Do you sometimes want the impossible, immediately? I know I do, but we all know that is not reality. That is why it is important to put a plan in place. In other words, make a plan, and set goals to achieve it. Setting goals helps us to stay on track and keeps us focused. We have big dreams for the future and things we want, but we have a tendency to stay in the present and not make a plan for the future.
Goal setting is not only for adults but should be shared with children as well. As parents, we should sit down with our children at the beginning of every year and assist them in setting goals. It is important for children to learn at an early age that success doesn’t usually happen by accident. Try sitting down with your child and discuss what they would like to achieve. It doesn’t have to be difficult; it could be as simple as chores around the house, completing homework assignments, or learning something new. Help them make a plan to achieve their goal, even if it’s simple. Their progress should be monitored along the way. It’s OK if they don’t achieve all their goals or the plan changes. It is important that children understand it is never a failure when a goal is not achieved; it is a lesson to be learned. When parents sit down with their children to discuss goals and make a plan, it helps to build unity, understanding, trust, and teamwork.
Without a doubt, middle school and high school are crucial times for both academic and long-term goals. This is the age where college is just around the corner, and the plan is necessary to achieve the ultimate goal. The lines of communication should be open between parents and children; questions should be asked, with an understanding that goals might change throughout the years. When goals change, the plan may need to be modified, so it is important to communicate and listen.
Financial goals are also important for all ages. Taking your child to the bank and opening up a savings account teaches them how to save money. They can put a portion of their allowance, and all other monies they may receive, in the bank and watch it grow. They can learn to save money and set financial goals at the same time.
Adults, how many times have you said, “I want to make a difference,” or “I want to give back to my community”? Well, I have the perfect opportunity for you. That goal can become a reality with just a little planning. Contact me to begin your journey as a Robeson County 4-H volunteer.
Wendy Maynor is the 4-H Youth Development Program associate for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center.