Practica Programme Blog – Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals as Parents
“When we are motivated by goals that have a deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live.” – Greg Anderson
Most parents feel like this about parenting. However, their commitment to their children can easily turn into a pitfall. It is easy to become over-emotional and this makes it difficult to act strategically and objectively.
Instead of trying to tone down your emotions, you may want to try setting S.M.A.R.T goals whenever you reach the point where you need to take a step back and become more practical in your approach.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Let’s look at an example of a S.M.A.R.T goal:
“I want my child to be more popular within the next 6 months. In order to achieve this, I will ask his teacher to recommend two friends. I will then arrange one play date every weekend and involve my child in the planning.”
Specific – A general goal would be, “I want my child to feel better about himself.” Our example, however, is more specific because it involves a plan of action. According to Marc Shernoff, author of 1000 Little Things Happy People Do Differently, a specific goal has a far greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
Measurable – Our example is measurable and practical. To determine if a goal is measurable, ask yourself questions like: How much time? How many total? How will I know when the goal is accomplished? etc.
Attainable – To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. In other words, the goal must be realistic.
Relevant – Relevance stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. For example, a parent who knows that a child feels loved when spending quality time will be wise to invest in spending special time together rather than spending energy on choosing the perfect gift.
Timely – A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date.
It is interesting that many people, who are otherwise excellent planners and leaders, seem to forget all they have learnt when they deal with their own children as if their logical abilities are overshadowed by deep concern.
Let’s think S.M.A.R.T from now on!