6 Ways to Help Your Girl Set Goals in the New Year
Your girl can set big goals for her big dreams – even in a tumultuous year! After what’s been an uncertain time, your family may be looking forward to a fresh start and new opportunities in the year ahead. Does your girl want to use her voice to make a difference in her community? Learn a new sports skill? Improve her grade in a subject at school? While the specifics are up to your girl, setting personal goals and striving to reach them will help her build competence and confidence, give her a sense of control and help her plan for the future.
Keep reading for six ways you can help your girl determine where she wants to go, how she plans to get there and what will keep her motivated along the way.
Support her interests
It’s important for girls to feel a sense of ownership and control over their lives outside the constraints of familial, societal and educational requirements. Encouraging girls to explore their passions through goal setting is a perfect way to give them autonomy and support their growing independence. Passions can be hobbies like cooking, photography or painting. Or they can come out of a desire to improve an existing skill, such as a favorite sport or new dance routine.
Ask your girl: What is something new or different you have an interest in exploring or trying?
Find the “why” in the goal
After your girl chooses a goal that is meaningful to her, it’s important to define a clear “why” for choosing that specific goal in the first place. The “why” can be as simple as, “This goal sounds like something fun!” or “My friend and I want to try this together.” Another effective way to help your girl discover that “why” is by helping her attach her goal setting to a feeling. Remembering how she feels when she achieves her goal will help her stay focused on the positive as she works towards achieving her dreams!
Ask your girl: How do you think you’ll feel when you achieve your goal?
Allow her to take the lead
Give your girl the opportunity to plan and prioritize what needs to happen in order to reach her goals. When we allow girls to take the lead, they feel more ownership over the process and learn to find creative solutions to their challenges. If your girl wants to learn a new dance routine but can’t go to dance classes to learn, perhaps she’ll find tutorials online or meet with a friend who can teach her. Or perhaps she’ll create a completely new routine all on her own!
Ask your girl: What’s a first step you want to take to set your goals?
Break down big goals into smaller steps
Girls often dream BIG, and it can be a challenge to help them find the step-by-step path to reaching those big goals. Setting goals is important, but the likelihood of achieving a goal is improved when a goal is broken down into smaller action steps. One way to begin this process is with the widely used SMART goal framework. Making goals specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-based is a perfect way for your girl to begin to consider what it takes to reach a goal. Don’t stop there! Play with how to take that SMART goal and give it a step-by-step process to get from point A to point B.
Ask your girl: Pretend that breaking down your goal is like writing the steps for a recipe. What steps would you include to get to your goal?
Create a way to document progress
Some goals can take months or years to achieve! This can make it hard to see our progress along the way. But finding a way to track the journey can help your girl stay motivated and will make it more likely that she reaches her goal! Encourage her to keep a journal, make a checklist, find an app or reach out to a friend who can help her celebrate along the way. Because when progress is celebrated, your girl is a winner no matter the final outcome.
Ask your girl: What is one way you can track progress towards your goal?
Identify simple pump-up strategies to stay motivated
It takes more than positive thinking to see any goal through, but identifying some pump–up strategies can help your girl find motivation when she needs it most. Something as simple as a go-to song, word or phrase can be a big encouragement and give your girl the Power Boost she needs to stick with her goals. She will also discover that she can reach inside herself for the support she needs to achieve her dreams.
Ask your girl: What is a word, phrase or song that you can use when you need extra encouragement to reach your goals?
To discover more helpful tips to share with your girl, visit our Parent Resources page.