I really AM a BIG fan of relaxing during the summer. But this could be FUN, I promise! Just give it some thought. . . .
Have you ever noticed that although LOTS of people talk about setting goals, few actually do and fewer yet take them seriously enough to achieve them. Consider this interesting study led by Bruce Headey on more than 3,500 people followed for fifteen years to learn what satisfied them and made their lives meaningful and happy. The study found that folks with the greatest happiness: had clear-cut goals; were risk takers who didn’t make excuses or give up; had goals in areas of friendship, love and helping others!
I believe that one reason our kids resist goal setting so much (and maybe why we do too) is that we often feel that “goals” are what other people want for us. They are things we “ought” to want to do like make better grades or keep the bathroom clean. Along those lines, one reason kids often don’t attain goals is that they weren’t really engaged in them in the first place!
But what if this summer each member of the family approached goal setting in a totally different way. What if they began by asking, “What would I LIKE to do?” Consider a variety of areas of actions. What creative thing might I like to do? What physical/work out thing would I like to do? What social thing might I like to do? What reading or learning activity would I like to do? What helping others activity would be fun for me? Financial? Spiritual? New habit? Something in town I’d like to see. Something I’d like to learn more about. A new person I’ve been meaning to get to know. The things various family members might set for individual goals could vary widely. Someone might want to learn to play the ukulele. Someone might want to practice water painting. Someone else might set a goal of practicing their dives at the pool or losing ten pounds. Someone else might be ready to write a journal or read about computer languages. You may have a blossoming cook at your house or someone ready to host a party a week!
The Do-It-Yourself Goal List at the top of the blog is from http://cornflowerbluestudio.blogspot.com/2012/02/diy-rotating-goal-list.html . At her blog site, she gives instructions for how to make it. By the way, one thing I’d love to encourage EVERY teen to do would be to set a goal around something creative. . . from writing a Dungeons and Dragons story line to learning to knit to starting a garden. Summer is a great time to savor the freedom of exploration.
I am reminded of the quote from Plato, “Education is teaching your children to desire the right things.” Our culture is eager to teach our kids to love buying stuff, to love engaging with technology, to love passive entertainment. But what would happen if we lead our kids beyond that and encourage them to discover their own curiosity? What if we created space and time for exploring new activities, activities THEY select.
It’s called goal setting. But it’s a LOT more fun when they’re things you really, truly want for your self!
p.s. I can’t think of a stronger model than a parent who also sets fun goals for summer! Why not? Could be your best summer EVER!