New Year’s resolutions are infamously hard to keep, yet they’re still a great way to look ahead and plan out the things you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. So why not set some goals as a family that will help you create more quality time and run a smoother household?
Get everyone’s input
First, it’s important to make sure that everyone’s on board. Have a family discussion about what each person would like to accomplish in the new year. You can even turn this into a larger conversation of your hopes and dreams for the future: What experiences would you like to have in your life? What skills would you like to learn? What areas in your life could you improve? What do you wish you did more of as a family? At this stage, don’t be afraid to think big.
Time to get practical
Now you can break those larger goals from your family discussion into manageable steps. Does your child want to be a musician? Help them set realistic goals of how much and how often they should practice their instrument. Would your child like to get better at reading or math? Help them figure out concrete steps they can take to improve in these areas. Pick a few areas to focus on; you don’t want to get overwhelmed with too many goals at once.
The SMART goal system is one way you can ensure you’re setting goals you’ll follow through on. Make sure your goals are: Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, and Time-based. Once your family has decided on what they’d like to achieve in the new year, it’s time to create an action plan.
Gamify your resolutions
Take a page from video games and apps, and make goal-setting fun! Set up a sticker chart or other tracker where you can mark off the days you met your goal. Then, when you’ve hit predetermined milestones, celebrate with a small prize, like a toy or favorite treat. Adding incentives at shorter intervals allows you to recognize the work it takes to stick with something and boosts motivation. Make sure to post the goals in a visible place as a reminder of what you aim to do.
Check in regularly
Finally, decide how often you’re going to check in as a family on your progress. Discuss what’s working and what’s not. Review your goals together and see if there are any changes you’d like to make. This allows your kids to have ownership over their resolutions and lets them hold you accountable for what you set out to do, as well.