New Year’s Resolutions: A Family Conversation

With the new year approaching, many people see it as a great time to set resolutions to eliminate bad habits and tackle tasks that have been sitting on to-do lists for what feels like an eternity.  Setting New Year’s resolutions also presents parents with an opportunity to discuss goal setting with their kids. Turning it into a family activity can make the process more fun and exciting.

Why is this important to the DAPC and our mission? Setting and working towards goals can help kids stay intrinsically motivated to make safe and healthy choices. Helping children and teens to value their futures, both short and long-term, and understand how each decision can affect those futures, is crucial in helping prevent drug use and other problem behaviors.

When helping your kids understand and set goals, keep the following points in mind:

  • Explain the difference between short-term and long-term goals and the importance of each. Help your child come up with both short and long-term goals that are important to them.
  • Help them set reachable goals. Challenging goals that are possible yet difficult to reach (e.g., learning a new sport, instrument or language) can encourage a good work ethic and responsibility. Goals that are impossible to reach (e.g., a 2nd grade student making it to the NBA within the year) can tear down confidence and motivation.
  • After goals are set, help come up with a plan to reach them. Goals and resolutions can feel overwhelming and if someone doesn’t know where to begin, they may be tempted to just give up. Help your child break their goal down into smaller, more manageable steps.
  • Discuss how to handle setbacks on the path to reaching their goals. Overcoming obstacles along the way will give them hands on experience building skills of resilience and perseverance.

New Year Ahead , Road sign , 3d render

Click here for ideas for turning this discussion into a family game.

The DAPC wishes everyone a happy and healthy New Year!