We’re one week into 2019 and parents everywhere are working hard to keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Every year, over 60% of Americans set goals to make healthy lifestyle changes. However, research shows that within the first two weeks of those resolutions, 25% give up on their goals. Ultimately, only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.
So, how can parents actually meet their goals? Here at Your Kid’s Urgent Care, we believe that setting realistic resolutions and incorporating the kids will help you achieve your goals for 2019. Getting the kids involved with making resolutions is a fun way to teach them about setting goals and sticking to them. Start by explaining what a New Year’s Resolution is. A good way to do this is to explain to the importance of a New Year’s Resolution by giving them examples of resolutions you have set in the past. Be sure to ask for ideas and input on resolutions when setting them, this is important for developing communication and decision making skills.
When writing out New Year’s Resolutions, be sure to be specific and propose them in a positive light. Instead of saying “I’m going to STOP”… say “I’m going to START”. Positive language helps kids feel good about making changes, rather than thinking there is something wrong with what they are doing now.
Here are 7 way to write realistic resolutions for you and your family this year.
#1 Instead of “I’m going to be healthier”, outline how you will be healthier. For example, if you want to drink more water, say you will drink a glass of water every time you want a soda. If you want to eat healthier, make your resolution about what you are going to eat in place of unhealthy foods.
#2 Instead of “I’m going to exercise more”, say exactly how you are going to exercise more. Try things like “join a soccer team” or “play outside for an hour every day”. Making it fun makes the goal more achievable.
#3 Instead of “Cut down on screen time”, give a specific amount of time that will be cut down. Try saying “We’re going to reduce screen time by 1 hour a day.” This sets realistic goals for the kids, and seems like less of a punishment.
#4 Instead of “We’re going to help around the house more”, specifically say how everyone will help around the house. For parents, state how many times a week you will cook dinner. For kids, specify how many times a week they will clean their room, take out the trash, do the dishes, etc. When they know what is expected of them around the house, it will help keep them accountable.
#5 Instead of “I’m going to be nicer”, state how you will be nicer. Tailor the resolution to be something you and your family would actually like to improve upon. If your child is shy, try something like “I’m going to talk to a new person I’ve never met at school every week”. If you’re trying to work on being nicer, you could try something like “I’m going to do one random act of kindness per week”.
#6 Instead of “We’re going to expand our knowledge”, try setting goals of things you want to learn. For example if your family likes music, set a goal of learning a certain instrument. If your family likes culture, set a goal to learn a new language.
#7 Instead of “we’re going to spend more time as a family”, set goals of how much time you will spend together. For example, “We’re going to do family dinner every Sunday”. Or, “Family camping trip once a month.”
The key to resolution setting is making them realistic to your family. They can be as easy or complex as you’d like, but the most important thing is that they are achievable. Keeping a resolution starts with the parents, so make sure you lead by example if you expect your kid’s to achieve their goals. If something isn’t working, tweak it! Don’t be afraid to adjust goals along the way to help you accomplish them. The value comes from teaching your children to follow through with commitments. Figure out what motivates your family, and make 2019 the best year yet!
Resources: https://www.parents.com/holiday/new-years/resolution/smart-new-years-resolutions-kids-can-make/, https://www.creativechild.com/articles/view/new-years-resolutions-help-your-kids-and-yourself-set-reasonable-goals