Don't you love setting goals? I'm inspired all the time by leaders who explain how wonderful it is to have goals and how much more successful people are when they make them. Did you know not many of us actually take the time to write them down?
Shortly after the birth of our second child, my husband and I went out on a date night and he started asking me all sorts of questions, like "Where do you see yourself in five years?" and "What's next for you?" I remember being so frustrated he would ask me questions like that when I was in survival mode with the kids. Of course, he didn't understand, but for a few years, I didn't have time to think about anything other than the kids or food or how to care for them. I was either with them or trying to stay awake. Sleep was so precious and I wasn't getting enough.
After that brief time, I got back to goal-setting and it's always served me well. Lots of my friends would tell me they created vision boars. I remember thinking they were kind of dreamy and silly, but recently I read something that changed my mind.
When you look at your vision board, your brain creates a mini-visualization of you in that place. So in your mind, you are literally practicing experiencing success and being IN your dreams. You are living that life and owning it. That's not something that you can feel easily with goals that are in your head or written down. A picture says a thousand words!
Since I convinced myself to create my own vision board, why wouldn't I let my kids practice this same ritual? I did some research and learned some ways to modify the activity to set the kids up for success.
First, the younger the child, the fewer goals they should have. One word can be enough, and your child can find pictures to match and expand on the idea.
Second, make sure to list some goals before you get to the art part of the project, so your child is choosing their own ideas, not just what looks pretty.
So here are the steps to take to create a vision board with your kids!
1. List dreams. Ask questions like, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "What do you want to learn more about?" or "What do you want to get better at?"
2. Get pictures. Use magazines, photos or search online and print images out.
3. Add artwork. For concepts you can't find, your child can paint or draw or write in words and pictures.
4. Modge podge or laminate the project to give it extra importance and help it last longer.
5. Break the vision board ideas into action steps.
"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"A goal is a dream with a deadline." - Napoleon Hill
Vision boards are the first step, but I like to do more than just will the universe to bring good things to me. What sort of action steps or habits can your child develop to help their dreams come true? You can help your child brainstorm.
1. First, explain and discuss what a goal is. I like to relate it to sports since it's an easy idea for most kids to understand. A goal is like a target. It's planning what you need to be able to do to hit that target. You can relate it to scoring or winning in a competition. Next, look at the vision board together and come up with a list of goals in writing.
2. Ask "who or what do you need in order to reach your goal?" Then, break it up into actions. Or baby action steps. Remember, the younger the child, the smaller the steps. One way is to think of the action steps as rungs in a ladder and the more you do the closer you get to your dream or goal.
3. Create another visual of the action steps or habits. You can have your child draw the action steps in pictures or words of what needs to happen to get to the life on the vision board. Or you can outline a ladder drawing and you and your child can fill in the rungs together.
4. Accountability is how your child will remember to work on their action steps. Depending on the age of your child, you can set quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily goals.
5. Finally, you should review goals regularly and modify, improve or check them off and celebrate! Special time with a parent, a new toy or a special dinner or event make fantastic treats!
Try creating a vision board with your child and let me know how it goes!
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