Although any time is a good time to teach children how to persevere, I think of this character trait at the beginning of The New Year. Character education can be taught alongside New Year’s resolutions so children can form a deeper meaning of their goals. This post will delve into the definition of PERSEVERANCE, setting goals and what teachers and parents can do to encourage successful goals.

The definition for PERSEVERE is to continue in a course of action even if it is difficult or there is a possibility for failure. What does that mean? It means that you are determined to achieve something. If you work hard and are determined to succeed in an area that you find difficult, you are persevering! Perseverance is also a key character trait when achieving goals.



Did you know that famous athletes and top business leaders set goals? Setting goals gives them motivation and focus towards success. It builds their skills and confidence. Sometimes people can work hard, but not have a focus. This can lead to loss of direction and self worth. That is why goal setting can help children. It can give them a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. When working on goals, children need direction and guidance. Sometimes children can choose ways to persevere that are too broad, too unrealistic, and not achievable. Share the following SMART acronym to narrow down an achievable goal.



S- Specific- Think of a specific goal. Instead of wanting good grades in all subjects, choose one!

M- Measureable- Are you wanting to eat more vegetables? Keep a log of what you eat!

A- Achievable-  Do you want to help keep the environment clean? Include things in your plan that you can do without much help from an adult.

R- Realistic- Do you want to win every soccer game? Try thinking of something more realistic. For example, I want to score ___ goals this season.

T- Timely- Have a timeframe on when you want to complete or revisit your goal. Often times a target date will help you persevere.

What are some goals that work for children? This list comes from our January Door Decor for Character Education.



Next, think of a plan to achieve your goal. It is one thing to make a goal, but another thing to actually form a plan and stick to it! Did you ever hear the quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish?” Think of who can help you if you get stuck or need encouragement.  Also, think of steps you need to take to reach your goal. Download the free form! It is also an awesome idea to keep a log of little accomplishments along the way to reach your goal.


  1. Explain the meaning of perseverance.
  2. Share your experiences with them. Let them know that you aren’t perfect. Explain a difficulty or struggle in your life and how perseverance helped you.
  3. Help them use SMART when identifying a goal and adjust it along the way if needed.
  4. Encourage them throughout the process. Give them compliments and high fives.
  5. If they have struggles, let them know it is ok and is expected.
  6. If they fail, let them know that it happens and it doesn’t reflect their efforts. Assess the reasons for not reaching their goal together and encourage them to try again.

I hope you found some useful ideas on perseverance! Character education is so important. Children need to learn ways to build each other up as well as ideas for self-motivation and improvement. Rockin Resources offers monthly door decor that encourages character education. The January packet focuses on perseverance- PERSEVERE IN THE NEW YEAR!