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Since 2005, my 3 younger children and I have sat together and written some “things to do” as their goals for the year. This has been a simple exercise. About 3 times a year, during their school holidays, we would review the goals and the children will, as usual, promise to try harder to achieve their goals.
In 2007, we started a project to improve the children’s English. This was done by the kids writing up a page or so from a book and then reading it to me. Words that they did not understand were looked up in a dictionary. (I used newspaper articles at first, but later decided to switch to self improvement books, so that the little ones would end up actually having to read a SI book……a lot like killing 2 birds with one stone.
The youngest, Ain, uses an Enid Blyton story book.)
Nana, 12, used “Your 1 Week Way to Personal Success”, by John O’Keeffe. In one chapter, O’Keeffe suggests doing what he calls a “ME” diagram, to arrive at one’s life picture. This seemed to be something that was quite easy to understand. Nana explained the concept to Ain and they did their 2008 goals based on this concept.
Their mother and I are very happy with the results and this are my thoughts expressed as a letter to my youngest girl, Ain, 8.
Papa has seen your goals for 2008 and am very happy that you have chosen goals which are very important. Mama is also very happy.
You have done your “ME” drawing very well. Papa is sure that as you grow older you will make changes in this drawing. This is a very good start.
Your elder sisters, Along and Azah do not show Papa their goals, because they say they want to keep their goals private. They say they write them down, but I am not sure. Please remind them to write their goals down.
This is very important. It is good to share your goals with someone you like and trust. They can help you to meet your goals.
I am going to present one of your goals at a Carnival that is being put up by Ms. Lynnae at Being Frugal. The Carnival will have people from all over the world showing the financial goals they have made for 2008. A Carnival is like an exhibition, so we if we visit the Carnival, we can see a lot of other people’s goals and learn from them.
This Carnival is on the 2 January 2008. Papa knows you start school on the 2nd, but we can see the Carnival on the Internet. Papa will show you.
The goal that I want to present is your financial goal.
Don’t worry about your use of Bahasa Malaysia. Everyone knows that “Kewangan” means Finance, “tabung” means piggy bank and that “tambah” means add.
There are some rules to be followed if we want to show our goals in the Carnival. Let us check if your goal meets Ms. Lynnae’s rules. She calls the rules “SMART”.
Rule 1 Your goal is very specific. So you have met the “S” of SMART.
Rule 2 Your goal can be measured, which means you must be able to count and check if your goals are met. Yes, you must save RM30. You have met the “M” of SMART.
Rule 3 Your goal must be achievable, which means that it must not be so very difficult to do. Yes, you can do it. You can save this money from the money that Mama gives you for school and from the money your Uncles and Aunties give you for Hari Raya. You have met the “A” of SMART.
Rule 4 Your goal must be realistic. So your goal cannot be something that you just bluff. Yes, you also have met the “R” rule.
And the last rule is that your goal must have a time limit. You cannot say, that you want to save RM30, but don’t say by when. Since you have already said you will save the money by 31 December 2008, you have also met the “T” of SMART.
Well, Ain, I think you have met all of Ms. Lynnae’s rules.
Now let us send your goal in and ask her to check.
Your Mama and Papa are very happy and proud that you have done your goals for 2008. We know that you will try your best to achieve them.