A simple exercise to set (and reach) your New Year’s goals.
Let’s be real, how many times have you told yourself that this is the Year you will stick to your New Year’s resolutions? Then, as February 1st rolls around, you realise your attempts to get to the gym, to eat more greens and to be a more patient mum have all been rather feeble. By March, you are down to the one resolution to just make one bed in the house every day.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, take heart in the statistic that at least 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail and a large proportion of them are forgotten by the 1st February. Why is it so hard to make a few well-intentioned goals become top priorities and achievable?
There are many reasons why resolutions can fail but here are the top 3:
- Your resolutions are based on what you think other people or society wants of you
- They are too vague
- There is no set plan in place highlighting how to achieve them
Although it may seem a good idea then to just abandon the idea of New Year’s resolutions (considering that life as a mum is pretty hectic at the best of times), they can have a very beneficial and lasting effect on your entire family. They are simply promises to yourself to improve your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you by being aware of what you do daily or weekly.
Goal Setting is one life lesson that can be taught and demonstrated by making New Year’s resolutions as a family. This is a skill that is not inherent but needs to be learnt and practiced, so whilst you are shedding those extra Christmas kilo’s you are also teaching your little ones an important life skill.
The Year of Resolutions exercise
Instead of writing down a few large resolutions for the whole year, break them down into monthly resolutions or monthly goals for each family member. This means that you don’t have to wait until January 1st next year to start this exercise, you can start whenever you like.
1. Take a large sheet of paper that can be divided into equal sections for each family member. To get the most benefit out of this exercise and increase the chance of success, it’s preferable if all family members can be involved.
2. Ask everyone to come up with 2 or 3 goals for the month. These goals should be age appropriate and achievable. If your little ones are too small to write their own goals, you can help them make some but be sure to include them in the conversation. For example, you could set your 4 year old the goal of pouring the milk in their cereal bowl or making their own jam sandwich.
3. Place this sheet of goals where the whole family can see it on a regular basis, such as the fridge or the TV room. This makes everyone feel accountable for his or her goals and acts as a daily reminder of what they are trying to achieve for the month.
4. At the beginning of each month, sit down as a family (maybe over some ice cream or other treats) to talk about how many of your goals you achieved or worked at during the month.
5. Create a new monthly list of goals for each family member. If some of the goals from the month before were not met, you can simply repeat them again. This may mean that you need to help your little ones or partner with breaking their goals down into action points.
6. At the end of the year you can collect the monthly lists of goals and remind everyone about how much they have achieved throughout the year. A lesson learnt in setting yourself small goals, staying accountable, having fun achieving them and feeling proud of your own accomplishments. These lessons are not only invaluable to your smallest family members, but also for all of us mums and our partners too.
This “Year of Resolutions” exercise can easily be turned into a family tradition that can be passed down through generations. It is a modern family take on the idea of setting New Year’s resolutions and it’s a fun, rewarding way to encourage communication and build stronger bonds within your family (and it’s a bonus if you end up with a tidier house and clothes that fit a little looser).
Have you or your family made any New Year’s resolutions for the coming year? Share them with us in the Melville Mums Facebook Group.
Happy New Year’s from the Melville Mums team!