Goal Setting For Kids – Simple SMART Goal Tips

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Inside: Smart and simple goal setting for kids ideas and how to write SMART goals for kids. Fun goal-setting kit for kids and free SMART goal templates.

Imagine a world where kids have a secret superpower – the ability to tackle life’s challenges like fearless champions.

Nope, it’s not a plot twist from a superhero movie; it’s the real deal, and it’s called “goal setting.”

Okay, grown-ups, we know all about the magic of goals. We use them to keep our homes shipshape (or at least try to), plan epic family adventures, organize better than a squirrel hiding acorns, ditch screen time addiction, and attempt to prioritize daily workouts (or at least think about it).

Whether they’re short-term or long-term, goals are like our guiding stars, leading us toward getting stuff done and feeling accomplished.

But here’s the kicker – kids can tap into this superpower, too!

Yup, we can teach our little champs the art of setting and smashing their own goals.

goal setting for kids

It’s like giving kids action steps that make them better at organizing, handling money, and ready to take on all the adventures life will throw at them.

I’m excited to dive into the goal-setting process for kids. We’ll reveal how it sparks their awesomeness and sends them on a path to success (one goal at a time!).🚀

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Why Goal Setting Matters for Kids: Unleashing Their Full Potential with SMART Goals

Imagine a world where your child isn’t just growing but thriving.

Picture them trying hard at school, joining a sports team, and saving their money for something special. It’s not a crazy dream; it’s the power of goal-setting!

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Goal Setting Kit for Kids

If you want to make this goal-setting goodness a reality for your kids or students, snag our Goal-setting Kit for Kids.

But here’s the thing:

Setting goals isn’t about scribbling a to-do list; it’s about unleashing your child’s potential with goals they can actually achieve without giving up or losing interest. 

And guess what? 

There’s a method to this goal-setting madness, complete with research-based steps that are backed by smart grown-ups in lab coats.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard the term SMART goals before. These aren’t just smart; they’re genius.

SMART goals for kids

At first glance, goal-setting might seem easy-peasy, but the real magic lies in setting goals that actually work.

And this is where kids and adults can learn the magical goal-setting steps.

**Five SMART simple steps to success.**

The best goals (SMART goals) are doable (not far-fetched), meaningful goals, complete with an action plan!

And with a bit of hard work, you can totally nail them.

picture of a goal list

SMART GOALS For Kids

 “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” Renowned by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

You might have heard of SMART goals before.

Each letter in SMART has a job, and together, they make goal-setting a breeze for your kid.

S – Specific: When your kiddo sets new goals, tell them to get specific.

Who, what, when, and where – it’s like writing a treasure map to their personal goals. No vague stuff allowed; we want their goals to shine like a lighthouse on a foggy night.

Think: “I will get a B+ in math.” (specific goal) versus “I will improve at school.” (vague goal).

M – Measurable: Progress is the heartbeat of goal-chasing. Teach your child to measure their goals so they know when they’ve conquered ’em and when they’re making headway.

Create a goal ladder or use a reward tracker. (Psst, we’ve got some in our kid-friendly goal-setting kit!).

A – Attainable or Actionable: Dreaming big is great, but there’s a sweet spot between “I got this” and “Mission Impossible.”

Help your child find that balance and set achievable goals so they stay excited about their goals.

Need some goal ideas? Our goal-setting worksheets will help your child brainstorm a gazillion new goals they could totally aim for!

R – Relevant: Goals should matter to your child, whether it’s about their personal goals, financial goals, emotional goals, or academic goals. Talk about why each goal is a big deal in their life.

T – Timely: To taste success and stay motivated, start with small goals that can be knocked out in no time. When setting goals, make sure the time frame fits (that the overall goal can be achieved in a timeframe.

For example, if you want to get a black belt in taekwondo, perhaps you’ll need more than one year. This would be a great long-term goal, not a realistic short-term goal.

SMART Goals for Elementary Kids

In the world of goal-setting for kids and students, SMART goals become their trusty sidekicks.

Each letter in SMART has a special mission: to help your child set appropriate goals to reach the finish line in a fun way.

Choose from any three of these SMART goal templates. Just click the button or picture to instantly download.

free smart goals worksheet

Free Smart Goals Poster – Version #1

Click here to download this poster straight away!

free smart goals poster

Free Smart Goals Poster – Version #2

Click here to download this poster straight away!

free smart goals poster

Free Smart Goals Poster – Version #3

Click here to download this poster straight away!

The Benefits of Goal Setting for Kids

Remember, goal setting isn’t just for grown-ups; it’s a superpower that kids can totally rock, too.

And oh boy, it works wonders! Let’s dive into a few awesome benefits that make goal-setting a must-do for your little heroes.

  1. Provide Direction: Setting goals gives your child a target to aim for. It’s like giving them a treasure map to follow and a goal as the shiny “X” marks the spot.
  2. Focus and Decision-Making: Goals help your child focus on what’s important instead of choosing random tasks. It’s like giving them a laser beam of determination.
  3. Control: Setting goals lets your child be the boss of their future. They get to decide what they’re working toward and what their awesome future will look like when they nail those goals.

