While some people consider New Year’s resolutions a personal and individual practice, it’s also fun to make resolutions with your whole family. The New Year is a time to celebrate, reflect and take stock of your lives. It’s also an opportunity to teach your children how to set goals and reach them. But instead of focusing on physical appearance such as losing weight, set goals related to different areas of life. For example, your children can make New Year’s resolutions related to their education or give back by helping others.
1. Make It a Family Tradition
In addition to sitting by the fireplace with a warm mug of cocoa and playing board games, make it a family tradition to set New Year’s resolutions. After the Christmas festivities, sit down to reflect on the year. Talk about everyone’s accomplishments and goals. Your child can share the high point of the year as well as the low points. If your child is old enough to write, encourage your child to record accomplishments and goals.
2. Choose a Partner for Support and Accountability
Randomly pick names of partners who will hold each person accountable for their goals. Having a buddy system is often more effective for keeping your New Year’s resolutions. For example, a younger sister could remind an older brother about his goal to work out more and make the football team. A mom could serve as her husband’s buddy, encouraging him to volunteer on the weekends or give back by donating to favorite charities.
3. Celebrate the Small Victories
Experts warn against punishing children or not fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions serve as guides for ideal situations, so it’s okay if something prevents them from becoming a reality. Punishment often leads to a sense of failure for failing at perfection. So find ways your family can celebrate accomplishments together.
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions a Reality for Your Family
Your family can support each other to help reach your goals. For example, ask your children how you can help them meet their goals. Offer to help pay for music lessons or to drive them to sports practice. Your children can help you, too. If your New Year’s resolution is to take more walks, they can do small chores to free up your time. That way, when you make your resolution a reality, the whole family can celebrate.