Tips to Setting Attainable Goals for Your Family in the New Year

By: Denise Daniels

It is that time of the year again when everyone is starting to talk about making New Year’s resolutions. This time-honored tradition brings a sense of hope and accomplishment to the New Year, but can often lead to frustration and disappointment when goals aren’t met.Here are a few suggestions to make attainable goals that the entire family can participate in while promoting good mental and physical health. Teaching children the importance of developing emotional intelligence (EQ) skills will help them foster the skills needed to cope with the ups and downs of the New Year ahead.

  • Start early and plan ahead– Beginning in December, think about the past year and the changes that you want your family to make in the next year.
  • Lead by example– It all begins with the parents. Strive to be an emotionally healthy parent and a good role model for your children so you can be a good parent.
  • Take time out to recharge as a family– Emotionally intelligent parents need to take time out for themselves to be healthy and happy instead of running on reserve. Often parents are over programmed – driving to and from activities for your children can deplete one’s energy. The same goes for “over-booking” your child’s schedule. Make sure to include some downtime so your child can have some “me” time.
  • Teach the value of setting goals and make it a family celebration/tradition -Making resolutions that you can stick to will teach your children about the value of goal setting in 2015. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote good mental and physical health. As a family, you can set attainable goals such as spending more time together or participating in charitable acts monthly. Have each member of the family set a goal for everyone to aspire to such as weekly family meetings, making dinner time family time and doing something active together on the weekends like bike riding or hiking. Spend time talking about things that really matter to you as a family, this will help kids with problem solving skills. Brainstorm until you find a solution as a family.
  • Ask yourself- What can I do better to make these goals attainable for my children? 
    • Create an environment that is conducive for children to share their feelings honestly and openly.
      • Be an empathetic listener- children need to be heard without judgment or being dismissed or belittled, validating their feelings is a good way to show that you love and understand them even if you don’t agree.
      • In an emotionally intelligent home, use “feelings” words so that your child learns to be expressive. Young children often lack those skills so peppering your conversation with words to express emotions will help your child become emotionally intelligent.
      • Consider your child’s age when setting these goals. Don’t set unrealistic expectations or goals. The resolutions should match the child’s age, level of emotional intelligence and family lifestyle as a whole.
Denise Daniels

Denise Daniels

Parenting and child development expert at Denise Daniels Parenting
Denise Daniels is a Peabody award-winning broadcast journalist, parenting and child development expert and author who specializes in the social and emotional development of children. Her books have reached more than 15 million parents and children offering practical, simple and essential advice on how to deal with grief, loss and family transitions, as well as the everyday challenges of growing up. Denise hosted her own daily parenting show, Parents Helper, on NBC’s cable network has appeared on numerous morning and primetime TV shows including Oprah, The View and was a regular contributor on TODAY.
Denise Daniels

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