It's almost that time of year again! That time when you consider your resolutions for the year ahead, perhaps with goals for fitness, health, and all those other things that relate to you and how you want your life to be.

And as you look ahead to the new year yourself, why not encourage your children to do the same? As you make resolutions for yourself, ask them to do the same thing. But as you do, remember that their resolutions need to follow the same rules as yours do. They need to be specific, with a definite goal to reach, rather than an abstract target, and achievable, with resolutions that are realistic, and not something that will be hard to attain.

With that in mind, here are some typical resolutions we make at this time of the year, with some ideas for your children. Feel free to alter them in any ways that are relevant to your family.

Healthy eating resolutions

Want your children to eat healthier? Explain to them why they should, and then consider healthy resolutions ideas, such as…

  • I am going to eat something new every week, rather than turn my nose up at something I haven't tried before.
  • I am going to drink a glass of milk/water a day, in place of a glass of soda.
  • I am going to eat one piece of fruit a day, in place of a sugary snack.

Exercise resolutions

Outside of gym class at school, many children prefer a more sedentary lifestyle at home, with tv and video games in place of more active pursuits. Explain why exercise is important, and consider resolution ideas, such as …

  • I'm not going to complain when mommy suggests we go on a bike ride.
  • I am going to join a sports team at school this year.
  • I'm going to walk the dog once a day.

As Adults, we often vow to save more money at the start of the year, as well as looking for ways to earn more, and/or pay off our debts. Now is a good time to talk to your children about money, with resolutions to improve their mindset. Ideas include…

  • I am going to use Goalsetter to help me save up my pocket money for the things I want (instead of pestering mom and dad).
  • I am going to do more chores around the house to boost my pocket money.
  • I am going to do something good with some of the money I save, such as give to a particular charity once a month.

School resolutions

Many of us have resolutions that relate to work, such as making more of an effort to get a promotion or to be more hospitable to our colleagues. Help your children consider similar in relation to school, with resolutions including…

  • I am going to do more homework before I watch television.
  • I am going to be kinder to (insert name of the child here) from now on.
  • I am going to join an after-school activity this year.

As you make these resolutions with your children, make a note of them and refer to them at various points during the year. How are they getting on? If they fail at achieving them, show encouragement, rather than pushing them too hard, or berating them for mistakes made. And remember to be a good role model. Your children are more likely to make an effort with the resolutions they set if you are seen to do the same.

So, help your children make resolutions that are appropriate to them, and support them with their ideas. Resolutions are hard to keep, but as the parent, you can be the cheerleader to spur them on. And who knows? They might also encourage you to keep to the resolutions you have made for yourself too!

We wish you and your children every success and happiness in the new year!