Goal setting is one of the most highly linked characteristics to the success. Top athletes and successful business people all use goal setting as a crucial tool in their success. And while it’s a trait that’s most often associated with teenagers and young adults, younger kids can also benefit greatly from implementing this life skill at an early age.
Learning how to set reasonable and attainable goals is a valuable lesson for kids of all ages. Studies show that goal setting helps kids improve their self-discipline and self-awareness. It also increases their internal drive so they stay motivated to complete the goals they set for themselves. By accomplishing their goals, kids self-esteem automatically increases, and they have more motivation towards setting future goals.
At Glens Falls Karate Academy, we call this “The Success Spiral”, and it’s the foundation of our kids programs.
For kids that are just beginning to set goals, it’s important that they have tangible and immediate successes to keep them motivated. Goal setting should also be fun so that they’ll stay interested and continue setting goals throughout their lives. This helps them build the habits necessary to achieve important goals as they continue into adulthood.
In our kids programs at Glens Falls Karate Academy, short- and long-term goal setting and achievement are at the very core of our curriculum. The goals are not intended to create pressure on our students, but rather to encourage them to do their best so that learning and effort is valued. Because our kids programs utilize game-based learning in this process, our students have fun while they put effort towards their training. By setting these goals and achieving them, our students will learn how to unleash their full potential.
Short term goals are addressed in class every day. Students are trained on a specific skill each day (according to their age group). At the end of the class, they’re given an opportunity to perform that skill for their instructor. When they’ve demonstrated proficiency in this skill, they earn a stripe for their belt. These short-term achievements keep them motivated to continue to set new goals for themselves and work to accomplish them.
As our students work towards earning all eight stripes on their belt, they’re ultimately working towards their long-term goals for the semester, a new belt. The long-term goal accomplishment will be finalized through a skill evaluation where the students will demonstrate all the skills they’ve learned and, finally, receive the next belt in their program. And as an added bonus, goal-setting is addressed as an additional 4 week life skill program each year.
However, not only do our kids programs utilize the stripes and belt system to promote goal setting, we also incorporate supplemental goals that students can work towards. These include being a part of our Black Belt Club, which is a program of higher-level challenges, our SWAT Team, which is our leadership program, and our Demo Team, which is an invitation only program that students can work to become a part of.
To succeed in life, we must know exactly what it is we are trying to do. This is the number one secret of successful people – a secret we give as a gift to our students when we teach them how to set goals. By doing this, we are creating positive habits of setting goals that will carry over into adulthood.