Big strides start with little steps


January 30, 2000

Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen writes today about breaking goals into bite-size achievements. Her column appears biweekly.

What learning behavior or attitude does your child need to change? How will it improve her life? How can she accomplish it?

When we keep our sights on the whole problem, it can be overwhelming. Taking a big problem and reducing it to small, bite-sized pieces is key. Remember, inch by inch, life is a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard!

Goals/hopes/wishes/dreams can be reached. It involves a determined and decided-upon course of action. When the goal is reached, take time to notice and celebrate that success.

Goals can be achieved when you:

Have a clear picture of the desired result

Make the decision to change the behavior/attitude

Make sure it is achievable

Break it down into small bite-sized steps/pieces

Create a plan

Make the decision to follow the planned course of action

Talk about the plan a lot

Carry out the plan

Review the plan and progress often

Restate the decision as often as necessary

Help your child decide where positive/desired changes are needed, then support her in the decision to change the attitude/ behavior. Create an action plan by using a chart:

What Behavior Do I Want To Change?

How Would My Life Improve?

How Can I Achieve That? /What Can I Do to Change the Behavior?

What/Who Can Help?

How/When Will I Know It Worked?

When/How Will I Celebrate?

Be sure to display the chart for easy review.

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