As the New Year begins, the topic of New Year’s resolutions rises to popularity like clockwork. Countless social media posts, news stories, and videos offer supportive resources and advice to help people create and stick to their New Year’s resolutions.
Parents and guardians, who make resolutions, often get their children involved in the activity. But according to research completed at Ohio University only 9% of Americans who make resolutions complete them. In fact, with a 91% failure rate, New Year’s resolutions could be doing more harm than good for children.
While the intent of resolutions is admirable, introducing your child to the art of goal setting is a better approach. Encouraging children to set goals and achieve small milestones rather than creating empty resolutions can shape their sense of fulfillment and happiness, nurturing essential life skills throughout the year ahead. Goals differ from resolutions because they include specific desired outcomes that are measurable. For instance, rather than a resolution to “read more”, a goal might be, “read one book a week.” Beyond January, goal setting is a year-round activity that can benefit children in numerous ways:
Building Confidence and Self-Esteem:
Children gain confidence when establishing and achieving objectives, no matter how small. Reaching these benchmarks offers children a sense of success and strengthens their confidence in overcoming obstacles. This increased self-assurance can help children in other areas of their lives by motivating them to take on more significant tasks and have faith in their skills.
Developing a Sense of Responsibility:
Setting goals involves planning, organization, and dedication. When kids commit to achieving their objectives, they learn the importance of responsibility and accountability. They begin to understand that their actions directly impact their outcomes, fostering a sense of ownership for their choices.
Enhancing Focus and Persistence:
Goal setting requires focus and determination. It teaches kids to prioritize tasks, manage their time effectively, and stay committed to their goals despite obstacles. These skills are invaluable as they grow and encounter more complex challenges in academics, sports, hobbies, and relationships.
Fostering Resilience and Adaptability:
Life is unpredictable, and setbacks are inevitable. When children experience setbacks while pursuing their goals, it presents an opportunity for them to learn resilience. They understand that failure is a part of the journey and can adapt by adjusting their strategies or setting new goals. This resilience becomes a crucial asset in facing future adversities.
Cultivating a Vision and Purpose:
Encouraging goal setting from an early age helps children develop a sense of direction and purpose. It instills in them the habit of thinking about the future and envisioning what they want to achieve. This long-term vision can guide their choices and actions, leading to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers examples of goal setting for kids of different ages that can make goal-setting an enjoyable and effective family activity. Our goal at Girls Know How…Provide monthly tips for parents and kids that empower kids to reach their full potentials and explore the careers of their dreams! Wishing you happiness in the New Year!