, "I can do it and I’m working hard to reach my goals." Or when one feels like giving up,  you can remind your child of his or her purpose.