New Year’s resolutions are often joked about as being quickly broken, but I think there is value in teaching your children about goal-setting early.
Goal-setting has proven very effective for me as an adult and can be a wonderful tool for children as well. Goal-setting is also a fantastic opportunity to sit down as a family, talk openly, and get to know your kids on an even deeper level.
What are their hopes, their dreams, their talents? What do they want to learn or improve their skills in? What are the deepest desires of their hearts?
Sitting down together as a family and talking about New Year’s resolutions also gives you the chance to talk about family goals and plans for the upcoming year. We like to include our kids in discussions such as what vacations we should take, what ways we can help others, what new things we would like to try, how we can spend more quality time together, and what we can learn as a team.
Goals should be:
–specific: Instead of writing their goal as “read more books”, it could be “read 4 books a month” or “read 40 books.”
–measurable: This allows for a sense of accomplishment when the goal is met.
–attainable (realistic): A child who doesn’t know how to swim probably won’t win a swim meet! However, passing the first level of swimming lessons would be an attainable goal.
This simple printable can help your kids focus on what they want to achieve or work on in the upcoming year. Help your kids to brainstorm their New Year’s resolutions and then record their goals. This sheet can be used with any age. Younger children can draw pictures of their goals while older children and even teens can write more detailed plans.
It is also a nice family activity to revisit your resolutions once a month or once every few months and talk about the progress. You can also discuss how you might be able to support or help each other to achieve the goals you are struggling with. Some kids may need the reinforcement of something more concrete to track their progress such as a chart or journal.
Goal setting can bring you closer as a family and can start a habit in your kids that can be a contributing factor in their future success. Use the link below for a free goal setting printable for your kids!
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