The beginning of the New Year is a great time to show your kids the blessing of a new beginning. Their
resolutions can address a useful behavior change or empower them to work towards goals over time.
Either way, learning to write useful resolutions can create a meaningful activity which can stay with
them for years to come.
Suggestions for Student Resolution Writing
SMART goals – Even business execs use the SMART model. The goal needs to be:
- Specific – What will they do and how often to work toward the goal.
- Measurable – How they will track progress.
- Attainable – Pushes them forward but is realistic.
- Relevant & Results Oriented – Needs to be a goal they want to accomplish in the end.
- Time-bound – Has a deadline to be completed, perhaps with smaller deadlines along the way.
Parental Responses – Be positive about their goals. They might get discouraged but help them
enjoy their mini successes along the way. Never nag them about them. They should be
something they care about on their own. Even without reaching goals on time or as far, show
them what they did gain from the experience.
Parents as Role Models – Consider joining your kids in creating and working toward similar or
same goals. Even if your goals don’t exactly align, you can help each other with goals by
participating for encouragement. Share your own struggles or triumphs with your student and
celebrate their gains with them.
The benefits of creating resolutions can be many. Working towards goals can help your child learn
several personal skills such as self-awareness, esteem, reflection, and advocacy. Showing your kids how
to think critically about what they want to accomplish, how they can plan to do it, and how they will
know they are progressing toward a goal, leads to valuable adult skills. These include assessing their
own progress and evaluating their goal setting and results.