As 2017 begins many of us make resolutions in the new year. Some will focus on health, others will vow to improve finances. No matter what you’re hoping to change, it’s never a bad idea to come up with some achievable goals for yourself. But we can also help our kids make similar plans to make a positive change in their lives.
Start off by being a resolution role-model. Share your plans with your kids and discuss what you can all do as a family. The biggest key to success in making any kind of change is being sure you WANT to make the change. If you’re not ready to create a new habit, you’re less likely to be successful.
Being realistic in goal setting goes a long way. Vowing to completely change a habit or lifestyle without first realizing baby steps are required can lead to immediate failure. As a parent, you should also be positive about the change. Don’t nag if and when a resolution is about to be broken. Success is more likely to happen when there’s love and support. Be a soft place for your kids to land.
Don’t dwell on past behaviors when determining the plans for change. If your C student hopes to make straight A’s in the new year, don’t harp on those bad grades. Instead, come up with a plan for success. You can vow to work together on studying each night. Set up a technology-free period of time that fits into your evening schedule and stick to it. All too often we plan to spend more time with our loved ones, but emails, social media and text messages get in the way. If everyone puts the phone or tablet down for an hour and focuses on accomplishing goals it’ll be much easier to create those new habits.
Track progress. Create a chart or another way to measure success. Even small accomplishments should be acknowledged. That recognition doesn’t have to come in the form of a prize, but at least a pat on the back and extra encouragement will boost a child’s self-worth substantially.
Goals can be fun, but should also be taken seriously. Remember even if you or your kids stray from the original plan, you can tweak and adjust. One bad day should not derail your plans. Good luck and Happy New Year.