From the WSJ: Helping Kids Learn to Set Goals

March 10, 2011

I like stories like this:

Making Kids Work on Goals (And Not Just In Soccer)

A student’s ability to set and achieve realistic goals is linked to higher grades, lower college-dropout rates and greater well-being in adulthood. In a recent study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, college students who completed an intensive written exercise identifying their goals and mapping out steps to reach them posted a significant increase in grades and credits earned, compared with other students.

The article talks about SMART goals, which are:

Specific, Measurable, Attainable goals with clear Results in a set Time frame.

I like that acronym.

Although I have talked about goals with my boys, I haven’t ever sat down with them and helped them solidify their goals and write them down. The closest thing I did recently was require my oldest son to produce a plan as to how he was going to get a school project done. He drew it up and I held him to it. He got done early and received a very good grade too. I chalk it up to him coming up with a plan. Although he’s a very responsible student, he often times puts off projects and then ends up going to quickly and turning in a not-so-great project.

Now we need to work on setting goals for the rest of high school and then college.

3 responses to From the WSJ: Helping Kids Learn to Set Goals

  1. Good for you, procrastination is the most difficult habit break.

  2. I think this is a great idea and will try to apply it to my kids. Having written goals, and defining actions to meet them is S.M.A.R.T.!

  3. JLP. Just wondering what your thought is on preadulthood and boys (if you’ve seen any of the writings by Kay Hymowitz). Feel free to email me if you want.