Short Term Resolutions

By Denise Mersmann

Here we are . . . just a few weeks into the new year and we can hear the sound of resolutions crashing all around us.

For some, setting New Year’s resolutions is a lifelong practice, an enjoyable way to reflect on the past year and head off on a new trail of self-improvement. For others, it can be huge burden that makes us feel guilty if we choose not to set resolutions; I mean really isn’t that like saying “I’m pretty good with the way I am and not looking to improve myself over the next 365 days”?

But is that annual life reset really beneficial? What does it really do to our emotional health when we greet Valentine’s Day with the realization that we are already wandering off our new self-improvement trail? And once we realize that we are off track, do we take a “do over” or just throw in the towel until next New Year’s Eve?

As parent’s we have the opportunity, and some obligation, to help our kids learn to access their lives and set goals to be the very best they can be. But what does “a year” look like to a pre-K kiddo or even an elementary school child? It looks like a really, really long time and is actually not something most kids can really comprehend.

Recent studies have shown that greater success can be achieved using short term goals, even if those are set to achieve a long term resolution. And, as we all know, everything is better if we can celebrate and have fun along the way.

There are many great ways to make goal-setting a fun, positive and beneficial family activity. Consider setting a “do better” program using holidays and celebrations that are already in place as your target date.

Perhaps set a family goal to “be a good sport” from now until the Super Bowl. That “good sport” goal could include not getting frustrated when things don’t go the way we want, playing our best in sports and being a good teammate or smiling when we might want to yell. After we celebrate our “good sport” success on Super Bowl Sunday, let’s look at how we can show love to others until Valentine’s Day. Maybe celebrate how well we showed love with a heart shaped cookie after dinner or pink pancakes for breakfast.

However you choose to look ahead in 2016, always remember that no matter what goals we set or how well we do at achieving them God loves us and that is something to celebrate every day all year long!

Follow KiDSCOR on Twitter @kidscorleawood and Instagram for other fun ways to set and celebrate family goals all year long!

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