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Ways To Set Goals With Kids + Free Printable

Teaching your kids how to set their own goals is the first step to helping them become successful and independent adults.

Being able to set goals helps kids develop a growth mindset and understand the difference between short-term goals and how they can relate to a long-term goal.

Learning how to set goals also helps your kids be able to take stock of what they want and how to create an action plan in order to reach their clear goals.

Effective goal setting does not have to be complicated and teaching younger kids as they are developing will give them a lot of time to work on their personal goals.

The valuable life skills that can be learned from goal setting include learning problem-solving skills, planning skills and time management among others.

With all of these positive learning opportunities, it is just a matter of getting them started.

A fun way to start talking about goals with children of any age is to create a vision board together.

You could even create your own to show them examples of goals and dreams and what they might look like.

Another way to introduce your young children to goal setting is to use new year’s resolutions as a jumping off point.

Only you know your child’s personality, so you can help them with their specific goals and know whether or not reward systems work for them.

Below we have listed a few sample types of goals as well as examples of each kind of goal.

Remember to read until the end, where we have some free printable goal setting and tracking systems set up for you and your little one!

Setting Goals For Kids


It is good to start off with realistic goals or smaller goals and then have your kids move on to a larger goal once they have more confidence in the process and in themselves.

Educational Goals

Educational goals have to do with building upon what your kids are learning in school and/or improving upon things they have already learned.

They can include committing things to memory that will help them in future classes as well as simply learning facts about a subject in which they have expressed interest.

Educational Goal Examples

1. Learn to name all of the primary colors.

2. Learn to count to 100.

3. Learn all of their general times tables.

4. Improve your grades in a class.

5. Work on your study skills.

6. Learn all 50 states.

7. Learn all the countries in the world.

8. Be able to add two-digit numbers.

9. Be able to add three-digit numbers. 

10. Learn the names of all the elements on the periodic table.

11. Learn the names of all the parts of a plant and/or animal cell.

12. Learn how to play a new song on your favorite instrument.

Learning Goals

Learning goals have more to do with learning something completely new. 

This is a good time to remind your kids that they can accomplish most anything they put their minds to and that it may take some hard work.

It may also be good to show them video or an example of what it might look like when they have accomplished their goal to help keep them motivated and positive!

These goals may take a longer period of time but let them know they can do it!  A big part of our jobs here is to pick them up and be their cheerleaders!

Learning Goal Examples

1. Learn a song in a different language.

2. Learn how to ride a bike.

3. Learn how to swim.

4. Learn how to set up a tent.

5. Learn how to tie your shoe.

6. Learn how to tie a knot.

7. Learn how to cook pancakes.

8. Learn how to play a new sport.

9. Learn about a new dance style.

10. Learn how to do a forward roll.

11. Learn how to do a cartwheel.

12. Learn facts about a new animal.

13. Learn how to give a presentation to an audience.

14. Memorize a poem you enjoy.

15. Learn how to type.

Fitness Goals

\Get your kids moving with some attainable fitness goals.  This is all about a healthy way of staying fit.  

It may be advisable to explain that reaching these types of goals specifically will take a while, since your body needs time to rest and build strength!

Fitness Goal Examples

1. Be able to complete a mile run in a certain amount of time.

2. Be able to complete a certain amount of pushups or situps.

3. Ride your bike for a certain distance.

4. Sign up for a fun run and set goals up to the event.

5. Work up to a certain amount of jump rope jumps.

6. Be able to balance on one leg for a specific amount of time.

7. Complete some type of exercise every day.

8. Swim a mile in a pool.

9. Learn how to climb.  Set a goal to climb a specific smaller hill or mountain with your family.

10. Learn how to surf.

Reading Goals

Reading Goal Examples

1. Be able to read a book from start to finish.

2. Be able to read chapter books.

3. Be able to read without help.

4. Be able to read by yourself for twenty minutes.

5. Be able to read three letter words.

6. Be able to read five letter words.

7. Be able to read words with two syllables.

8. Be able to read words with three syllables. 

9. Be able to read aloud to your family.

10. Be able to read with expression.

Spiritual Goals

These goals will depend on your family’s spiritual background and beliefs.  

Spiritual Goal Examples

1. Learn five new facts about your spiritual background each month.

2. Pray every night.

3. Be kind to everyone you encounter.

4. Work on a life’s purpose for yourself.

5. Work on being able to explain why you believe what you believe in.

6. Work on a daily gratitude practice.

7. Practice self care.

8. Practice a kind inner dialog.

9. Learn how to meditate.

10. Practice staying calm when you do not feel calm.

11. Learn how to handle anger, grief and other complicated feelings in a healthy way.

Editable Goal Tracker For Kids


While these specific goals are a great starting point, you are more than welcome to edit the goal tracker in order to personalize it for your child.

Perhaps getting together to brainstorm ideas will help you narrow down what achievable goals your whole family is interested in.

A family meeting where everyone can be involved will certainly help when you are looking for a way to get your children involved.

I know that my child loves to copy what I am doing and is much more motivated to continue in any activity in which I also participate!

In order to keep a record of goals, we have created for you a beautifully colorful page for your kids to simply list some of their most important goals.

On the next page, you can take this to the next level by figuring out together what steps need to be taken in order to read these goals.

This is an excellent way to help your kids map out a path to their goals using tangible and reachable steps to get there.

It will be incredibly helpful for your kids to see how they can actually move from imagining a goal to actually achieving it!

Most importantly, it helps them with time management and making a plan to work on their goal each day.

Lastly, we have included a goal tracker to help your kids not only track but also keep themselves motivated toward reaching their goal.

There is something very fun about getting to color in a star every time you have completed a task toward your goal.

Talk to your kids about defining what they need to do in order to color in or check off a star.

For younger kids, you may need to help remind them to color in their stars and use the opportunity to give them praise for sticking with their goals.

I really love these helpful printables that help kids (and adults!) visualize reaching their goals.

Accessing Your Printable

Teaching your kids how to set goals is one of the best ways to set them up for success in the future.

It also helps them take stock of what they really want and the amount of work and practice it may take to achieve these things.

Helping your child understand that what they want and are willing to work for is important will also help them build a healthy self-esteem.

All of these skills are important and will contribute to your child’s overall health and well-being and that should make everyone feel good!

Take your time and be patient with your little one as well as yourself and remember that they are learning as well.

Just think about how wonderful it will be to see your kids reach their goals and see how setting goals can work for anyone!

There is nothing better than sharing in your children’s joy when they have worked hard to accomplish something amazing!

Know that you helped make this happen and that you are a positive contributor to the life of a young person who you love so much.

These printables are editable, so that you can take out specific goals if you’d like!

Editable Goal Tracker For Kids

And, as always, you’ve got this!