After the chaos of the holidays, the new year feels like the perfect time to slow things down and reset. The house and our minds can feel full from the hubbub of gifts, decor, and food. Try to simplify and declutter, starting with a clean house and clean slate. Involve the entire household in this process, kids included!
Kids play such an important role in how each day plays out in the home. Asking them to take part in setting the tone for the new year makes sense-- whether the hope is exciting and bright, or simple and safe. Giving them a voice and choice will empower them (and you!) to thrive throughout the year.
One way to set the tone for a great year is to consider new intentions. Resolutions can feel BIG, and often crumble or fade if they are not carried out with gusto. Intentions are forgiving and meaningful-- a positive path to pave the way to a successful new year. Here are some tips on starting the new year off right-- with positivity, forgiveness, and intention.
"I will...", "I'd like to...", "I hope to..." are all positive phrases to start the season right. Keep the phrases hopeful as you set the tone for the new year, and encourage your kids to do the same. Accepting everyone's ideas is a must; each of us deserves a fresh start. If you are open to it, you will learn something new along the way.
You may hear your fifth grader state their intention to star in the NBA by next year's end-- way to reach for the stars! While the NBA may not be realistic right now, there is no need to knock them down a peg. Instead, you can suggest some smaller steps to get them closer to their dreams. Something like, 'That's amazing! How many times per week do you think you should practice?' will help them feel heard and offer realistic baby steps to reach their larger goal.
There are dreams and then there is the reality. Intentions, resolutions-- whatever you want to call them, there will be good days and bad, but that doesn't mean the dream is dead! Like any mission, diet, or goal, setbacks are part of the experience. If your child's intention was to be nicer to her brother but she spent the afternoon like the Grinch Who Stole Nice, she can still sleep soundly knowing tomorrow is another day to do better. Consider each day a fresh start building upon another.
Adventures come in different shapes and sizes. Whether you intend to climb Mt. Washington or the mound of laundry that looms, make it real and make it yours. Set achievable goals and intentions and support each family member in the process.
Making an intention sets the stage for a new way of thinking or feeling. Good intentions still take work. Brainstorm a variety of steps and ideas to get you closer to your mission. This is where you can provide the most support for your children, and lead by example.
'I will be calm' or easier going may be an intention you chose. Being easy going can present itself in many different forms. You can say "yes" more often, choose to clean less often or let go of some control. Having other family members choose meals and activities is another great way to start.
'I am thinking positive.' You may want to try using a gratitude journal, considering the small, but significant wins in each day. Meditation may help your positive promise, or shift saying no to saying yes.
'I will be healthier.' Let the entire family get in on this goal. Find time to take walks together, play tag or simply head out on your own. Letting your family in on your intentions may shift their thinking to do the same, or at least help you in the process. Whether it is becoming more willing to eat more greens at dinner or cheering you on in your change, support is always welcome.
Considering many different ways to follow through with your intentions and goals will not only offer more choices but provide a more direct path to success. Whatever your intention, we wish you and your family all the best. Together you will know how to set the tone right and find new ways to shine brightly this year!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Rethinking New Year's Resolutions.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
About the author: Elease Colcord is a funny and reflective writer. Her stories blend humor and compassion-- offering light-hearted lessons to learn from and grow. As a former Head of School and mother of two teenagers, experience and humility lead the way. Elease is the voice behind The Sunny Side of Something her personal blog about parenting, humor, food & living simply. Her articles have been featured in publications such as Scary Mommy, Parent.co, Today Parents, Motherly, Goldiebox, Medium and Thrive Global. You can enjoy her daily antics on Instagram, Facebook,Pinterest or roaming the streets testing her jokes.