Sticky Notes - A Kid's Guide to New Year's Resolutions

A Kid's Guide to New Year's Resolutions

December 27, 2021 by Emily Moore

Here's a TOAST to BUTTER days ahead! Helping Kids Choose and Follow Through on New Year Resolutions...

January is a popular month for making resolutions, but most people have trouble making them stick. For children, whose brains are still developing, it can be even harder. These tips can help keep them on track:

1. Pick Just One Goal – brainstorm together as many ideas as you like, but have your child choose just one goal to focus on. Make sure it’s realistic, specific, and trackable. For example, if your resolution is to eat less meat, commit to "Meatless Monday"

2. Do it Together – everyone benefits from having an accountability partner, and you’ll also be modeling for your child what it looks like to set and keep a goal.

3. Make it Fun – you’re waaaayyy more likely to stick with a goal if it’s fun. So, if your kid’s goal is teeth brushing, use the time to read to them. Making their bed? Blast their favorite song while doing it. Getting more exercise? Set a weekly playground date. You get the idea. 

4. Piggy-back on an Existing Habit – Tying a new goal to an existing habit is much easier than starting from scratch, and it’s also more likely to be successful. Take stock of your existing habits and layer on a new one.

5. Track and Celebrate Progress Immediate rewards boost adherence to longer-term goals. Use a chart or app to easily track progress and set weekly or monthly rewards or mini celebrations for yourselves.  

While it’s important for kids to make their own resolutions, they often need guidance. Here are some ideas to get things rolling:

Preschool

Achieving small, simple tasks will help your children develop confidence in themselves and their abilities. Everyday tasks like these provide young children lots of opportunities to practice: ​​​​​​​

  • I will brush my teeth twice a day, after breakfast and before bed.
  •  I will wash my hands after using the bathroom.
  •  I will try every food on my plate, even if it's just one bite.
5-12 Years

Elementary-age kids can start to see the link between habits and outcomes with goals like:

  • To improve my grades, I’ll finish my homework every night.
  • To get better at the piano, I’ll practice every day.
  • To make friends, I’ll join a new club or sport.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Ages 13+

Teens usually prefer to come up with their own resolutions, but here are some ideas if they’re feeling stuck:

  • Eat fruits and/or vegetables with every meal & learn to cook.
  • Reduce daily screen time by 25%.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes of every day outside.
What’s that you say? Your New Year’s resolution is to cook more at home? Well, we’ve got just the classes for you!

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