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By Dickson Tumuramye
The New Year is here now, welcome to 2019. I am sure at the start of the year, each one of us has something you anticipate to achieve before the year ends. Such spirit should also be passed on to our children.
As we all set plans for 2019, ask your children regardless of their age to each set goals annually and share with you. Goal setting is one of the most basic and essential skills someone can develop in order to realize a thriving life. Goal setting can be used to motivate children by ensuring that they achieve smaller goals on a regular basis. Children who have goals whether academic, business, spiritual or even personal ones – will do better in life than children with no plans at all. It also helps them focus and make better decisions.
Goal setting and planning are such important aspects we must take into practice at every start of the year. Benjamin Franklin once said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Therefore, this calls us to have a clear anticipated picture of how this year should start and end. If you fail to plan for it very well, chances are that you will not achieve most of what you intend to do. Many people always have great ideas but lack a plan or idea of how they will get there. The problem lies either in how they plan or lack of planning – setting goals they intend to achieve.
Your children need to recognize that one day they will be old enough to be self-responsible and self- determining for their success. Goal setting helps our children to visualize the end positively and motivates them to work hard to succeed. When you know exactly where you are heading and what you want, the road to success becomes clearer. It becomes easier for you to avoid detours that will cause distractions.
Your children could be wondering on how to begin. I would like to share few thoughts with them.
- 1. Take time to plan.
You cannot plan without setting time a part to put down what you intend to do in the given period of time you want. Don’t keep your ideas just in your head. Please write them down for quick and easy memory and follow up.
- 2. Take deliberate action to implement your plan.
Setting up a plan which you are not ready to implement will be useless and a waste of time. It’s one thing to plan and another to implement what you planned. Therefore you should be ready to plan and perform according to what you planned. Even if you get new ideas along the way, you will not divert so much from your plans. It’s easy to integrate your new ideas into your plan than being diverted and do things which will not lead you into success.
- 3. Stay focused.
Goal setting and planning help you to improve on your focus. There will be some challenges along the way, but if you stay focused to your plan and remain committed to it, you will be a winner. It will guide you to concentrate on the next step towards your success.
- 4. Evaluate your progress.
When you are setting your goals for a year, make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound). You must set time aside to always evaluate how you are progressing with what you intended to do. This can be done quarterly or midway of the year.
- 5. Commit your plans to God.
The bible says “Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass” (Ps. 37:5), and Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed” (NLT). Without God in your plans, they may not be fully established.
In nutshell, there is no way how you will know how much you have achieved at the end of 2019 without a clear plan of what you intended to do. Set goals and plan now, implement your plan, stay focused, evaluate yourself along the way, you will live to achieve much at the end of your year!
HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS 2019.
The writer is a child advocate and a counselor based in Kampala, Uganda.
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