Category Archives: Goals/Goal Setting

Teaching Kids to Set Goals


"Without goals, and plans to reach them,
you are like a ship that has set sail with
no destination". Fitzhugh Dodson

Eons ago (12 or so years ago to be more exact) when I was a working mom, my boss asked me one day:

“What are your goals?”

Dead silence.

Blank look.

That caught me so off guard. As did the realization that I didn’t have any.  Not what a boss wants to hear.  I looked at this man. He was 34, had his own business. Probably because he had goals.

No one really liked this guy on a personal level, but you had to respect the fact that he had goals and was working towards attaining them.

Now, I am sure that we had some sort of lessons or what not on goals in high school, but they obviously didn’t stick with me. To this day, I still really don’t set goals. But I look back on that blank look and how my mind went blank that day and know that I don’t want this for my kids. 

Recently we have been talking about success with the oldest. He’s 17 and studying for the GED. At times, he is not so optimistic about his future, even a little scared. I hate to see this.  He’s a bright, strong young man, ma sha Allah and I know he can achieve great things, if Allah wills.  He has not been super studious throughout his homeschooling years, but when he has the motivation to learn something, he’ll learn it. 

I want him to have clear goals for his future….something I never had. I went into engineering because my mom suggested it.  If I had really done some soul searching, I probably would have chosen a computer related field. The quote below sums up exactly where I think I was in my life as a young adult (and probably before Islam)….just going with the flow.”

“It’s very easy to get sidetracked or to just "go with the flow."
Learning how to set goals at an early age will give your teen the tools needed to live a purposeful life. They will be able to make decisions that get them where they want to go instead of just reacting to whatever is in front of them at that moment.”

So with this mindset, I have decided to attempt to get us all (me included) in setting goals and working to attain them.  Back to our discussions about success, we talked about the fact that an education alone does not guarantee success, let alone a public school one.  We talked about some factors of success people and that they probably had a goal or plan to keep the momentum up.  Of course, in some cases, I am sure that some people just seem to make it with little effort, but why count on that?

Most highly successful people are avid goal-setters.
Pick up any best-selling book from personal growth gurus and there will be a section dedicated to goal setting. These coaches don’t consider goal setting an option; to them it’s mandatory if you want to live an amazing life.

So, here are a few goal setting resources I dug up:


Goal Setting for Teens

– This is my number one pick out of all that I looked at. It really goes into detail not just about goal setting, but about setting SMART goals (ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.)

This one was really inspirational.  It gave so many reasons for making sure that you take the time to teach your children how to set goals. It goes way beyond just an activity, but giving your child a skill for life that could make the difference between a mediocre life and a fulfilling one, Allahu ilm.  Don’t miss this one.

When you take the time to sit down and totally focus on your child, you KNOW how much they love that.
This is about more than just Goal Setting, it is about saying how much you love them, and that you care enough about them and their future, that you are prepared to spend time working on it with them. You KNOW what an impact that will have with them.
They will love Goal Setting especially when you spend time to work on this with them.

Includes a goal setting worksheet. and a SMART goal setting worksheet. plus many helpful articles.

Also, a neat article on making a goal success book. I really like this, it is kind of along the lines with notebooking that we are currently really into.

How to Make a Goal Setting Success Book

Along the same lines, but I think we are more notebook oriented, is a vision board. For us, I think this might work more for younger kids or those more into “frilly” stuff as my older son calls things like this.

Self Help tools (the goal setting success book and many more printables, including a gratitude journal can be found here.

Gratitude Journal.

Love this idea. Write five things daily that you should be grateful for. Although the article here is written from a  non religious standpoint, this can be focused towards helping kids (and ourselves) be reminded of Allah’s blessings:

“Start making a list of things to be grateful for – start with that, because this shifts your energy, it starts to shift your thinking, where before this exercise you might be focusing on what you don’t have, and you might be focusing on your complaints, and you might be focusing on whatever the problems are. When you do this exercise you start to be grateful for all the things you feel good about. As soon as you start to feel differently about what you already have, you will start to attract more of the good things, more of the things you can be grateful for …… Focus on what you already have that you are grateful for”.

“As the months pass and you fill your journal with blessings, an inner shift in your reality will occur. Soon you will be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. As you focus on the abundance rather than on the lack in your life, you will be designing a wonderful new blueprint for the future.

Goal Setting for Teens

Brief, but one of the most concise ones that I found.  I am hoping that we try this exercise today. It has the suggestion of doing a brainstorming activity and then it lists 5 clear cut goals in goal setting.  Some of the other articles I came across where very vague, but I felt this one gave us some “practical” tips.

So, we’ll see how it goes. I’d like to do a session after Salatul Jumuah today, in sha Allah.  I’m  hoping to have them each keep a goal notebook and plan out their strategy and keep track of them. I have started doing the same for myself as well after this latest research. Again, another beauty of homeschooling, it is learning and developmental experience for me as well. “Making a Change” Interactive

This was cute. It walks teens through the steps of setting goals.  They can type in their responses and print out a sheet. (I tested it out on myself).


This one was pretty awesome too. It mentioned that teaching goal setting is much more than an activity, but it shows your kids that you love them when you take the time to sit down with them (just that time itself with you is special)


Goal setting worksheet for younger kids

1 Comment

Posted by on May 21, 2010 in Goals/Goal Setting