Stick-To-It, because small wins equal bigger ones
The ability to stay consistent with something by motivating yourself even when you feel unmotivated!
While this might not be a real word, or a real definition; you get the idea!
With instant gratification, social media, and a growing number of distractions it is no wonder that kids have a hard time following through or reaching large goals that they set months ago. Even worse is the push back that parents get when they remind or force their kids to follow through!
Bruce Lee said it best: “Be (like) water my friend”
This has many interpretations but for our purposes, we will relate it to goal setting. He continues by saying that water can crash or it can flow. Pushing our kids and demanding they continue to reach their goals in an authoritative manner is like water crashing from a waterfall. Not only does this cause a lot of noise and distress but it can often have a negative effect from what you intended.
An interesting life-hack for teaching kids how to follow through is to use goal setting. This way we are able to direct their flow in a calm and motivating manner. This will not only teach them how to follow through but motivate them to take initiative themselves! Here are a few ways we can set them up for success!
First, start small! Choose a small goal that can be accomplished TODAY, or within a day or so with minimal effort. For example, remember to make your bed right after you get up and before you do anything else! You can also do something simple like remembering to brush your teeth without needing a reminder. Accomplishing these small, simple, and immediate goals will help get the ball rolling and create momentum for success while releasing feel-good chemicals that will become addictive over time.
Once you have helped your ninja build a bit of momentum, now start working on slightly larger goals. Maybe something that will take a week or two to accomplish. Some easy examples could be, remembering your belt before you leave for karate class 1-2 weeks in a row. You can also add or subtract something from your diet consistently over this timeframe. It is important to note that when beginning this stage, you may find it helpful to offer some sort of reward for accomplishment. Talk with your ninja and find out what will motivate them!
Finally, we have worked our way up to setting a major goal! This should be something that requires growth in order to accomplish. Getting a perfect score on their belt test, performing a few random acts of kindness each day, earning a Perfect Attendance band at testing this cycle are all great goals to start with. For major goals, be sure to celebrate this accomplishment because it was certainly not easy and deserving of special attention. Go spend a day at the beach, go see a movie, make it a time to remember!
Remember, it is easier to go with the flow by setting your ninja up to succeed than it is to force them to perform. So be water my friends, enjoy the benefits of positive reinforcement and the knowledge that you are teaching your ninja life skills that will last a very long time!