It’s that time of year! We’re thinking ahead to the new year. How can we make things better? And in the turmoil and the pandemic of 2020, we’re all hoping things will get better in 2021. While we can’t control the world around us, we can certainly make good choices for ourselves and our families. So, let’s look at some things to consider in setting new year goals with your kids.
Do New Year goals even matter?
We’ve all set resolutions, only to give up on them within a short time. So is there any reason to keep trying? Research does show us that setting a goal helps us in several ways.
First, goals help us to clarify what we want. The process of thinking through a goal solidifies our real desires and filters out the things we really aren’t that passionate about. And when we settle on what we really want, we’re more likely to set goals that we’ll really work on.
Secondly, goals help us to make decisions. If you have a goal in place, you have a guideline for decisions related to that goal. Without a goal, our small decisions have no guidance and require more thought. But with a goal, we can simplify our decisions. And these small decisions will guide us to accomplishing that goal more easily.
Thirdly, without a goal, we’re less likely to take any action at all. So even if you stick with your new resolution for a short time, you’ve at least taken some kind of action. And after this, you are better able to evaluate what worked and what did not work. You’re more able to revise things to work better for you.
So how do we set new year goals with our kids?
Keep It Simple
Setting too many goals causes most of us to fail. We are not realistically able to change so many parts of our lives at once. So set only a few doable resolutions. This can be done in different ways.
Set one or two general goals for the year. Then you can add a few specific action items under each goal. Tackle only one or two of these action items at a time. Continue them until they become habits. Then take on another action item. If you complete each action item under your goal by the end of the year, what a great success! If you complete only one or two action items, you’ve still been successful! You’ve accomplished a new habit or two, and that’s a big deal!
Another approach is to set a few long-term family goals that are general, like love, faith, service, fun, or growth. Then, each year, set a few new ways you will work together to grow in that family goal. Or choose one of your family goals to really focus on for the year, and set a few specific items you’d like to accomplish in that area through the year.
If you have a long list of things you’d like to work on in your family, you could assign one item to each month of the year. That way, you can work on one thing at a time, giving it time to become habit, before moving on to the next item. This approach can also keep your momentum going, as you look at a new goal each month
If you want to keep things really simple, set only one clear resolution for the year. It can be one family resolution or one resolution for each family member. Either way, make these resolutions clear and measurable and realistic. Then, you have only one key item to focus on, and you will be more likely to stick with it, or to get back to it, throughout the year.
Again, when you find a way to keep your new resolutions simple, you’re much more likely to stick with them. And you’ll find that you’re more likely to accomplish something that you can count as a success.
Do you know what these small successes do for us? They motivate us to work toward another success!
Get Your Kids Involved
There are certainly areas of growth that you can set for your family as a parent. At the same time, you can get more cooperation from your family if you get their input. Ask your kids what areas they think need to change in your family. Let your kids choose resolutions or action items for themselves. They may come up with some wonderful ideas, or you may need to lead them in their thinking process. However it works for your family, let them have a part in the planning process.
So see if you can make some clear, simple goals for your family to accomplish this year. Maybe simplifying your goals together as a family will help you experience some successes together! Try setting new year goals with your kids!
Signs for Your Resolutions
Do you know about our Signing Dictionary? There are so many signs that you can look up and use to help you. Here in our Actions page, there are several signs that could relate to goals for kids and families. You could start with the sign for beginning as we begin a new year!
And don’t forget, our gift to you this Holiday season is Signing Time Christmas, available to stream for free on our My Signing Time app. So if you need to get your holiday prep done with some peace, you can let your kids enjoy this quality, educational, and fun program.