Teaching New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year can be a fun and exciting time for all ages. With 2017 upon us, we thought we’d give you tools to help you and your family make and keep resolutions this year. Resolutions not only have the potential to improve your quality of life and attitude but they can also make parenting easier.

Talk Positively About Resolutions
While resolutions can weigh heavily on people, they are also promises for a better life. If you discuss resolutions with your child in a positive manner, they are more likely to view them positively. If you have trouble talking about what a resolution might entail, bring up a positive change you’ve seen in your child in the past year. Praising positive actions can encourage children to respond with more positive behaviors. You can then encourage them to make a few good choices for the New Year and ask what they would like to do differently.

Make it an Event
Choosing a new habit for the New Year is an exciting event! To make this an important and fun family activity, you can even sit together as a whole family to talk about your new resolutions. There should be no other distractions, as any distractions or electronics can detract the focus from the moment. You can even emphasize this special event by playing music or setting out decorations that can get the whole family excited about making new decisions together. This can also encourage you and your family to keep up with the new habits you want to form.

Encourage Them to Write a Short, Meaningful List
While it can be natural to point out what you would like your child to do, it can be extremely beneficial to let them decide what they want to change in the new year. Giving your child control of a behavior they can change can be extremely empowering. If they need help, discussing different types of goals can help them figure out what they want to do. For example, eating better food is a health goal and getting along with siblings is a family goal. Once they’ve figured out what they want to improve, make sure it’s a short list. Keeping the list focused to three resolutions or fewer can make it easier for those resolutions to be fulfilled and tracked.

Be a Role Model
The easiest way to encourage change in others is to start changing yourself. When New Year’s resolutions become a family activity, your little one will be more motivated to join in. You can follow your own advice by also finding a resolution you would like to keep. If your little one comes up with a resolution you would like to follow as well, follow it! That way, keeping up with and encouraging their new behavior will be easy.

Make it Measurable
So now you and your children have new and shiny resolutions for the New Year. How do you plan to keep yourselves accountable? It can take a little over a month to cement a new habit, so set small steps and goals for the new calendar year. For example, if you and your little one want to walk together, you can make the time to take 15-minute walks at a certain time on certain days of the week. If you and your little one try to change too much in a short amount of time, you can get overwhelmed and find your new habits difficult to maintain. Instead, try to set small and achievable weekly goals that can help you build new behaviors. Some resources even have worksheets that can help organize these goals. Remember: While you want to help keep your child accountable, giving room to adjust is important. Imposing a resolution on your child can deter them from keeping up with their own goals. Likewise, providing small material rewards can get your child off track. Checking in every so often and modeling your own changes can help you emphasize this important lesson to your little ones.

Check in on Goals
To keep your family’s resolutions relevant throughout the year, you can talk about the resolutions you made and even keep them visually present. For example, keeping a date in the calendar to check in on goals can help keep deadlines in mind. If you have family meetings to check in on goals, you can help reiterate how important they are. Additionally, keeping meetings fun and positive can help your family look forward to talking about their goals. You can keep goals in mind by keeping a worksheet around the house, or, you can keep the resolutions in a visible and fun container. Yes, there might be relapses, but emphasizing good choices can help keep passion for the resolution alive.

While maintaining new goals can be difficult, we hope these tools can help you and your family build new, positive behaviors. Most of all, we hope you feel these can help you and your family start the New Year with hope and promise, and we’d love to hear how about your resolutions on social media. All of us at Juicy Juice wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!