It’s January 1st and a brand new year awaits! For kids and adults alike, there’s something intensely exciting about starting over, setting some goals and laying out some plans for the coming year.

Making it a family tradition to spend some time thinking about and mapping out a new year strategy can become an anticipated family event. Sheets of crisp white paper, packs of new coloured pens all laid out on the family meals table ready to get your creative on.

Children and adults will have different goals and expectations for the new year but working together shows children that even adults map out where they’re going and the resources they’re going to need to get there.

A simple approach for children is to map out a social, an emotional and a learning goal using a WWW approach. Here’s what it looks like.


Social goal: To make more friends

Who – who can teach or model this skill? Who does the child want to specifically focus on – maybe it’s the acquisition of a BFF!

When – when can the goal be started and when is a good point to have it underway and them completed.

What – what are the actions or resources required to help the goal to happen. Does the child need more friendliness skills, what about role playing some great ways to make friends. What is all about the resources required.

Other social goals might be to learn to stick up for yourself, to be less of a follower and more of a leader, to keep friends’ secrets even when it’s really hard not to divulge.


Emotional goal: To stay calm when a sibling is getting annoying

Who – can help to teach, model or encourage this skill?

When –  can it be started and how will you know when it’s been achieved?

What – resources do you need – a book, a support person, a strategy?

Other emotional goals might be about temper, moodiness, coping with disappointment.

Learning goal: To keep trying even if the task is boring.

Who –  is there someone we know who has achieved highly from persevering?

When – can I practice my perseverance?

What – can I change about my thinking and behaviour that will help me stay steadfast?

Other learning goals include being able to make a mistake, persisting, bouncing back from difficulties, being confident about asking questions or telling news.


Setting goals helps children to focus on their areas of strength and weakness in positive and affirming ways – and it’s a life skill. Did you know that adults who set goals are usually higher achievers? Did you also know that adults who write those goals down and have some form of accountability do even better?

Goal setting can be a fun family activity and right away you’ve got a whole bunch of accountability partners – and you’re laying the foundation of success for life!

Why not make this a family tradition in your home and help not only your child by yourself towards a happy and successful 2018!

Have you written out your goals for 2018? Let us know some of your aspirations in the comments below!

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • What a great way to better detail how to achieve your goals. It would be very effective for children and adults.


  • What a wonderful idea to share the goals with the family – it would help everyone keep on trying to attain their goals too. Thanks for your post.


  • Goals……just another name for resolutions. I gave up making them several years ago. Gift sick of setting myself up fir failure


  • During New Years Eve we spoke about our goals for 2018. For me, beside eating healthier, it would be trying to travel a little bit more. My daughter wants to do some volunteer work, so we are looking at the possibilities in the area where we live.


  • A holiday in the outback to celebrate a relative’s special day, lose some weight which won’t be easy because of the lifesaving medication I have to take, more exercise when the weather improves, and acquire a cpap machine because of my newly diagnosed Sleep Apnoea.


  • I have never thought of my boys setting goals, I guess this is because I am not very good at it. This might be a great way for us to improve this skills together.


  • Making goals and reaching your goals is very exciting.


  • Goal setting for kids is such a great idea, I do it every year with the students in my class. Just make sure that they are SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.


  • What a great idea, I have never thought about helping my girls set a goal/resolution at the start of a new year – I will set down with them and talk about the points made in this article – thank you Claire for writing this article :)


  • Setting goals is an awesome idea for both adults and children alike. Also, going into the year with a growth mindset is a wonderful way of helping children learn different life skills. Love the idea of family traditions around this.


  • I’m not one for new years resolutions. Everyday day is fresh and new and comes with new chances. It’s good to aim for things and have a goal, but mostly to give your simply best at all times.


  • Great idea specially for kids I loved it


  • Love the idea of getting the kids involved in goal setting.


  • We agreed a few family goals about behaviour – lets see if we manage to get there.


  • This year is going to be huge for us – new home and new jobs! So setting realistic goals is paramount to realising all that we want! Decluttering is first on the list, followed by finding the perfect new home, organising insurance, packing and, finally, moving!


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating