The Importance of Goal-Setting for Kids + FREE Printable!

Baby and Kids, Parenting

Goals. They're so important for everyone to set and reach in order to grow as humans. Today, we've got all the details you'll need over goal-setting for kids! Help them set and reach their goals with our tips and free printable. You may even learn a few new tips to apply to your own personal goals!

Girl writing in her planner, from Fun Cheap or Free

Kids are constantly learning new things, both inside and outside the home. Most of the time, it's something they need to learn at school or important life skills they'll need to be a functioning adult in society. But what about those “extra” things that they want to work on in their life?!

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Learn all about helping your kids set goals so you can guide them to become their best selves, ever! Not only are you going to get all the deets on why goal-setting for kids is so important, but also how they can go about doing it effectively. Use our free printable and let them go to town setting their goals and being total rockstars!


Boy reading a book on the stairs, from Fun Cheap or Free

As adults, we understand why it's important for us to set and achieve goals. They better our lives in one way or another and they give us something to work towards and focus our efforts on. It's the same for kids! They learn these lessons at a young age when they're more open to learning new things and making new habits versus waiting until they're an adult out on their own. Here are some of our favorite ways that goal-setting for kids has proven to be so important:

  • Boosts Confidence – When they reach their goals they will feel a sense of pride and confidence in their abilities!
  • Independence – While you most certainly can offer guidance, goal-setting for kids encourages independence. They are the only ones who can set and reach their goals! That's how it usually is in the adult world, so it's good for them to learn that they don't always have to have help or assistance to do those things.
  • Shows They Can Do Hard Things – Not all goals will easily be reached, and that's the way it should be! Reaching those goals they had to work for teaches them they can do hard things.
  • Choice – Giving kids the opportunity to choose fuels their fire and helps propel them forward. You may need to help guide them in a certain direction, but it's good for them to be in charge of their goals. This allows them to set goals based off what they're interested in rather than what their family or friends are interested in.
  • Increases Bravery – Some goals may be a little scary or daunting. Working towards something difficult allows them to step up and show the world, and themselves, just how brave they really are.
  • Opportunity to Shine Bright – The process of reaching goals allows uniqueness and personality to shine! They may take their goal on in a different way than you would and that's okay. The only thing that matters is how successful they are at the end.

Goal-setting for kids works for all ages, even adults! Everybody can learn something new here, even if it's just getting fresh and different ideas. This is totally applicable for kids, tweens, and teens!


Young girl building something with her hands, from Fun Cheap or Free

Now that we know the why behind setting goals for kids, let's go over the best way to set them! Providing a consistent time to reflect, review, and set goals will help your kids the most. Guide your kids in this process and teach them why they need to do each step. This will help them work towards setting goals completely by themselves in the future.

  • Set the Goal – What is it they want to work towards? Why do they want to reach this? Who wants them to reach this goal? (This is a big one! Remember, they have to want to achieve the goal if they're going to give it their best effort.) What's the purpose of the goal? Is it something meaningful and motivating they'll want to work towards?
  • Make it Specific – Once they decide what their goal should be, you need to make sure it's specific. Don't just let them say they want to “read more.” They need to be more specific by saying they want to read for a certain amount of time every night or they want to finish their book by a specific date.
  • Make Sure it's Reachable – Don't let them set a goal if they're sure to fail! If they're really busy with extracurriculars and it's not possible for them to read every night, then don't let them set that as a goal. Instead, change the specifics of the goal until it's attainable. It may still be hard for them to read 5 nights a week because it would cut into their free time, but it's reachable.
  • Set a Time Frame – They need an ending date so there's some type of deadline to hit. Think of it like a work project – you're much more likely to finish something that has a deadline versus one where you're able to do as you wish!

Goal-setting for kids is the perfect way to boost character and teach them that putting focused effort towards your goals gets you where you want to be. The more they think about their goals and are specific with them, the more likely they are to hit them.


Teenage boy doing homework, from Fun Cheap or Free

It's our job as parents to help guide our children, but they really learn best by doing it on their own! Prompt them when needed, but let them be in charge of everything.


  • Write Goals Down – Did you know that you're way more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down?! Lucky for you, we have a free printable for that in a few! Not into printables? A simple notebook works just as well!
  • Easily Visible – Keep goals where they're easily seen as a reminder of what they're working on. You could even make copies of it and hang them up on the fridge, in their room, and in their bathroom.
  • Create a Plan – They've set the goal, now it's time to make a plan on how they're going to achieve this goal. Break it down into smaller steps. This will help them stay motivated when they reach each step!
  • Discuss Obstacles – Talk about obstacles they could run into and how they can overcome them if that does happen. A little bit of planning in the beginning can really have an impact if any of the obstacles pop up!


  • Weekly Check-Ins – Have a weekly check-in to see how they're doing with their goals. This has them actively thinking about their progress and allows them to track that, along with any wins.
  • Adjust the Goal – Sometimes the check-ins can bring any flaws in the plan to light. Life is about rolling with the punches and being flexible. It's good for them to learn at a young age that it's okay to stray from the plan a little as long as it still lines up with their goal.


Mom and son reading together, from Fun Cheap or Free
  • Celebrate the Wins – Celebrate any wins they have, even the daily ones! This will help keep them motivated and on track to reach their goal.
  • Congratulate Them on Hitting the Deadline – Whether they succeeded or didn't quite reach their goal, congratulate them either way! They worked really hard to get to that point. Show them that you saw how much effort they were putting forth to hit the deadline.
  • Focus on the Positive – If they hit their goal, then make a big deal! However, if they didn't quite reach their goal, then use it as a learning experience. It's okay to use failure as teaching tool, but do it in a positive way! Have them brainstorm and lead the conversation to figure out what they could've done differently to succeed and reach their goal. Guide them without telling them what they should've done differently. They'll learn much quicker and your bonds will grow stronger when they're able to lean on you without you completely taking over.

Have your kids do all of these things and watch their confidence soar! Always have their backs, and you'll be strengthening your relationship without even realizing it.


Goal setting for kids free printable from Fun Cheap or Free

Use our free printable to help your kids set and reach their goals! Print it out, have them fill it out, and hang it somewhere they'll easily see it every day.


“Goals” can be such a broad topic. You can really make anything into a goal. Help your kids narrow it down and focus in on a specific goal by choosing a type of goal they want to work on before zoning in on the specifics. Here are the categories of goals we set in our home:

  • Social – This could be anything from making new friends at school and church to serving the community.
  • Physical – Get active, learn how to cook healthy meals, and even take care of the home and things they own.
  • Intellectual – Learn a new language or all about the different jobs there are and how their interests could lead to a certain job.
  • Spiritual – Read scriptures every day, improve prayers by thinking about them before praying, or look for ways to serve people.
  • Financial – Kids are never too young to start saving money for specific goals!

Whew, well there you have it! Now that you know all about goal-setting for kids, it's time to get them thinking. Build their confidence and abilities and be amazed at how far your kids can soar!

What are some goals that your kids have set and reached? Let us know in the comments!

Image with text that reads "helping kids set goals" from Fun Cheap or Free

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Have fun helping your kids set and reach their goals!


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