Goal Setting For Kids

Dream Boards and Vision Boards

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One of my roles as a parent (as I see them) is to ensure that my children understand the concept of goal setting. For kids, setting a goal and working towards achieving its success is a skill that will help them all their life. 

I also want to inspire them to have great dreams and hopes for their futureBut how do I present this to children?

A fun and inspiring way is to make a dream or vision board.

Dreamboards for Kids

Vision Boards are a collage of images of things you would like to see, have or do. This can be done on a large piece of card, but we often work in our journals. In presenting this idea to your children, tell them that it is a place to let their imaginations soar – no need to be realistic! Tell them that they are going to put into pictures all their dreams and hopes, so that they can keep a track of which ones come true, and when!

Goals for kids

I usually get my children to ask themselves :

  • Which people do you love, and want to have around you?
  • What would you like to be really good at?
  • What would you really like to have or do?
  • How would you like to feel?
  • What would be your best day ever?
  • I want to open up a world of possibilities to them - to help them understand that sometimes we have to wait for things but that shouldn’t stop us dreaming. It also lets me look at which of their goals are achievable and how we can work towards making them a reality. 

    How to make a dream board

  • Decide if you will work in journals, or on a board. Goal setting experts would say that you need to see your dream board regularly in order to manifest the contents into your life. An artists canvas or cork noticeboard will make good dream boards that can be displayed.
  • Will you all make individual boards for personal goals, or a family one? Maybe you all would just like to concentrate on your homeschooling goals? Sometimes we divide a large board into four and each work in one section. This usually makes a great collage for display, and we can put up goals that the whole family want to achieve (such as vacations or a savings goal).
  • Making dreamboards with kids
  • Collect lots of images. Travel brochures, magazines, shop catalogues and advertising brochures all often have great images that may fit your dreams. I try to collect as many of these as possible before starting. If your children are young then it is a good idea to also search the internet and print images you think they will want to use BEFORE starting. I found when my children were younger they were very impatient about getting to the 'glueing' stage!!
  • Remember an image doesn't have to exactly represent what you want. Find an image that has the right 'feel' about it. A sunrise may be used to show either that you want to get up early and see a sunrise – or that you want to manifest more peace and balance into your life.
  • Trust the process. It's ok to add images that speak to you but you aren't sure why. By adding it to the board, you may come to realise over time that the image represents something important to you. Children tend to be very creative in this way – let them add whatever appeals to them at the time.
  • Does goal setting for kids work?

    There is lots of information about personal development on the internet – and particularly the goal setting process. Most of the information agrees – if you can't visualize a goal in detail then you have little chance of achieving it.

    Personally, I think this process has allowed us to review which of the children's aims and targets are realistic (in the short term) and develop an action plan.

     It has helped us to think positively and be more focused and motivated.

    It is also a wonderfully creative way of expanding their horizons. So does it work? – yes, on balance, I think it does!! If you would like to read another familys account of goal setting for kids using dream boards, then check out this article.

    Vision boards work really well for teenagers - it is perfect for helping them clarify what they want from life.  Get them to brainstorm different ideas for things they would like to do - and maybe even set themselves a 'theme-word' for the year.

    They can find their own images online, and there are quite a few 'vision board' apps and software (like this one!). 

    Team it up with a copy of The Teenage Liberation handbook - and a copy of my Teenager Planner, and you will really inspire your teens to take charge of their lives.

    Teenager Planner

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    My teenager planner and workbook 'You Only Live Once' is designed to help them do exactly that.

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    Update September 2008

    Making our THINK bracelets recently got me thinking about goal setting for kids again.

    We had created a family Vision Board in the New Year, so I went back to check what we had achieved.

    Amazingly, quite a few of the items on the board had appeared in our lives. The most noticeable was that my daughter had used a lot of pictures of puppies on her side of board! Now, at the time there was NO WAY we were going down that road! But stuff happens! And here is a picture of my daughter with her puppy!

    I smile when I see her playing with, or training the dog. She has learnt the power of dreaming impossible dreams and seeing them come true! Not straight away maybe - but eventually. I think this is a wonderful life lesson and one I hope she carries with her as she grows up.

    The vision board is something we will certainly use again. It is a great way of clarifying what we REALLY want from life. And a great way to introduce goal setting for kids, and ensuring homeschool success!

    Update January 2012

    We have continued to make vision boards every year. I find it a great way to start the New Year and think about what we want to achieve.

    Some years we cut and paste - but we have also made PC image collages and sent them away for printing in poster size. These look really great hanging in a frame.

    This year, as well as creating our 2012 goals I have cleared a large pin board. I plan to display tickets from outings we do, pictures of things we make, and other photos and memorabilia about our year. So at the end of the year I will have a lovely visual record of what the year has meant to us. A bit like our scrapbooks but displayed for all to see.

    Have you made a vision board?
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    Mother/Daughter Vision Boards 
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