The New Year has dawned upon us. Within a few months, a new academic year will come upon us as well.
A lot of us may have made resolutions for this year. Some of us may still be wondering what to do. A few of us would be wondering how to plan for our future.
We present below a few tips on how to go about the process of reflecting, reviewing and revising to encourage greater self-awareness and introspection in not only ourselves, but also our kids.
Start Simple and Review Continuously
Keep to two or three goals that require focus and effort. If your child finds it too simple or too difficult to achieve, it is fine to refine them.
Constant review is necessary to help make sure that your child stays on target for their goals. Parents can help to remind him of his goals by regularly asking him what steps he has taken towards meeting his goals, and what help he may need when he faces challenges. Setting unrealistic targets can be the biggest pitfall in goal-setting.
Change Course if Necessary
Encourage your child and acknowledge how family members have been a source of support in helping each other achieve their goals. Rewards can be a way of positive reinforcement. If your child is able to keep something up for a week, be generous with praise or simple rewards to encourage them.
For example, if your daughter wants to be better at languages, guide her in aiming for daily language practice for a specific duration, and give her a time frame to work with, in order to see the improvement.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Actionable Steps
R – Realistic
T – Time-Bound
Goal setting should be simple process that is manageable and broken down to be SMART.
It should not always be about their academic studies. A good balance of goals would include the type of skills, values and behavior you would like to cultivate in your child. Life skills such as being more proactive in their learning, or having better time management are good examples of some non-academic goals to set.
Also, try to encourage the perusal of hobbies and development of skills as this could offer a stress-relief activity for your child, as well as help them be productive in the process.
Recognize what goals to set
It is important to get kids to look back on the past year and consider the three high and low points that they have experienced. This gives valuable insight into what the child finds significant, as well as what he is struggling with, to guide you in helping your kids set goals.
Reflect before Goal-Setting
How you set these goals as we enter the New Year is just as important as the road to achieving them. The Sunday Times (Singapore) on 30 December 2018 offers some suggestions to help your child set achievable goals.
It takes only a small change in one’s perspective to take advantage of the huge potential the New Year has, and shift resolutions into actionable goals. Resolutions and goals may seem to be similar, but in reality, they differ greatly in meaning. Resolutions are unclear statements of some direction you want to head in—get better grades, get fitter, eat healthier. Goals, on the other hand, define a destination you want to reach—get above 90% in your next math paper, exercise five times a week, eat at least one green vegetable a meal. It’s easy to get confused with both terms and, eventually, just forget a resolution. However, what is crucial is how we can step up our promises to improve and convert them into attainable deeds.
While resolutions are a common practice, the principle behind it is reflection: to think back on the year’s happenings and to want to improve on oneself in the coming year. This kind of mindset—of reflection and growth—is crucial for success in every part of life.
As the new academic year arrives, so does the promise of a new year with hopeful beginnings. Make sure that your resolutions for the coming year last you through it.