The new year is upon us now and it’s resolution time again (already?….sheesh). Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to go making crazy promises that I can’t or don’t intend to keep. I’ve done enough of that in the past…..
I like to look at resolutions as a starting point to whatever goal I want to reach for myself in the the near future. Because, let’s face it….it’s almost impossible to entirely change yourself in a few weeks, months or a year, so don’t.even.try. You’ll just be setting yourself up for certain failure. But don’t fret….there’s good news too! There’s a better way to set resolutions for yourself and teach your kiddos too. Wanna know the secret? Here goes:
1. Help them figure out what their “main” goal is. If they want to say, keep their room cleaner this year (here’s hoping!). Have them write that as the “main” goal, or big goal. Explain that this will basically be the “results” they’re gunning for this year.
2. Have them specify exactly what their “main” goal means. Like, do they want to have their room spotless all the time or simply keep the dresser clean? Help them be realistic about it too….teach them to set goals that are reachable and won’t make them feel like they’ve failed. They can always up the ante later if they hit their target early, but lowering their number will just leave them feeling like they’ve failed.
Teach your kiddos how to be successful now while they’re young and impressionable, and later they will be able to set higher goals for themselves from what they learned from you.
3. Then, help them think about what it will take to achieve that “main” goal. Help them write down all the smaller steps they will need to do to get the clean room of their dreams. This will probably include things like: make sure to put all dirty clothes in the hamper right away or do a 10 minute cleanup every Saturday. Breaking down the big goal into smaller ones makes it more manageable, easier to start annnnnnnnd easier to stick with than something ambiguous like “keep my room clean”.
4. Sometimes you may also need to set some sort of time frame for success. Maybe it can be “keep my room clean for 6 months” or something else like “bring my grade up in math by the next report card.” Without a time frame, the goal will be achieved someday….and someday may never come for them. If they don’t hit that target by their desired time, help them reevaluate what steps they might need to change and re-set the goal.
5. Have them write down all their goals and hang it up in a place where they will see it often. This will remind them of what they want to accomplish and also of the steps they need to get it done (since it takes kids about 3 seconds to forget stuff).
Click on this picture to print out this sweet printable to help your kiddos keep on track.
Ok, so if you have smaller kiddos around still (like our littlest)….here are some ideas for resolutions for them. While they might not be able understand the idea of setting goals for the far-off future, they should be able to understand goal setting for the near future (very near). I’m talking about things they can implement within a few hours or just a day. Help your young’ins draw pictures of resolutions they want to set instead of writing them down. Some good goals for them:
Pick up the toys after I play with them
Brush my teeth twice a day
Listen to mommy and daddy
Wash my hands
These are simple things that young ones can understand and are expected anyways so they already know how to do them. Tell them “good job” when they remember and that will reinforce that awesome feeling of success to sticking to their goals.
This strategy is good for you grown up peeps too….yep, I’m talking to you! So don’t dread resolution time anymore, get out there and reach for the sky (as Woody would say…)!