Posted by: fathersez | September 20, 2007

When should we start our children on having written goals?

I am sure that we have all heard about the often quoted study of 1979 Harvard MBA grads which showed that the 3% who had written goals, plans and read them daily earned 10 times more income than the other 97% – 10 years later.  

Having written goals gives motivation levels far higher than just having some ideas in our minds. 

Can we get our kids to have written goals? 

Yes, we can and we should.  

In December 2005, we started this “exercise” of getting the children to write some objectives to achieve during the next year.  My younger three children, i.e. our son, Abang (“Ahbang”), Nana and Ain were then 11, 10 and 6 years old respectively. They accepted the exercise willingly, and wrote some goals in their “goal book” to shoot for. 

 We now do this exercise every year, and I sort of review their goals with them individually, every school holidays (about 3 times a year).  It has now become a yearly ritual.  Though there are now some groans and moans when this exercise is mentioned, we get this done.  

I am very happy with their cooperation and hope that we shall keep this up every year, until this becomes an ingrained habit in my children.  

My suggestion is to start this practice early. Don’t be too bothered when it is clear that none of the goals are being achieved. This happens even, to the best of us. Eventually you will see some achievements being clocked.  

The key is for them to have something simple written up that they can identify with. Review these goals periodically with the children. Try not to be too judgmental or aim for too lofty a goal. “Washing my own shoes” is a great goal for a 6 year old.  

What is your experience? Please share it with us.   

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