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Every month at FitGirls we focus on a different theme. For the month of January, it is only fitting, with the buzz of New Year resolutions, that our theme is ‘goal setting’. Setting goals benefits everyone in the family; from adults to children! Here is what we believe when it comes to this powerful task.

Most adults understand the importance of setting goals when it comes to achievement and getting things that we want out of life; with this, most parents will strive to pass these tools onto their kids. As a parent, do you find yourself focusing on specific milestones when it comes to your kids like, the goal to graduate high school, pick a college, pick an extracurricular activity, etc.?

These are all fantastic points to focus on but, what about the little things? Have you considered goal setting for tasks that can be completed daily? Everything we do and everything our children do is a choice thus the opportunity to set goals is all around us! Imagine setting goals that are good for our health; drinking more water, finding creative ways to eat more veggies, spending more time together by planning fun activities to things like exercise and meditation. Imagine what accomplishing daily goals or other short term goals would do for our children’s confidence!

Next, take goal setting a step further and really dive into the ‘how’ of the process. As a parent, are you setting goals for your child, or are they setting goals for themselves? By allowing your kids to set their own goals they will learn to become more self-sufficient and through this their problem solving skills will improve. This happens when anyone is given the space and time to honor their goals; both short term and long term goals. When we set goals we are empowered and when we accomplish those goals we gain confidence. “Goal setting is linked to self-confidence, motivation and autonomy” (Locke & Lathan, 2006). Imagine how far your child will go when they build on every goal and they are empowered to keep going, to keep growing, to believe in themselves and what they can do. The possibilities are endless!

A 2015 study showed that people were 33% more successful in achieving their goals just because they wrote them down (Matthews, 2015). Let’s test that theory, shall we? Grab your notebook and pen, your dry-erase markers with the mirror in your room, your cell phone notepad – whatever your mode to track goals and goal process - and let’s write out our goals! Be sure to make them S.M.A.R.T; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Happy New Year FitGirls and families!

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2006). New Directions in Goal-Setting Theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 265-268.

Matthews, G. (2015). Goal Research Summary. Paper presented at the 9th Annual International Conference of the Psychology Research Unit of Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), Athens, Greece.



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