Episode 51: Raising Luminaries: Goal Setting for Kids

December 30, 2021


This is something that our children can and should be doing at all ages. Goals help us align our actions with our values and bring what’s most important to us to life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think goals are end-all be-all, but they are the stepping stones in pursuit of the vision of possibility of what’s next for us. 

There’s this staggering statistic out there that over 90% of people never actually accomplish the goals they set for themselves. That’s uplifting, isn’t it? It’s likely that most people never learn the skill of goal setting. And I believe this is something that we can teach our kids along with the value and the character trait of grit, to accomplish what they set out to achieve. 

Teaching a growth mindset can start young and it can include our children in the goal setting process. It’s super actionable, it’s something that they can chip away at, work through and start to introduce this concept into their lives. 

I encourage you to listen all the way to the end because we are ending this episode, season, and year with some laughter! You will get to hear some behind-the-scenes bloopers from yours truly. So sit back and enjoy some funny (and even cute!) bloopers that happened these past two seasons of the podcast.

And, as always, let’s raise them up right!


[2:39] Building a Foundation

I like to start everything with a foundation to build upon so that it doesn’t feel like I’m just doing a bunch of random things.

In this process of goal setting, if you don’t have the foundation of who you are, setting the right goals is going to be really rocky and tough. You’re going to pick random goals that sound good and your kids will mirror what you do. 

Have you ever been in a place in your life where you get super excited? Maybe you’re going into a new year and you set all these incredible, beautiful goals and one of two things happens: either you just don’t hit them and they totally fizzle out and you just pretend like it never happened; or you hit them and it doesn’t give you that sense of fulfillment or possibility that you were hoping for. Both of those things happen because the goals that you set were not in alignment with who you’re called to be. 

So, the first thing I want you to do is to go to luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth and download our free guide that’s going to help you build that foundation.

[4:28] Why Goal-Setting Is Important

Goal setting is so critical for our children for many reasons. 

It teaches them to take responsibility for their lives and their behaviors. They start to learn the ripple effect of how they live and what they aim at. It also starts to build muscle for this important lifelong habit of continually pursuing what’s aligned with who you’re called to be and building in those stepping stones to help you get there. It empowers them and gives them a positive attitude. It helps them develop confidence and it’s so important for their development.

[5:37] Let Them Choose 

The first step in this process is to let your kids choose their big goal.

Keep this to one or two things, you don’t want to overwhelm them or make them feel like they have additional things that they have to pursue. You want to make sure that they’re going to be able to accomplish what they set out to do, or at least learn how to start that pursuit.

Here are some questions you can ask them to help prompt them and pull out of them what that might be:

  • What’s important to you right now? 
  • What might you want to do differently in the next year from this past one? 
  • What’s a problem or challenge you would be really happy or proud to overcome? 
  • If you had no fear of failing or being judged or getting it wrong, what is something you would do?

This will help them start to develop what the focal goal should be going forward. It’s important to have a conversation with them about goal setting in the process and reminding them that this isn’t the end-all be-all. You don’t set a goal and it determines your worth. You set a goal to help you progress towards who you feel called to be, towards where you feel called to go. It’s not about the goal. It’s about the journey there.

[7:08] The Value Behind the Goal

The second step is discussing the value behind the goal and why it’s important to them.

It’s easy for anybody, but especially for kids, to feel compelled to choose a goal that just looks shiny, or that they saw someone else do or that they just think is the logical next step for them. But if they don’t understand the why behind it, the worth of pursuing it, then it’s going to lose its luster and either they will not hit it because it’ll fizzle and because it doesn’t really matter to them; or they will hit it but what the heck’s the point if it wasn’t the right thing for them? 

Some questions to help them pull that out:

  • How do you feel about this goal that you set, are you passionate about it? 
  • What things inspire you to achieve the goal that you set? 
  • Why are you feeling called to this? Why is this important to you?
  • Why do you believe that you can accomplish this goal? 
  • Does this goal matter to anybody else or are you doing this for you? 
  • How would it feel for you to achieve this goal?

[8:28] Breaking Down The Goal

The third step is to break the goal into smaller steps to help them identify the next thing to do.

It can feel really daunting sometimes when you have this big beautiful goal, but there are 500 steps between you and that goal. So, assigning check-in dates or accountability, teaching them how to measure the progress in the process is really important.

Here are some questions you can use for that:

  • How long will it take you to accomplish this goal? 
  • What steps do you need to take daily, weekly, monthly to accomplish this goal?
  • What’s missing from your repertoire or your habits right now to help you get there?
  • How will you know when you’re successful in achieving this?
  • Are you willing to put in the work to do what’s required to achieve this goal? 

A big piece of this process is understanding what’s required of them in getting there and are they willing to make those sacrifices. 

[10:02] Being Aware of Obstacles 

The final step is to be aware of any obstacles that might come up and how to overcome them.

Help them see that it will be hard. There will be mistakes made. There might be some roadblocks that they encounter. There might be people that push back on them or judge them. How are they going to handle those situations? This will also help them identify whether this goal is worth it or not

Some of the questions for that are:

  • Is there something that could hold you back from accomplishing your goal? 
  • What do you foresee potentially happening? And what would you do if that happened? 
  • At some point, you’re going to feel like giving up. What’s something you could do instead, when this happens? 
  • Do you have someone to hold you accountable in those days where you just don’t feel like putting in the work?
  • Who do you want to be in pursuit of this goal? 

[13:28] Bloopers!!

Listen in to hear some funny (and even a cute!) bloopers from Season 1 and 2 of the podcast. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Please, share this episode and don’t forget to download the True North exercise at https://luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth/ to help your kids focus on the right goals that are aligned with the values that you all have as a family. 

If today’s episode spoke to you, don’t forget to hit follow on your favorite podcast player and rate and review the show. Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke. And if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us the more we can serve.


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