- Counselor's Corner
What's the point of resolutions?
As adults we see it every year. The new year rolls around and the push for resolutions start, every other commercial is a gym or diet advertisement, and the thought “What will this year look like?” brings an excited or anxious mindset. On our first day back at school, I had a student ask me “Ms. Banks, why do people make new year’s resolutions? They never keep them!” Although her question was fitting, it made me think deeper into why we lose focus on our goals. And what example are we setting for our children by setting a resolution and not working hard to achieve it. As we work at to teach kids about the value of working hard and perseverance, starting the new year is the perfect way time to put actions to our words.
1. Visual Reminder: Regardless if you are a visual learner, having a visual representation of your goals reminds you what you are working towards. Make this a family night activity! Have everyone write out what their goals (resolutions) are this year. Think beyond school and work. What are some health goals, recreational and fun goals, spiritual goals or financial goals? And yes, kids and teens can be setting goals about money too! One fun tip, make a vision board! This is a great way to get young people involved as they can find images online or from magazines to cut and paste on their poster! Once everyone’s goals are complete, you can share with the family, and place them in an area of the house that is most fitting!
2. Accountability Partner: Resolutions are more likely to be accomplished if you have someone holding you accountable to the goals you have set. As a family, you can be each other’s accountability partners. If you did the activity above, this sets the foundation to periodically check in to see how each member of the family is doing with their goals. For example, maybe on Friday family nights, the evening starts with everyone giving an update on what they did over the week to get one step closer to their resolutions. This serves as a constant reminder and also allows for the family to tune into each other!
3. Celebrate the Little Wins: Often times people give up on resolutions, because they did not celebrate the little wins along the way to their big goal. For example, if you have a goal of running a marathon (and you have never been a runner), celebrate the fact that you were able to run one mile without passing out! Each mile gained is a celebration! This is really important for children as we keep them encouraged towards their resolutions. If they have a goal of making Paw of Approval by the end of the school year, celebrate when they demonstrated the requirements in a given school day or week. Every big goal requires baby steps. And baby steps are little wins that should be celebrated!
4. Still skeptical about resolutions? Try a family theme! As I was growing up, and to this day, my family and I have a theme word for what we were going to strive to be as a family. One year it was patience. Our goal was to be more patient with each other and those we came across. Another year it was kindness. For 2020, it is joy. Despite anything that happens this year, we will have joy. Throughout the year, we remind each other of our theme and if we are demonstrating this characteristic in our day-to-day lives. As a family, you can come up with your own theme. Then, right the word in a place where everyone can see it. Remind each other of the theme word throughout the year.
I hope this restores your hope that resolutions can work! Need help setting family resolutions or a family theme? Feel free to email or call to set up a time to meet.
Elise N. Banks, M.S., LPC
- Counselor's Corner
- parenting children
- parenting kids
- parenting teens