Happy New Year!!
It is an exciting time as we set new year resolutions and develop optimism for the new year. You likely have a few New Year's resolutions and may even be helping your kids make their own. What got me curious was how to make ourselves and our kids successful in achieving the New Year's resolutions. Historically speaking, the track record of people keeping up with resolutions could be better. About 40% of US adults set New Year's resolutions every year. However, around 20% quit in the first week, with only about 9% becoming successful in achieving their resolutions in a typical year. This poor statistic may not surprise us as demands from the everyday grind challenge us constantly. The more ambitious our goals are, the more difficult it will be to keep our willpower up to achieve them. So, we looked for answers.
Here are some splendid pointers that resonated with us as we investigated the research done by experts around us about setting the right goals and making our kids and ourselves successful:
Darren Hardy: One of my favorite authors of self-development books explains this: "the one skill most responsible for the abundance in my life is learning how to, effectively, set and achieve goals. Something almost magical happens when you organize and focus your creative power on a well-defined target." So, what's considered effectively setting goals? He talks about setting dedicated time, getting away from all distractions, discussing what's really important, and writing those priorities down. In addition, mapping out the responsibilities of everyone involved, along with having a very strong, compelling "why?" for your goals, will help keep up the motivation.
Parents.com: "Suggest resolutions to your kids without dictating!" These suggestions should be broad categories such as friendship goals, school goals, personal goals, etc., so kids can build specifics around them. Why not let kids decide on their resolutions within some parameters? It is more productive to set exclusive time with kids (ages ten and above) to discuss their goals, inspirations, and motivations. This discussion can engender shared responsibility between parents and children. Of course, the best approach is specific to a particular child and hard to generalize.
PBS: "Serve as a role model!" Kids look up to their parents and constantly look at what parents say and do. So parents must take the lead here. In addition, acknowledge your kids' successes often (monthly or quarterly reviews), as everyone relishes the thrill of accomplishments. While also remembering to reinforce resolutions that need attention.
Business Insider: "Create a resolution with kids so you can provide guidance and support along the way." Explain to your children that you can hold each other accountable and help each other as needed. In the end, parents should take their part seriously to encourage kids throughout the year.
Doctor Zinman: "Help kids visualize their success in a collaborative exercise where parents partner with kids to see what would happen when the resolutions are achieved." This exercise can reveal a set of concrete steps and the coordination needed to accomplish your goals and tasks.
What strategies and plans worked for you and your kids? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.