Encouraging kids to meet their goals

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Encouraging kids to meet their goals

Parents worry about a child not completing their goals, so what hurts or helps goal completion? Number 1 is the child's goals were too vague, so it's never clear whether they're making progress or not because there were no measurements taken, the goal wasn't very clear-cut, it had no deadlines so there's no reason to think about it. Another thing that causes lack of goal progress is lack of commitment. Now commitment means the goals have to be tied to some value, some value the child has. If the child doesn't have the value, then the goal doesn't motivate them because it's not tied to anything so the value is the more abstract, and the more longer term the deeper part, the goal is the more specific part. So goals that tie to the child's values are certainly the most effective. And another thing that may lead to non-completion is if the child doesn't keep track, so there's no feedback in the form of a chart. Let's say the child decides to lose weight because the child is too heavy. If you want to do that you have to weigh yourself every single day and make a weight chart. Weigh yourself at the same time, with the same clothing, the same time everyday and make a graph showing the weight. And then mark on the graph where you want to get to and look at it everyday. So tracking is critical in situations like that. So values, tracking, clarity.
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Edwin A. Locke, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Edwin A. Locke, PhD, is Dean's Professor (Emeritus) of Leadership and Motivation at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his BA from Harvard in 1960 and his PhD in Industrial Psychology from Cornell University in 1964.He has published over 300 chapters, notes and articles in professional journals, on such subjects as work motivation, job satisfaction, incentives, and the philosophy of science. He is also the author or editor of 12 books, including The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion and Reason, Study Methods and Study Motivation, Goal Setting: A Motivational Technique That Works, A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance, Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior, The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators  and Postmodernism and Management: Pros, Cons and the Alternative. He is internationally known for his research on goal setting. A recent survey found that Locke's goal setting theory (developed with G. Latham) was ranked #1 in importance among 73 management theories. His work has been supported by numerous research grants, and he has served as consultant to research firms and private businesses.Dr. Locke has been elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Management, and has been a consulting editor for leading journals. He was a winner of the Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award at the University of Maryland, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Career Contribution Award from the Academy of Management (Human Resource Division), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Management (Organizational Behavior Division), and the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. He has been a writer and lecturer for the Ayn Rand Institute and is interested in the application of the philosophy of Objectivism to behavioral sciences.

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