As we close out 2013 and enter into a brand new year, most of us family-types try and set some goals and strategies for a successful 2014. The idea of setting goals can be a little overwhelming and a cause for a bit of anxiety. Focusing on positive changes and realistic expectations will help alleviate the worry.
Where to start
Start by listing the things that worked in 2013. Did you finally establish a workable bedtime routine? Have you made an effort to cook healthier meals? Are the kids putting away their belongings without being asked? Have you developed a great family calendar that’s working?
Surely there were lots of positive changes and developments in 2013 and before even thinking about the future, it’s important to pat ourselves on the back! Once you’ve celebrated past successes, it’s time to think about the areas that need a little work. For our family, scheduling can be a stressor and we need a better system of managing everyone’s whereabouts. In addition, work-life balance is something my husband and I both try to manage. Thirdly, household clutter needs to be lessened this year… somehow!!
How to track
Setting goals or resolutions really only works if there’s a way to track progress. If you use a paper planner (my holy grail is the Erin Condren Life Planner), put a little reminder on the last day of each month to do a little check in. This is simply a time to take a few minutes to reflect on the past month and have an honest conversation with yourself about what’s working and what’s not. Digital calendar users can easily do the same thing by adding a recurring event or calendar item.
What about the kids?
Do you set resolutions for your children too? The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some ideas on goals that kids can work to achieve, with your help of course!
- I will clean up my toys and put them where they belong.
- I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
Kids, 5- to 12-years-old
- I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
- I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
- I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
Kids, 13-years-old and up
- I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.
- I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities.
- When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
- I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.
Whatever your goals or resolutions may be, I wish you the all the best for your and your family in 2014. xoxo, from my family to yours.
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
― Oprah Winfrey