5 Goal-Setting Activities for Kids and Growth Mindset Ideas

So, you’re up for a goal-setting adventure with your child, huh?

Brace yourselves; it’s going to be a blast!

There are tons of goal-setting activities for kids to choose from, but here’s the scoop: we’re all about making goal-setting for kids interactive and, dare we say, fun!

Why not turn this into an exciting journey that you and your child can enjoy together?

Goal setting activities for kids

Goal Setting Read Alouds 


If your child is young and you both enjoy bedtime stories, or if your child simply likes being read to, here’s something cool: Reading books out loud can be a great way to learn about setting goals.

There are lots of awesome books that show how setting goals is something real and doable. Let me share some of my favorite ones with you!

The Magical Yet By Angela DiTerlizzi

This book is perfect if your child struggles with understanding that working towards a goal often comes with difficult learning moments.

It is full of uplifting messages and reminds us that we all have things we haven’t achieved…yet!

Ambitious Ninja By Mary Nihn

A funny book all about an Ambitious Ninja who has dreams of being a blue belt: he soon realizes that goal setting might be the answer.

The Girl and the Bicycle By Mark Pett

When a little girl sees a new bicycle in a window, she hurries home to see if she has enough in her piggy bank.

She sadly comes up short.

After that, she starts knocking on her neighbor’s doors, looking for some yard work.

She soon forms a friendship with a kind old lady and finally gets enough for the bicycle.

But what happens next is completely unexpected.

fly! By Mark Teague

A silly wordless picture book that is all about a baby bird getting ready to fly: however, Baby bird is just not sure about it all.

Can’t he migrate in a hot air balloon or a car?

This book will get your child laughing even without words as Baby bird figures out that he must flap his wings and learn to fly.

I Can Do It! By Jennifer Gaither

This book is definitely one you will want to read if you are trying to get your child into the goal setting spirit.

It’s a guide that discusses how a child can be anything they want to be if they just set their mind to it with a little persistence and focus!

Teaching kids that you can always get back up if you fall, and the sky’s the limit when you don’t give up!

This book helps children have the confidence to pursue their dreams.

2. Get Brainy About It:

Let’s talk brains, baby!

To help younger children understand a growth mindset better, you can show them how brains change and stretch as they learn and try new stuff.

Grab a rubber band and give them a visual of how the brain stretches and grows—it’s like a little brain workout.

Goal setting activities for kids

For the older ones, go deeper into brain territory. Talk about how our brains have billions (yes, billions!) of tiny neurons, and when they learn or try something new, the brain grows more connections among those neurons. If you’re feeling scholarly, dive into a brainy article like this one.

You could even read Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

Use a laminated picture of the brain and label the different parts (grab our brain poster here in our Growth Mindset Kit), or use Play-Doh and have your child create a brain using the color-coded picture.

When they are done, they could even label each part using Post-it flags and toothpicks!

SMART goals for elementary kids

3. Use a Goal Setting Kit:

You could use vision boards, a SMART Goal Poster (hey, we have three SMART Goal posters above to download completely free!), or a fun Goal Setting Kit to walk you through the entire process.

These worksheets and lessons help younger children and older children break down their goals into small steps.

New Year’s resolutions are also a great time to set a new big goal.

I absolutely adore guiding kids through brainstorming their goal ideas, creating their very own bucket lists, and using worksheets that work like magic to transform their negative thoughts into positive ones.

There are countless fantastic ways to get kids’ imaginations spinning, and sometimes, all just need a little nudge. 🌟

4. Growth Mindset Activity Journal

Now, this is the good stuff. We’re talking about a growth mindset journal that’ll help your child keep track of their goals, progress, setbacks, and everything in between.

You see, I’m pretty passionate about this because kids are often underestimated in things like goal setting and having a growth mindset. That’s why I created the Amazing Me: Growth Mindset Journal.

It’s not your run-of-the-mill journal; it’s an adventure in self-discovery. Your little explorers get to become special agents, embarking on ten personal growth missions. They’ll explore dreams and goals, handle those big feelings, build healthy habits, boost their confidence, and so much more.

5. Daily Positive Affirmations 

We can’t forget about daily positive affirmations.

These little gems can be game-changers. Negativity might try to sneak in, but we’re not having any of that.

Instead of letting negative thoughts take over, help your child rewire their brain by turning those negatives into positives. Daily affirmations will do wonders for their self-awareness, confidence, and overall mood. It’s like giving their brain a daily dose of positivity.

positive affirmations for kids

What a way to boost motivation, and SO perfect for the whole family!

Final Thoughts on Goal Setting For Kids:

Whether you’re crafting a vision board together, having a chit-chat about setting SMART goals or simply discussing your child’s aspirations for the upcoming week, month, or year, remember this: Goal setting for kids is an essential skill to a bright and successful future!

So, go on, be their trusty guide on this exciting journey. Help them stretch their minds, persevere, chase those dreams, and become the champions they were born to be. 🌟

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

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