Let your children see you work toward the achievement of goals.

Let your children see you work toward the achievement of goals.

Teach them the benefits and skills of goal setting and of goal accomplishment.

In the early ’80s, John and I scraped together enough money to attend a dental convention in Dallas Texas. Our goal for the meetings was to learn ways to enhance our business, generate revenue and actually pay the bills. We decided to stay an extra day to listen to the Sunday keynote speaker, Ed Foreman. Little did I know that that decision would teach me a “hard core business truth” and would change every aspect of my life forever.

What is that “hard core business truth”? That developing a clear vision and backing that up with a strategic plan of action (goal setting/accomplishment) is the foundational principle upon which all success is built.

We shared this new-found knowledge of goal accomplishment not only with our dental team–but also with our children. The kids have had their own goals and we have set goals as a family. All of us are very clear about what those goals are because we review them periodically. We share in the accomplishment of goals–whether the goal is a family goal or the goal of an individual. Therefore, the kids have been so consistently reinforced for work well done and for accomplishments, they have ingrained that process into their own lives and do the same for each other and for other people.

I am thoroughly convinced that if more kids understood the principles and the benefits of goal accomplishment, fewer kids were be running around out there with no direction whatsoever. It sounds easy. Write a goal. But it isn’t. Not only does it take a commitment to a process. It takes an intention–a direction–an expectation–an expectation of self.

A goal gives you the vision of what you want and what you want to accomplish. Most people have only a vague idea of what they want to achieve in life. Only a few work at developing that clear vision. Only a handful of people invest the time and the energy necessary to plan for the successful achievement goals.

Each goal must have a strong impetus behind it–a strong impetus called desire. If you want something badly enough you will work hard to get it.

If you set a goal and you find that you don’t get the goal accomplished, look carefully at the goal. Do you really want to do that or be that or have that? If so, then look at your plan of action. If the plan didn’t get the result you wanted, step back and approach the goal with a different strategy. Learn from each plan–the ones that do and do not work.

Once you begin experiencing your own successes, you will become more committed to the process. Your children will not only see the things that you are accomplishing, but they will see your joy. The joy of accomplishing a goal comes as much from the process as it does from the actual achievement.





You and your kids must not think that these goals cannot or will not change. Keeping the goals written down lets you stay on track and allows you to make changes that are necessary and beneficial.

Goals need to be both short term and long term. Your children will be much better able to set and work toward short term goals than long term goals. Encourage them to break each goal down into short, obtainable goals. Success will breed further successes.

It is very important to know that once your kids get comfortable with his process, they will do it on their own. They may not share all of their goals with you. That’s ok. Many goals are private. They serve as a guideline for the individual and as a motivator. Do not feel hurt if your children write their goals and keep them private. And, do not betray their desire to privacy. Let them have their own private space for their special things–their special thoughts. Encourage this type of journaling and do not discourage it by “snooping”.

As successful parents, I encourage you to become a goal writer. In writing your goals, be sure to include the goals you want to accomplish with your family–with your children.

You become what you think about. If you can visualize your goals as being accomplished, your actions will take that avenue.