There are short-term, mid-term and long-term goals for all ages to think about – even teens and pre-teens. It’s never too early to have kids start thinking about and planning for the future. Getting kids to set and work towards achieving their goals is a lesson that will get them far in life both personally and professionally. Be sure to guide them towards setting realistic goals for the short-term things so that they can find success and know the victory of achievement. Gaining these short-term successes will help them stick to the goals and help them succeed in reaching the mid-term and long-term goals as well.
With the achievement of meeting the short-term goals kids are more likely to increase their persistency and performance to meet the mid-term and long-term goals. Setting goals affects outcomes in four ways:
1. Choice: setting goals make kids pay attention and direct efforts to meeting their goal, and away from activities that could keep them from achieving their goals.
2. Effort: goals can lead to more effort; for example, if a kids wants to meet the next goal more quickly than the last he may be more motivated to find a summer job, invent something to sell and make more money to put towards saving for the next goal.
3. Persistence: A kid is less likely to throw in the towel and quit when faced with challenges when he or she is pursuing a goal.
4. Discernment: goals can lead an individual to make better choices with spending and saving.
So what falls into which category where short, mid and long-term goals are concerned? Here are a few examples for each:
SHORT-TERM ($100 or less)
• Newest CD by his favorite artist
• Game for Wii, Nintendo, or X-box, etc.
• Tux rental for the prom
• Dinner at the new place downtown
MID-TERM ($500 or less)
• Flat screen TV for her room
• Gaming system
• Class ring
• Leather jacket
LONG-TERM (no limit)
• College expenses
• Laptop • Senior Beach Trip (just make sure Mom and Dad’s approval will be there when the money adds up)
Every goal list will be different since every kid is different. However, every list will allow the kid the opportunity to achieve something important to him or her. That feeling of success will be worth more than any amount of money in the bank. If you have some thoughts on how to teach kids the value of setting goals, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.