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Short-Term Goals for Kids

Setting short-term goals is super fun – and it’s even more awesome when you achieve them!


Hey there, young achievers! Are you ready to crush your goals and take over the world? Okay, maybe not the world – but definitely your school and personal life!

If you’re full of ideas and want to work toward them, it all starts with baby steps. After all, you don’t just become a science whiz or a basketball superstar from one day to the next. That’s why setting short-term goals can help you stay focused, motivated, and on track to reaching bigger dreams. And in this blog, we’ll show you exactly how to get started so you can make those goals a reality.

What Is a Short-Term Goal?

So…what even is a short-term goal?

A short-term goal is something that you can achieve in a small amount of time. Depending on what you want to get done, that period could be a week or a month. 

Then, you’ve got medium-term goals. Those could take a few months of work for you to reach them.

And finally, there are long-term goals. These are objectives that take longer. Maybe a year or even more.

In other words, getting an A on your math test is a short-term goal. Getting your overall math grade from a B to an A is a medium-term goal. And becoming a Harvard mathematician…well, that’s a long-term goal.

Why Short-Term Goals Are So Important

Setting short-term goals is super important for kids because they’re the building blocks of bigger dreams. But many of the benefits of setting and working toward your short-term objectives have nothing to do with the big goal. When you set short-term goals, you learn how to:

  • Manage your time
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Turn mistakes into valuable lessons
  • Make changes to improve
  • Build self-esteem

As you set goals and work toward them, you’ll probably have some setbacks along the way. But that’s okay. These are opportunities to regroup, adjust the process, and keep going. At the end of the day, this will help you develop a growth mindset and achieve your full potential.

Best of all, every time you finish a short-term goal, you’ll feel motivated to take on bigger challenges and continue in your learning journey.

Examples of Short-Term Goals 

Need some ideas to get you started? Look no further! We have the perfect mix of short-term goals for all your interests. From money to art, we’ve got a goal idea for anything you want to accomplish! And we’ve even ranked them from easiest to hardest, so you can build your way up to the top.

Short Term Money Goals

If you wanna take make the most of your allowance, setting these short-term money goals is an easy peasy way to start the process:

  • Save money. It could be $20, 50, or 100. You choose the amount.
  • Use that money to buy something meaningful at the store or a gift for someone else.
  • Budget your allowance to avoid overspending and keep up with your savings.
  • With the help of an adult, open a checking or saving account where you can keep your money safe.
  • Look for ways to earn extra cash (like a lemonade stand, bake sale, or dog walking)
  • Research and choose a charity that matters to you, so you can donate some of your earnings.

Short-Term School Goals

Education is their number one priority for many kids – and it should be! As you get older and classes at school become more challenging, these goals can help you build good habits that come in handy:

  • Have a perfect attendance record. This includes going to school every day and getting there on time.
  • Turn all your work in when it’s due – no more procrastinating or late assignments!
  • Participate in class. Ask questions every day and challenge yourself to learn more.
  • Improve on a specific subject. This could be your favorite subject or the one you find tough but want to get better at.
  • Finish the school year with all As. Yes, you can do it!

Short Term Personal Goals

At your age, setting personal goals can be a fun way to learn something new and challenge yourself. The possibilities are endless, but here are some basic ideas to get you going:

  • Read a chapter of a book every night, until you’ve read a whole chapter book all by yourself.
  • Track your screen time. Then, cut it back by half and use the extra time to play outdoors. 
  • Help around the house by walking your dog every day, taking out the trash, or doing the dishes. 
  • Learn some beginner phrases of a new language. You can do it by downloading an app, watching videos, or getting a book.
  • Prepare a meal all by yourself. Then, set the table and have your family enjoy the delicious dish you prepared.

Short-Term Athletic Goals

Want to become the next Alex Morgan or Tom Brady? Setting athletic goals like these is the best way to get your game to the next level:

  • Nourish your body with healthy meals, so you can get stronger and better at your favorite sport.
  • Figure out how many glasses of water you need in a day (this changes depending on your age), and make sure you’re drinking that amount. Of course, sugary drinks don’t count!
  • Look up how many hours you’re supposed to sleep every night, and make sure you’re getting your z’s. By the way, cutting back on screen time and sugary drinks will help you get better rest.
  • Stretch after every workout. It sounds easy, but when you’re tired and ready to go back home from practice, stretching can feel like a chore.
  • Track your athletic performance. How many runs did you score at your last baseball game? What do you have to do to score one more?

Short Term Creative Goals

Exploring your artistic side is a great way to relax and discover your talents. If getting started feels tricky, use these ideas to have fun with it and see where art takes you:

  • Sketch a new drawing every day. Big or little, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do one per day.
  • Practice a new craft, like crocheting or origami. Starting a new activity is exciting because you learn different skills.
  • Create an original recipe and try it out in the kitchen. Experiment with new flavor combos and see what happens.
  • Come up with a short story and submit it to a kids’ contest. Winning is not the most important part here, though. It’s all about sharing your creativity with the world. 
  • Get a group of friends together to film a movie, and then plan a screening for your families to watch together.

Short-Term Goals Make You Happy and Proud

For many kids, short-term goals feel like a fun hack. Why? Because you can achieve them quickly, and they’re pretty painless. Take drawing a picture every day, for example. Wouldn’t that be fun? By the end of the week, you can set up your own gallery at home and invite your whole family to check out your artwork.

That’s exactly why short-term goals are one of the best ways to learn new things as you discover your interests and strengths. You don’t need to be a pro; you just need to give it a shot.

Go ahead, dare to pick something new and make it happen. Then, take a moment to see how you feel. Confident? Proud? Ready for more? Pat yourself on the back and go for that new goal! Before you know it, you’ll be challenging yourself with new skills and having a blast while you’re at it. But you’ve gotta start with the small goals.

So, set some short-term goals and have fun with them!

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About the Author

Lucia Caldera

Lucia Caldera is a writer who specializes in personal finance. Her goal is to create approachable content that sparks financial wellness and unlocks personal growth. Lucia's work reflects her passion for financial education as the key to reducing the wealth gap for future generations.

Last updated on: April 12, 2024