Apr 092014


Waterford Boat Club

Waterford Boat Club (Photo credit: National Library of Ireland on The Commons)


“I used to daydream about this.”

“I always knew I’d end up here.”

“This is exactly as I imagined it.”

As many times as I’ve interviewed high achievers, I’m still sometimes surprised when  I hear those words.  I shouldn’t be.  Successful people set good goals.  In order to set good goals they start with the end in mind.

That doesn’t mean  any of us will achieve absolutely every picture we create  but the combination of desire, visualization, hard work and skill-building surely sets the stage.

Success stories begin with a dream and are fulfilled by setting and getting big goals. Big dreams set the stage and the lively vision of becoming an Olympic gold medalist or walking the red carpet can provide fuel to help us keep working toward something very specific.  And important.

Part of the gift that we can give our children is the gift of imagination and vision: the beautiful spark that sees something  not yet visible to others.  When that spark grows it can become a “want” or, if we’re really lucky “a need.”  And what happens when we need to accomplish something?  Most people are driven to study and learn and practice to prepare for the big moment they crave.

What big dreams are fueling your kids? 

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Apr 022014
Studying Star Wars

Studying Star Wars (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If you’re anything like most parents I know your kids are brilliant. That’s great… but that’s not the kind of smart I’m talking about. Have you started to teach them to set goals?

That’s where it pays to be SMART and include all the elements of a well-set goal.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Let’s look at how those might work at home.

Specific: It would be nice if “I’ll be more responsible” was enough to get the job done, but effective goals need to be worded a bit differently. “I will walk the dog every day without being asked for five days in a row” or “Take out the trash every day after dinner” are clear and specific.

Measurable: You may want to substitute the term “observable.” How will you know the goal has been reached? What difference will you see when the goal has been reached?

Achievable: Let’s look at grades for this example. “Get an ‘A’ in Social Studies may not be achievable, simply because someone else actually gives the grades. Change the focus to factors completely under the student’s control. “All of my papers will be submitted on time, neatly typed, free from spelling errors and meeting or exceeding requirements for length and content.”

Realistic: What resources are available to meet the goal? Lots of people dream of a career in pro sports, but few of us have the required talent.

Timely: Whether it’s a deadline (“by next Thursday…”) or a time period (“once a month for a year”) adding “time” helps make wishes come true!

Setting and achieving goals contributes to a sense of mastery, competence and personal satisfaction. Who wouldn’t want SMART kids???

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Mar 122014
English: A Little League baseball player squar...

A Little League baseball player squares to bunt.      (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  •  “You have to learn the rules of the game.  And then you have to play better than anyone else.”  ~ Albert Einstein
  • “You are remembered for the rules you break.” ~ Gen. Douglas MacArthur
  • “You can’t break the rules until you know how to play the game.” ~ Rickie Lee Jones


Have you ever noticed that some kids really like a detailed and specific set of rules while others respond better to general guidelines?  How are “rules” approached in your home?

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 A Few Thoughts on Rules  March 12, 2014  Posted by at 6:33 am Comments Off on A Few Thoughts on Rules