Sticking to New Year's Resolutions
Making New Year's resolutions is easy. Keeping them can be another story. According to published reports, almost half of all people abandon their resolutions by the end of January.
But creating New Year's resolutions as a family can be a meaningful activity. It can also be a successful one.
Make it fun. Before you worry about how to keep your resolutions, take the time to plan some playful, positive ways to create them in the first place. Call a family "New Year's Resolution Meeting" and provide plenty of snacks and time for brainstorming. Encourage each family member to think of a few personal goals for the upcoming year. You might want to generate some categories to help everyone get started. Here are some examples: "Healthy Choices," "School and Work," "Community," "Friends," "Family," "Faith" and "Just for Fun."
Make it realistic. If your child's resolution is to win the school science fair this year, congratulate her on this ambitious goal and let her know you'll be there to support her efforts. You might also want to remind her that there are many factors that influence a winning science fair project, and some of them aren't in her control. Help your child to create a resolution that reflects things she can control. For example, "I plan on starting early and doing my best in this year's science fair." The key is to emphasize that resolutions aren't about achieving perfection. They're about finding new ways to learn and grow—both individually and as a family.
Make it matter. Encourage your family to create resolutions that will enhance their lives and the lives of others. Resolve to volunteer as a family at a local food bank or shelter. Resolve to treat family and friends with kindness. Resolve to try new healthy foods. The easiest resolutions to keep tend to be the ones with the most meaning.
Make a plan. After you create resolutions, make specific plans on how you'll keep them. Post the goals in a prominent spot in your house, like a memo board in the kitchen or on your bedroom door. Find regular opportunities to talk about the resolutions and how they're going. And be sure to offer your kids plenty of support and encouragement to help maintain them.
Make it next year. Even with the best of plans and intentions, some New Year's resolutions just won't last past Valentine's Day. If you or your kids feel like some resolutions are slipping, don't give up. Remind your children that tomorrow will be a new day, and a new opportunity to keep working towards their goals. Just be sure to help your family keep a sense of humor and a sense of perspective. Let your kids know that it's nice to create positive goals, but it's also okay to save one or two for next January!
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