Setting New Year’s Resolutions with Children

I’m in planning for the new year mode right now.   New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals…which ever you choose… it’s a good thing to set goals and strive to reach them.  New Year’s Resolutions aren’t just for adults. The new year is a great time to help your kids set goals and teach them how to reach them.

This week our family focus is writing down our accomplishments from last year and preparing for the new year with new goal setting.  Our entire family participates in goal setting.  Those who don’t know how to write yet… well, I write their goals down for them.  Even if their only goal is “learning how to read this year” or “learning how to tie my shoes this year”… it’s a goal worth setting and striving for!

Then, on New Years Eve, we have a party.  We celebrate the year by letting each person share their accomplishments for the past year and tell their goals for the new year.  It’s a fun time.

Here are some tips for helping kids set goals:

  1. Make the goal specific.
    Instead of writing down, “Save my money”  – write down a specific amount of money you would like to save. Have your child think about ways that he is going to get the money he wants to save.
  2. Make the goal reasonable.
    Help your child write down goals that are reasonable for his age and abilities, but also allow for challenge.  Writing down realistic, attainable goals will help keep your child motivated.  Think of reasonable goals that interest your child.  Have your child think of chores or skills he might like to become more self-disciplined in.  Set goals around those things.  

  3. Make the goal accountable.
    Keep accountable to one another by having regular goal meetings during the year.  A monthly goal update meeting where you talk about your progress or your lack of progress is helpful to keep those New Year’s resolutions in the forefront of your thinking.  If you don’t make your goal accountable, it will get lost in the busyness of  life and you’ll be sitting next year trying to remember what your goals were?  Help your child reach his goals by having family get together times where you encourage each other to reach your New Year’s goals.
  4. Write down your New Year’s Resolutions and Goals…on paper or in electronic form.
    Write your goals down and look at them often throughout the year!  If your child can not write yet…write down their goals for them.  Help them come up with just a few goals that they can be excited about working on.  Older children should write down their own goals.  Keep goals in a location where you are able to look at them often.

It feels good to accomplish something you’ve set out to do, no matter how old you are.  Write a few goals, one goal or a page full of goals.  Children will learn beneficial life long skills with New Year’s Goal setting and achievement.  Make goal setting a family affair this year!

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