The beginning of a year is the time for starting afresh with renewed energy in everything we do. It always feels great to make promises to ourselves of the standards we plan to achieve. But what really happens thereafter, is another story, more often than not. A popular study from the University of Scranton suggests that only eight per cent of us achieve our resolution goals. Something called the ‘False Hope syndrome’ -- a vicious cycle of making and breaking resolutions and marching on regardless, sets in most of the times. For children, sticking to their goals will need plenty of motivation and few nudges from the adults.
That said, there are ways to stay true to our resolutions and what better time than a new year to tap into fresh energy and turn things around for ourselves and our little ones. Read on to uncover 10 ways to help your child stick to her New Year goals…
1. In it together
First and foremost, we have to lead by example and go through the grind of making our own resolution work, so that our kids follow suit. This also creates a fun and competitive environment at home, which keeps everyone motivated towards their respective aspirations.
2. Resolution by heart
The goal has to be something your child is passionate about and wants to take up. Only then will he hold himself accountable and strive to achieve it. Sit down with him and help him chalk out a doable plan. This will set him up for success.
3. Less is more
The resolution that your child makes should be an achievable one and needs to be defined in specific terms. Ideally, it should not be something that the child will see as a chore and will lose interest in soon enough. It is better to set out to get a small win than achieve nothing at all.
4. Mirror Mirror on the wall
Set a time on a monthly basis to simulate a formal review meeting, but it should be done in a playful and fun way. Let your child present his progress. This will not just help your family enjoy some theatrical fun together, but also keep things on track.
5. Quid Pro Quo
This literally means ‘something given for something taken’. Let us take the example that your child has resolved to save up to about Rs 100 every month from the pocket money she gets. Now every time she falls short on the savings at the end of the month, you can mutually decide a penalty, which she would need to complete the coming month. This could range from her helping you with household responsibilities to limiting screen time.
7. Help me, Kiddo
You’ve got to be democratic with today’s uber-smart kids. Ask them for what you can do right on your resolutions as well. Involve them in your journey, maybe this will indirectly help them in theirs.
8. Surprise Surprise
When you see your child progress well on their plan, surprise them with something small but impactful to further boost their spirits. The gift need not necessarily be a material one but an experience that you can give them. The objective of the surprise is to stay on track and not deviate from the course. For example, it could be allowing her to go to that school party she never got permission for earlier or a simple pastry and chips party at home for her.
9. Time out
Every job needs a holiday. Decide before hand, the times of the year when your child can take a break from the resolution. This will be a good opportunity for him to get back with renewed vigour and learn how to rebuild momentum.
10. I messed up! Now what?
So what if your child isn’t able to stick to the resolution. The important thing is that she is trying. If you see her spirits go down, just shift focus and cheer her up. It is not about the number of times we fail but the number of times we get up, to make our resolve stronger than before. We can only make things happen with patience and perseverance.
Abraham Lincoln had said, "Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality." This is the mood we need to go with while making our resolutions. Encourage your children to not just be motivated but also committed to successfully taking their resolution through.