Parents in Action: Reaching goals as family

A new year brings new resolutions.  But sometimes, parents don't successfully accomplish them due to lack of time or life's stresses. That's why creating exercises and activities that involve parents and kids can help families achieve New Year's resolutions together. This exercise creates a great bonding experience between parents and children while helping everyone, including mom and dad, visualize their own goals for 2013.

Step One:  Make a Vision Board

• Parents and children collect and cut out words, images, and artwork and take pictures of things they want or wish for. Divide into categories like Health, School, Family, Career, and Life.
• Glue the items on one board.  Be creative and have fun.  Add color, objects or write inspirational words across images.
• Hang the vision boards in a prominent place in your house so everyone can reflect on it every morning before they get up and every night before they go to bed.  Tuck your kids in at night by talking to them about their vision board and reading a book that may be related to one of their goals.
• For teenager's and parents, visit for great ideas on how to get the most out of your vision boards.

Step Two:  Write down your goals

• Have the entire family write down the things they want or wish for in life in 2013.  Again, they can use ideas that reflect Health, School, Family, Career, and Life…
• Each family member can read their list and explain the items they wrote down translating them into goals if they need it.  Parents can help children prioritize their list and make suggestions on how to achieve them.
• After the goals are organized they can start breaking each goal out to come up with a plan of action to achieve each goal.  Let the children come up with ways to achieve their goals.  Some may need guidance and be educated on what their goals may really entail, however you will be surprised how much they do know about things that interest them.
• Goals may need to be broken down.  For instance if they say "I want to be rich", then this becomes an awesome opportunity to TEACH your kids the hard work, dedication, education it takes to reach that goal and to TEACH what it means to be "rich and happy".

Step Three:  Celebrate and Reflect on the Achievements

• Once the first goal is reached be sure to celebrate this great achievement! Whether it's yours or theirs!  Lead by example and involve them.
• Discuss how easy it was to reach the goal when they took the time to think about it and work towards it.
• Make this an annual event you do together every January.  You can reflect on last year's goals, which help make this year's goals even easier.
• Encourage older children to keep a diary or blog about their resolutions.  The more they write about it the more they learn how to achieve the goals and believe in them.
• Hold on for the goal-reaching ride.  Once they experience the sense of accomplishment, they will work even harder to reach other goals.

Children thrive on this quality time with their parents. It gives them a great feeling of being a part of "Team Family", a sense self-worth and confidence.  And by doing this exercise, they learn that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.  Having a purpose and reaching goals will help them become happy, independent, successful adults and that is what we all wish for.


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