New Year's Resolutions for the Whole Family

December 31, 2021

New Year's Resolutions
for the Whole Family

The new year is the perfect time to reflect on the ups and downs of the last 12 months. As you set your personal goals for the year ahead, consider looping in your children. Even little resolutions can make a big impact on your child’s — and your entire family’s — life. 

Here are some benefits of making New Year’s resolutions with your kids:

1. Boosting Family Togetherness

Resolutions can be good for children and families because they foster teamwork and support. Families come together and encourage one another, inspiring healthier habits for the whole family.

2. Understanding Time and Resource Management

Creating and following through with resolutions helps children learn how to plan. Break goals into smaller steps and provide resources to help your kids meet their goals, or alter their schedules should difficulties arise.

3. Learning Accountability

Setting a goal naturally encourages a level of accountability and responsibility. Helping your child with their goal makes you reflect on your goals, too, and motivates you to model positive behaviors for them.

4. Boosting Mastery and Self-Confidence

Increased self-confidence can be a wonderful result of achieving goals attached to New Year’s resolutions for kids. Make sure their goals are small, realistic and accomplishable at first. When they’re successful, it bolsters their confidence and makes them feel they can set bigger goals.

How to Guide Children
in Their New Year’s Resolutions

Decide on goals as a family and let your kids originate their own ideas from self-reflection so they can commit to them. Your role is to guide and fine-tune each child’s ideas to be reasonable and realistic. Make a family resolution plan and work together to set family goals as well as each child’s personal goals.

If ideas come up, seek help from the appropriate expert, such as your child’s pediatrician, or get a specialized referral if necessary. It’s always a good idea to discuss your child’s health goals with their pediatrician or family medicine physician because this person knows your child and can offer guidance and support on a clinical and personal level. 

“The healthiest families I’ve seen are the families that do activities together,” said Shiv Patel, MD, Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South sports medicine orthopedic surgeon. “Health literacy and health outcomes start from childhood on. If you have a foundation and knowledge since your childhood, you’re set up for success when you get older.”

Goal-Setting Tips

Start with short-term, attainable goals and stick to two to four goals at one time. Schedule routine check-in periods to reinforce accountability and make sure to recognize accomplishments, no matter how small. 

To Reward or Not Reward

When it comes to resolutions or health goals, success alone should be the motivating factor to foster in kids. Self-accomplishment and verbal praise should be enough. It’s an important lesson to learn that not everything comes with monetary or tangible rewards.

Partnering to Help Families
Achieve Health Goals

While the start of the year is a perfect time for self-reflection and goal setting, healthy goals can be set at any point in the year as long as the entire family is on board, ready and willing to make the commitment together.

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