As the weather gets colder and the year comes to an end, it means it’s resolution season! Creating New Year’s resolutions for children is a rewarding, fun family activity to plan. As you come up with and execute ideas as a family, you’re working toward a goal to better your lives and the world. That will in turn build confidence and camaraderie in your kids. This is the perfect opportunity to show them that embracing a big change for the future is thrilling and productive at the same time. Here are some tips to get you started.
Celebrate New Year’s and Create Goals
As you count down to midnight, throw confetti, and toast with apple juice to celebrate the New Year, take the time to talk about how the year is ending. You can also use your wait time to discuss with your kids about what a resolution actually is. Creating long-term goals lets your children look to the future, which is not something children usually do on their own.
You want to be sure to make this exciting and positive, while not making it sound like a new chore or punishment. You can remind them of some accomplishments they covered the previous year to get the ball rolling. Encourage your little ones to just throw ideas out to brainstorm together about the resolutions they’d like to make. Then let them whittle them down to one or two goals. Have your kids really make the choice about what their goal will be, not what you want them to do. If they can’t decide between a few ideas, you can put them all in a bowl and pick out one a month to strive towards.
You can commit to either entire family goals or individual goals for each family member. A kid’s first resolution should be fun and lighthearted, instead of a health-related or huge academic goal. Advocate for a reachable, manageable, and positive New Year’s resolution for children while letting them choose what it is.
After the resolution is set, help your kids decide small milestones to reach along the way. This allows you to create some goal-setting activities for kids (and the whole family). Ask them to draw pictures or write down these milestones and post them in a permanent place for the year. Together, you can craft a new calendar with the goals on specific dates or weeks or perhaps set meetings quarterly on your calendar at a specific location to review the progress.
The key is to keep those check-in dates to keep up with the goals. It’s up to you how often. As everyone knows, it’s easy to fall off the wagon and forget about resolutions, so try to keep your kids on track all year. Making it an exciting event to look forward to means it’s more about encouragement than nagging. If needed, help them figure out what’s going wrong, adjust if necessary, and perhaps set up rewards every month if they’ve accomplished the smaller milestones.
Ideas for New Year’s Resolutions for Children
Another way to get your family excited about making a change is to center it around a theme, whether it’s sports, reading, or the environment. Here are a few ideas to get you started, especially if you and your child want to be kinder to the planet in the upcoming year:
- Volunteer for a favorite non-profit once a month.
- Save energy by making sustainable lighting choices.
- Eat vegetarian once a week. (Embracing Meatless Monday is an easy way to begin.)
- Reduce the food waste in your home.
- Start composting.
- Read a new, educational book at story time.
- Learn a new yoga move a week.
- Discover new ways to help the homeless.
Whatever you decide, as long as you do it together, your family is bound to enjoy the experience. Let us know what New Year’s resolutions your family set (and update us on your progress) on Twitter.
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.