Practical Parenting Ideas: 5 Steps to Setting Practical New Year's Resolutions

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

5 Steps to Setting Practical New Year's Resolutions

Every new year presents a chance to begin anew and establish better habits by setting goals for what you want to accomplish that year. As with many aspirations in life, it's easy to hope and dream, but can be harder to put efforts into action if they're too strict or overwhelming. Being a part of a family also adds new challenges to goal setting, but it is very possible to set realistic goals together. Start by planning ahead to set aside time to get together for an uninterrupted (TV and electronics off) family session. With pen and paper in hand, keep the following five points in mind as you discuss individual and family goals.
  1. Make short-term, mini goals: Whatever goals you decide to set, create a specific, short-term plan of action. For example: I want to get out of debt by paying off X amount each month for 12 months. Avoid setting more than about 3 goals at a time so you'll keep the focus on making progress without getting too overwhelmed by the sheer volume of goals.
  2. Evaluate yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. Avoid goals that are too strict or unreasonable, such as, saying you're going to cut out all treats when you naturally have a sweet tooth. Rather, give yourself one free day or allow one or two desserts a week. Consider involving a friend as support in reaching your goals, asking that they help keep you accountable.
  3. Write them down: Be it on sticky notes on the fridge, a journal kept in a certain spot, etc. give each goal a written title, plan of action, and date you want to accomplish it by. Refer to your list often and aim to stick to the plan.
  4. Revise and recommit: If you don't achieve a goal by the date you set, instead of abandoning ship altogether, revise it as necessary and set a new date. Turn any discouragement quickly into a second chance. If you need extra reminders or motivation, keep sticky note quotes around the house that will help remind you of your vision.
  5. Celebrate each success: It requires a lot of tireless effort to achieve your goals so be sure to celebrate when you do! Have a night out, buy yourself something new, or other reward of your choice. Tell family and friends and let them be excited for you, too!
Now you're ready to set your goals, go for it! See what you can accomplish in 2016!
Happy New Year!

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