When we have many goals that are not attained, we are setting pressure on ourselves, pressure that makes us feel less than what we want to be, or unfulfilled and unhappy in some way. Everyone should have goals in life, either big, small or ideally a bit of both. But it's important to not have too many, and that they are realistic in a tangible way, especially for children, who are just developing their sense of self and self-esteem. Sometimes, this means taking a big, difficult goal and breaking it down into several smaller steps or goals which make things less overwhelming, more possible and more rewarding as you will see progress and change faster. I think that learning how to just set one goal at a time, a realistic one that is also exciting, and following through with reaching that goal successfully can do so much for a child's self-confidence and self-esteem.
Your daughters probably already either have some goals or things they wish they did or want to try to accomplish, if they are teens or pre-teens. If they don't, that's fine, they are sure to develop one soon (like do better on the next math test; get into a college; play an instrument or reach a new athletic goal.) Your daughter's goal could be as simple as finding a sport she enjoys, to help her stay healthier, happier and have more fun in her day. If your child is a type A personality who is always pushing herself and putting high expectations on herself, help her learn to enjoy life and feel more fulfilled by cutting back and just focusing on the one or two most important goals in her life, at a time, and realizing that life is MORE than just success. That's an important goal right there.
Once your daughter has set a realistic goal, cheer her on, pointing out her progress along the way, however small, and recognizing her EFFORT, PERSISTENCE, FOCUS, and DEDICATION. Remind your girls often why their goals are important to them, and how great it is that they are pursuing them. And remind them too that no great change comes without difficulty or failure along the way. No victory or success is real if it was not a challenge. Knowing how to set realistic goals and then actually reaching them will change your kids' life for the better, by showing them what they are capable of, boosting their confidence and helping them become stronger, more empowered and young women. And when they are done, tell them to take a break and celebrate with them: reaching a goal is a true personal victory and enjoying this moment is as important as getting there, I think.