This week, we’re in that magical time right in the middle of the Holiday Season. The coming weekend will usher in the beginning of a brand new year, 2023! As is tradition with this time of year, it’s time for you and your family to start thinking of your New Year’s resolutions. Parents, we know you’ve been making those for quite some time, and by now you’re all goal-setting masters. However, our children may need a little help with this practice.
Kids might need some extra guidance when it comes to setting and achieving their goals and resolutions. That’s why this week, we’re going to be talking all about good resolutions to set, and how to make sure we are able to achieve them!
To start, let’s briefly recall what exactly a resolution is. In short, a resolution is a type of goal, and a goal is something you need to work towards to achieve. Specifically, a New Year’s Resolution is a goal that you plan on working on over the course of the next year, from January to December, so naturally they are long-term goals.
The reason it’s called a “resolution,” is because they are typically things that we want to resolve in our lives; something that we want to take action on that will help us out in the long run, and make a good habit for us. For example, one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions among adults is to work out more. This is a classic example of a resolution because doing more exercise will lead to a healthier lifestyle, and will also establish a great routine, which is another key component of resolutions.
Our goal for our students is to help them figure out good resolutions to set for themselves, and then help them learn how to go about fulfilling it. In order to do that, we recommend that our kids remember three things:
- How to Set a Goal/Resolution
- Create an Action Plan
How to Set a Goal/Resolution
Setting a resolution is essentially the same process as setting a goal, with a few additional steps. The first thing that needs to be done is to consider your current life situation. Think about your physical and mental state, and what can be done to improve them. Also be sure to think about the things that have been going on, and what is to come in the near future. For our kids, these may be difficult questions to answer, because they may not have mastered the self-reflection skill set yet. However, we encourage them to consider these things when setting New Year’s Resolutions, because it will not only help them set these goals, but will give them good practice with self- and circumstantial-awareness.
Once you have thought about your current life situation, you can then begin to think about what a good resolution to set is. Remember, a resolution is a goal that you plan to work on for the entire year, so it should be long-term, not something that can be achieved in a few days, weeks, or months.
We also recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting method to help you and your children out when creating resolutions. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
Keep these attributes of good goals in mind. A resolution should be a specific goal that aims to resolve a key area of your life. Since we are working on them for the whole year, they should also be measurable, that way you can check in along the way, and of course at the end of the year to see exactly how much you’ve improved and grown as a result of your resolution. Attainability and relevance are also important, because they will help you make sure you are setting resolutions that are feasible for you to accomplish. Finally, a time-constraint is important to make sure you are progressing at an appropriate rate, though our New Year’s Resolutions have a fixed period of one year.
The main takeaways when picking a good goal to set are to make sure they will help you improve one or more areas in your life that you would like to see yourself improve on, and to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. Following these steps will help you and your kids create interesting resolutions that you are more likely to follow through on and accomplish!
Create an Action Plan
Once you have decided your New Year’s Resolution(s), the best way to go about achieving them is by creating an action plan. This involves creating the steps you need to take to accomplish your goal, and setting smaller goals that will help you track your progress along the way.
When planning your course of action, consider all the things you need to do in order to reach your resolution. For example, to achieve the classic resolution of working out more, one would need to go to the gym a few times a week, be more active each day, and maintain a proper, nutritious diet. In addition, there are additional steps that may need to be taken depending on personal circumstances. If you don’t belong to a gym, obtaining a gym membership would also be essential. Purchasing proper gear (shoes, athletic wear, etc.) is another potential task, and there can be many others as well. The point is, make sure to list all the steps, no matter how small, that need to be taken in order to help you achieve your goal. It is also a good idea to write these steps down, or type them into a computer document for longevity’s sake.
Another way to utilize an action plan is by setting smaller, shorter-term goals that will keep you on track to eventually meet your resolution. Again, using the same example resolution, someone who wants to work out more might set a goal of getting into the gym at least twice a week to start.
With this method of smaller goal setting, it is important to increase the magnitude and/or scope of these goals as your progress. That goal of hitting the gym two times a week should eventually evolve into three times a week, or going to the gym for longer. This practice will help you ensure that you are steadily progressing towards the fulfillment of your resolution.
Remember, an action plan will light up the path to achieving your goals. This is a great practice to employ for New Year’s Resolutions, as well as any other goals you might want to accomplish. Creating and utilizing an action plan is a key component that will help you make sure you are able to follow through on your resolutions!
The last part that is necessary for you and your children to complete your resolutions is Commitment. In order to achieve your goals, no matter how big or small, you need to remain committed to them. That’s why it’s important to set resolutions and goals that are attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Commitment means devoting yourself and your time to making sure that you are able to do whatever it is you want to do. It means actually following through on the things you set out to do. This is where the action plan comes in handy. The action plan you have created enables you to clearly see all the things you need to do, so the next step is committing to it, and doing it.
Commitment is essential to making sure that you actually fulfill your New Year’s Resolution. The fact is, many of the resolutions that get set each January do not become achieved. But, this does not have to be the case. Goal setting is a great habit to develop, and long-term resolutions are a perfect way to practice the skill.
Commitment is what will drive you to see out the completion of your resolutions. It’s up to you to stay devoted to your goals, just keep in mind that these resolutions exist to help you improve in life! That is your motivation. Motivation will help you stay committed, because it allows you to keep in mind what exactly it is you wish to achieve, and why you want to do so. If your resolution is, for example once again, to get more exercise, your motivation could be to live a healthier lifestyle. If your child’s resolution is to get better grades in school, their motivation could be so that they can get into an esteemed University later down the line. Whatever the resolution, your motivation is important to stay committed to your goals!
In Our Classes…
This week in classes, we will be teaching our students all about how to set good goals and resolutions. We will be giving our students the knowledge and resources they need to effectively set, plan, and achieve their goals. Additionally, we will also remind them why motivation and commitment are essential factors in this process. We want to set our students up for success in the New Year by helping them create goals that they can attain over the course of the next year. We are here to help our students and parents along the way, no matter how far along the path they may be on. Just remember: the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step!
All in all, setting resolutions comes down to creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, creating an action plan to achieve those goals, and staying committed and motivated to fulfill them. Practicing goal-setting is important for our young ones, so that they can grow up with the knowledge and skills that are necessary for success in life. Goals and resolutions are important for keeping us driven, and to keep raising the bar of excellence in our personal lives. To end off, here are some wise words from John C. Maxwell to keep in mind when creating New Year’s Resolutions and other goals: “Dreams don’t work unless you do!”
What are you and your family’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2023?
How do you plan on achieving them?
How can your kids benefit from learning how to set resolutions and goals?
What else is important in terms of proper goal-setting?