Ah, New Year’s Resolutions. Most of us make them. But sticking to them… Here’s an idea. Get the kids involved. They love to know what’s going on in your life. They’re snoopy that way. Actually, they’re just curious about how adults work. So let’s use this opportunity to teach them about New Year’s Resolutions…which is simply a fancy beginning-of-the-year way to say ‘goals’.
It’s usually not too difficult for adults to come up with goals. Most of them have been nagging at us for a while, anyway. It’s really just a matter of bringing them to the surface and acknowledging them. I want to lose 15 pounds. I want to finish the backyard project. I want to volunteer more.
Then call a meeting with your kids and share your goals. Tell your kids that successful people write down their goals along with the reasons for their goals. They also come up with a specific plan and the individual steps needed to be successful. Many even calendar each of the steps to help keep them on track. Having all of this prepared in advance will allow you to get to the fun part quicker. That’s when you get to help your kids set their goals.
Talk to your kids about some things they may be interested in accomplishing throughout the year. I want to read more books. I want to learn to play the guitar. I want to keep my room clean. Okay, that one’s in there for you parents. How about…I want to run a six minute mile.
Note that the younger the child, the shorter the time frame for achieving their goal needs to be. That’s because success is paramount. In fact, it’s paramount for all our kids. Although not achieving a goal can be motivating for some, in the beginning we want them to experience success. This will encourage them to set another goal…and then another…and then another.
Then have them go through the same steps you did in order to write down the reasons and the steps needed to be successful.
The Money Connection: No doubt goals involving money have made it to most adult lists. Things like I need to put more money into savings. Or, I need to rebalance my financial portfolio. Or, I need to figure out what a financial portfolio is. Notice how these goals have subtly changed from ‘want’ to ‘need’. A lot of financial goals are that way.
Having your kids begin making personal financial goals is a great life skill to teach them. Everything from I want to have a yard sale to I want to donate to causes that are important to me to I want to save for a laptop computer are all goals that involve money…earning it, saving it, spending it and sharing it.
With the whole family involved in supporting each other’s goals, the chances of success are greatly multiplied. Besides, just think of the bonding opportunities you’ll get as your kids remind you not to eat that slice of oh, so yummy slice of chocolate cake!