Happy New Year! How has 2018 been going for you so far? For me, I had a couple very productive days of meal prep and organizing my home, one day of work, a snow day, and then another day of work, which happens to be Friday, so I’m feeling pretty great about 2018 right now. I have also been participating in a five-day detox. No no, not a juice cleanse. I am cooking all my meals and eating five times a day. But, it has me thinking about how I want to proceed after these five days. What are the goals I want to set for myself for next week, next month, and the rest of this year?
Having New Year’s resolutions is a conflicting topic and a completely personal choice. I was never one for making resolutions because I never wanted to feel like I let myself down if I didn’t complete my promise to myself. But that’s just me, and as a child, I was very critical of myself. Even as an adult, it is a trait I am always trying to be mindful of. Would I call this a resolution? To be kinder to myself. I’m not sure. To me it is an intention I always keep in the back of my mind and will follow me from year to year. Then there are others I know who make a list at the beginning of every year and constantly refer to it throughout the year to keep them on task in accomplishing goals and meeting those resolutions. And on the other end of the spectrum I know people who are all about the ‘keep being you and kicking butt’ mentality.
Are you a “New Year, New You!” person or a “New Year, Same You!” person? For the record: there is no right answer. I’m curious to learn what you and your family does at the beginning of a new year, new season, new month, new week, new day. Do your kids state that they have resolutions? Do they make a plan to reach these goals?
Like I said, I was never one to set resolutions. However, I am big on setting goals throughout the year as I explore and grow and change. And I think it is okay for goals to change along the way, because you are changing along the way. For kids, learning how to set short- and long-term goals is an important skill for lifelong success in education and career. If your kids are interested in goal setting/resolution making/intention setting/whatever you prefer to call it, I am going to provide you with some initial ideas. Goals and resolutions can be established in many cornerstones. Today, I am going to share goals and resolutions around the themes of: nutrition, physical activity, spirituality and mindfulness, relationships, personal growth, and education. As you read, you will notice that each goal is the overall desired result and the object of a person’s ambition. The proceeding resolutions are the actionable steps needed in order to reach the overarching goal.
Goal: I would like to eat an overall healthier diet.
Resolution 1: I will eat fruit with my breakfast at least 4 times a week.
Resolution 2: I will buy a reusable 32-oz water bottle and drink 2 servings of it every day.
Resolution 3: I will replace my sugary afternoon snack with hummus, carrot sticks, and whole wheat pita.
Goal: I would like to learn how to cook.
Resolution 1: I will buy a cookbook with easy-to-follow recipes and prepare one new recipe a week.
Resolution 2: I will ask my parent/guardian if I can help them more in the kitchen when they are preparing meals for our family.
Resolution 3: I will help my parent/guardian with the grocery shopping.
Physical Activity Goals
Goal: I would like to grow stronger muscles.
Resolution 1: I will try a new sport and stick to it for the entire season.
Resolution 2: Each weekend, for 1 hour a day, I will put my phone away and play games outside with my friends and/or siblings.
Goal: I would like to become more flexible.
Resolution 1: I will try a new sport, such as yoga or dance.
Resolution 2: When I am feeling tired, I will take a break to stand up and stretch.
Spirituality and Mindfulness Goals
Goal: I would like to learn new ways to react when I feel angry or sad.
Resolution 1: I will learn and practice deep breathing exercises.
Resolution 2: I will talk to an adult I can trust about my feelings.
Goal: I would like to sleep better.
Resolution 1: I will download a guided meditation app and practice meditation for five minutes before I go to sleep.
Resolution 2: I will drink a soothing, hot cup of tea after dinner to help my body digest.
Resolution 3: I will turn off my phone and read for 30 minutes each night, instead of watching tv.
Goal: I would like to make new friends.
Resolution 1: I will join a new team or club that is interesting to me and meet people who have the same interests as me.
Resolution 2: I will sit at a new lunch table to meet more people.
Goal: I would like to be more open with my parents.
Resolution 1: I will ask each of my parents for alone time with them to do a special activity; such as, reading together at night, going for a walk, or cooking a meal together.
Resolution 2: When I am feeling sad or angry I will try my best to share my feelings before I have an outburst.
Personal Growth Goals
Goal: I would like to increase my self-confidence.
Resolution 1: I will try two new activities this year in order to meet new people and hopefully discover something I am really good at and enjoy doing.
Resolution 2: I will raise my hand at least once a day in class.
Goal: I want to be more kind to people.
Resolution 1: I will be more inclusive during lunch or recess.
Resolution 2: I will practice acts of kindness outside of school by participating in community service projects.
Goal: I would like to earn better grades.
Resolution 1: I will read for at least 30 minutes every night, in order to improve my literacy skills.
Resolution 2: I will attend math extra help sessions 2x a week
Resolution 3: I will eat a healthy and filling breakfast in order to have energy and a clear and focused mind for class.
I believe I gave a long list of examples and there are many, many more goals and resolutions you, your child, and your family can set together. For you, the parent or guardian, it is important to remember to use positive reinforcement when your child is goal setting. Instead of saying, “You should eat healthy to lose weight,” say, ” You are eating healthier to build strong bones or to provide the body with yummy nutrients to keep you feeling happy and energized.” Instead of saying, “You should read more because your teacher thinks you’re falling behind,” say, “Reading is important brain food and helps to build your imagination” Or, “Reading is a great way to calm down at the end of the day and helps your body get a good nights sleep.” Support your child’s goals, even better, be a role model for them to follow and set goals as a family. Be mindful of the words you may use to describe yourself, such as “fat,” “bloated,” “stressed,” children feed into that mentality and will imitate your reactions.
I love hearing what works well for your child and your family. Share with the TLC community and let’s set goals together. Sending everyone warm thoughts on this uber-chilly day and wishing everyone amazing things for 2018!