One of the biggest traditions known around the world is to set goals, or resolutions, on New Year’s Eve. If you and your family celebrate this tradition, it presents a great opportunity to start a conversation with your child about how to set goals that might help them to achieve their personal objectives.
A great way to help children to learn about goal setting is for parents, grandparents, and other family members to talk about their own goals. This can be done in fun ways such as drawing your goals in a picture or writing a story about your goals and why they are important to you.
It’s important to choose concrete, measurable goals, so that children understand that these are not just wishes or dreams, they are attainable changes that they can control. Wishes and dreams are important too, but they are different than goals.
Parents and other family members that interact with your child can all come together to make a group goal. Group goals for families are a real bonding experience and can highlight how a family works to support each other throughout the year. Often, a family’s New Year’s goals focus on helping each other, spending more time together, or perhaps everyone agreeing to help at a local charity or community organization.
Here are some great ideas for Family New Year’s goals:
- Eat dinner together – With family dynamics changing and more families having both parents working full-time jobs, it’s understandable that it can be difficult for families to sit down and eat a meal together. Sometimes it is just easier to feed the children and then the parents eat when they can. Make an effort to sit down and enjoy dinners together as a family. This is a great opportunity for families to talk about their days, and if anything, have dedicated time spent together.
- Start a weekly tradition – Think of something the whole family would enjoy doing weekly, and put it into action! Your weekly tradition can be as simple as going on a family walk or bike ride, or you can take a class together learning something each family member would be interested in.
- Give back as a family – This is a great opportunity to give back to your community and your neighbors. Donate clothes, volunteer at a nursing home, or just do something kind for one of your neighbors or someone in the community who could use a helping hand.
- Balance screen time and play time – With technology at our fingertips, and in the colder months when there isn’t much to do outside, it is easy to fall to being entertained by our devices. A great goal for families to make is to set limitations on all types screen time and to find other fun activities to do.
- Experience something new together – Plan to do something each year that your family has never done. Try a new activity, learn a new skill, or visit somewhere you haven’t been before! Not only is this a way to expose your family to new experiences, but it’s a great way to make memories together as a family.
Throughout the year, families should talk about the goals they set as a group and individually. Family members can offer ways that they can help the person to achieve his/her goal and what they enjoy about the goals they’ve set together. This is a positive exercise that encourages relationship building. It’s a great way to start off a new year in any household!