Choosing a New Year's resolution helps kids set a goal and work toward achieving it. Resolutions can be big or small and should be focused on the child's personal goals and desires. Helping your child create their own goals is a great way to bond and support their development.
Resolution Ideas for Kids Ages Three to Five
This list of short-term resolutions is perfect for preschoolers ages three to five who tend to prefer immediate gratification, although you can work on delayed gratification related goals as well. When kids are this young, it's a good idea to help them create age appropriate goals.
- Independently complete one specific household chore every day or week.
- Learn to write your full name.
- Memorize your parents' phone numbers.
- Pack your own snack for school each day.
- Let a friend borrow a game or toy for a week.
- Have a five-minute dance party every day for exercise.
- Give away ten pictures you've drawn.
- Join a kids' sports team or specialty class.
- Taste one new food every week.
- Choose two screen-free days each week.
Resolution Ideas for Ages Five to Seven
Kids in this age group should be able to brainstorm their own ideas with a little help and write them out. If your child gets stuck and is having a hard time, feel free to give them a few examples of some simple goals.
- Write one letter each month to a family member who doesn't live with you.
- Spend 15 minutes a day reading with a person or animal in your house.
- Donate one old toy each week/month.
- Give five different people a compliment every week.
- Play with every toy you own at least once during the year.
- Donate any items of clothing you don't wear for six months.
- Invent a new game and play it with your family.
- Wash your hands for two minutes before and after every meal.
- Start a gratitude journal and write down two things you are grateful for everyday.
- Do kids' yoga every morning before school.
Resolution Ideas for Ages Eight to Ten
Older kids' resolutions can be more focused, abstract, and can extend outside themselves.
- Sit next to someone different at lunch each day/week.
- Help make dinner once a week.
- Choose one author and read every book they've written.
- Learn about ten historical figures you've never heard of before.
- Start a club.
- Write letters to all your favorite athletes or celebrities.
- Watch the entire series of a show your parents watched when they were kids.
- Designate a screen-free week every month.
- Meet five business owners in your community.
- Open a kids' savings account and set a savings goal.
Family Resolution Ideas
If you've got kids of all different ages, consider creating family resolutions you'll all have to work on together. Setting family goals can be a great way to connect with each other and support one another.
- Leave a motivational note in the house where everyone can see it each week.
- Host family game night on the last Friday of every month.
- Eat dinner with your grandparents once per week.
- Create a photo book or scrapbook of the year's family highlights.
- Secretly do one nice thing for one other family member each week.
Classroom Resolution Ideas
Let kids brainstorm goals for the class or classroom then vote on one or two. Setting classroom goals can help create a sense of unity within the classroom setting and creates an opportunity for connection amongst peers.
- Collect 100 books for the classroom library.
- Perform a random act of kindness for every other person in the class before the end of the year.
- Celebrate every holiday listed on a standard calendar, including those in other countries.
- Make a yearbook that only includes your classmates and your classroom's accomplishments.
- Make your classroom green by recycling, swapping out paper towels for washable ones, using reusable plates, and banning straws.
How Parents Can Help With Resolutions
Aim to be a good role model and follow the same guidelines for your own resolutions as you set for your kids. Then, help kids write and choose an appropriate resolution. If you or your child are unable to reach the goals you have set, take this opportunity to speak with them about being flexible, altering goals, and the importance of trying your best.
Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Resolutions and Goals
Keep in mind it's best to teach your child about setting goals that carry some intrinsic meaning versus extrinsic. With intrinsic goals, there may be a higher drive to reach them and a better feeling of pride and accomplishment afterwards because the goal is actually meaningful to them. This is a great skill to carry into adulthood so find as many opportunities as you can to teach them about creating personal, meaningful, and purposeful goals.
How to Write a Resolution
Kids' New Year's resolutions should come from their own ideas and follow a few simple guidelines:
- Stay positive - Word it as something you are going to do rather than something you're going to stop doing.
- Be realistic - Set goals that are achievable within the year so you don't set yourself up for disappointment.
- One is enough - Choose only one or two goals to keep from getting overwhelmed.
- Break it down - Take your final resolution and break it into smaller steps to help you achieve it.
- Schedule a check-in - Set a check-in time or several on specific dates so you don't forget to track your progress.
Resolution Activities for Families
Once you've decided on your resolution, work together to create visual displays that will keep you focused all year.
- Use New Year's resolution layouts and charts to keep track of each family member's resolution and their progress throughout the year.
- Have kids send a New Year's card to grandparents to share their resolutions.
- Create New Year's Eve crafts like a fortune cookie to brainstorm resolution ideas. On New Year's, each family member can pick one fortune cookie and use its note as their resolution.
Set Goals for the New Year
Kids of any age can choose a New Year's resolution and ring in the new year with motivation and a plan of action. Incorporate your child's resolution into New Year's Eve or Day activities to make them feel more special and concrete.