Just as adults set goals in the workplace, young students also should establish goals and avhieve them.
According to Evan Daiber, founder of 2 Tone Boxing Club, and Jenn Chesnes, owner and director of Studio J Academy of Dance, both in Beachwood, completing goals with little guidance teaches children self-discipline.
“That teaches kids their own self-discipline because they aren’t doing it for anyone else except themselves,” Chesnes said. “It motivates them to achieve their goals in a positive way. They end up being so much prouder of themselves because they set the goal and achieved it on their own.”
Daiber said, “With children, (setting goals) helps a lot with building confidence. What we typically do is set smaller goals. When you set long-term goals, especially for children, it’s easy to lose track of it. So, we set goals for the week or the day or even by the class. Smaller goals help build their confidence, especially when they continually knock those down. It then prepares them for the bigger hurdles they may come across.”
Chesnes said learning how to set goals at a young age directly influences similar abilities as an adult.
“In our everyday world as adults, in order to achieve accomplishments in our personal and professional lives, we need to set our goals,” she said. “That gives us some sort of pathway to follow. And if we have that, it’s easier to accomplish those goals. It also teaches organizational skills that are utilized in our professional, educational and personal world.”
Daiber said 2 Tone Boxing Club uses the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to clearly define the steps of goal setting and completion. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, assignable, relevant and time-based.
“The acronym makes it easy to teach kids about goal setting because the steps make it easy to remember,” he said. “For example, with measurable, I’m not against setting high goals, but we’d make sure they are realistic.”
At Studio J, Chesnes and her staff are “very motivational” in how they teach students and encourage them.
“(Teachers) give them a path and instruct them on how to get there and show them how to do it on their own,” she said. “If you push them too much, they get discouraged. But if you don’t push them enough, they get lost and misguided. It’s about teaching kids about their worldly life other than perfecting their pirouette. Give that guidance but put the responsibility on them to make it happen.”
But goal setting doesn’t just happen at school or during after-school activities. Parents also have a role to play in perpetuating goal-setting ideals.
“Find out what is important to your child,” Daiber said. “It is hard for them to stay focused on a goal they don’t care about. Get them in the habit of setting the goal. Even just showing up to school or activities – that is something little and possible.”
Chesnes said, “As long as (parents) are supportive of what their child is doing, whether it is dance, another activity or school, that child will achieve their goals faster. Kids also need to be in a motivational environment. But, don’t be so over the top and stressful on the child to the point where they don’t enjoy it anymore.”