No Goals….No Victories? Maybe Not….

I recently read an article in one of my husband’s farm publications. It expressed the importance of setting goals and having a strategic plan for a farm each year.

It was easy to transfer that train of thought to raising children.

I”m not sure if it was after my fourth or fifth child that I read a book that emphasized the importance of setting year long goals for toddlers and preschoolers. I had never thought about that before.

Setting goals for a whole year seemed impossible. I rarely met my goal of keeping my house clean according to my weekly schedule, much less a year long list of goals. It felt overwhelming to even think about it.

Then, while discussing the whole idea of setting goals for my children, with my mom, she encouraged me to take baby steps. The conversation took place on  Memorial Day weekend. We decided that I could set goals just for the summer. She helped me make a list of one goal for each of my children, and one for me. I hoped to meet the goals by Labor Day weekend.

It worked. I wasn’t stressed because I had set easy goals, and I knew that I had a reasonable amount of time to succeed.

Success. It felt wonderful and spurred me on!

I decided to do the same thing for the period between Labor Day and Christmas, and then New Years Day until Memorial Day.

Years later, I still use the same system.

Here are some of my goals for my toddlers and preschoolers:


Working on a specific godly character trait like diligence, or compassion, (or over 40 other traits that I compiled).

Learn to put toys away when they are finished playing with them

Help me to set the table and load and unload the dishwasher

Learn to brush their teeth and comb their hair

Learn to print their name

Learn to get dressed and tie their shoe laces

Learn to use polite words like Please and Thank you and Excuse me.

Learn colors and letter sounds

Memorize Bible verses

Learn to catch a ball

Learn to cut very well with safety scissors

Learn to sit and play quietly for up to an hour a day

My goal that first year was to paint my dining room

The second year myIMG_0100 was to read a WHOLE book. ONE WHOLE BOOK, which seemed like an impossibility, but I did it!!! Woo-Hoo

I’d love to read your ideas of attainable goals for your young children!

Photo of my granddaughter LOVING her time on the potty 🙂

Bonni is the author of Mom By Example

About Bonni

What happens when a Jewish girl from Philadelphia falls in love with and marries a Christian hog farmer from a small rural town 85 miles from her home? Well, in my case, I became a Christian, but struggled to be the loving wife and joyful mother to my 4 young sons. This blog was born in order to share one tip a day that I learned, that could now help other moms learn to handle life with patience, grace and joy!