January, how I love January. There’s something about the new year that just motivates me to live healthier, read more, become more generous or patient, or finish a project I started months ago. It makes me set goals. Goals that prompt me to be a better version of myself. It’s easy for me to find things I need to work on. I could actually make hundreds of resolutions, but I like to narrow it down to 2 because that is manageable. But this year, I am trying something new. Not only am I making my own resolutions, but I am also helping my children set goals for themselves. Why? I truly believe in setting goals. Verbally and physically saying them and writing them down, is a good habit to start.
Think about how many times we’ve fallen short of our resolutions in the past. We become unmotivated. Time or energy zaps us, or we figure the goal we set for ourselves was just simply unattainable. Usually, we don’t have anyone to hold us accountable to our resolutions and that makes it easy to forget we even made one to begin with. What if we start our kids early? Teach them how to set and achieve a goal. Then, maybe when they become adults, their resolutions will be life-changing. So completely motivating that they achieve whatever they put their minds to. They won’t make unattainable goals because they’ve made them and accomplished them their entire life! And they have the best accountability partners ever…US!
So how do we help our kids make New Year’s resolutions? They will obviously need plenty of help from the parents especially if they are young. Begin by talking about goals, why they are important, and talk through some things your child might want to achieve this year. Most importantly, help them come up with something that is achievable AND measurable! It doesn’t have to be something that takes them an entire year. Even something they can achieve in a month will highly motivate them to continue setting and achieving goals. Next, make sure you document their goals somewhere they can see it and talk about it with them frequently. Charts are great for this! Finally, model your own goal progress so they can see your growth too. Your kids can hold you accountable while you hold them accountable. Accountability highly increases success rate!
Here are some resolution suggestions for young kids:
- Read ____ amount of books by December 31st
- Learn a new Bible verse every month
- Save $50 by August to buy something new for school (and come up with ways they can make money)
- Learn something new they’ve wanted to achieve (like riding a bike or swimming. Even though these are things they would normally achieve anyway, it’s great to set as a goal so they are monitoring their progress, working at it continually and they are proud of themselves when they complete it.)
- Read through the Kids Story Book Bible in a year
- Hike 1 new trail each month, or set a goal to complete a 5 mile hike by the end of the year (each month, make your hikes longer to build stamina)
- Complete a 1-mile race
- Set a sports-related goal if they love sports
- Set a music goal if they play an instrument (learn 12 new songs by December, etc.)
- Make dinner once a month for a year
The possibilities are endless. If you have suggestions for kids goals, I’d love to hear your comments below. And remember to find a goal that motivates your child, make sure it is attainable, and make goals that they can measure so they can track their progress!