As we stand with the first two weeks of January behind us, the initial euphoria of the New Year has died down. Overenthusiastic goals have faded and been replaced by practical achievable ones. We are still, however, on a high with being dealt this hand of 365 new opportunities. It's a moment for reflection, to review goals set, to set some if you haven't yet, and to instill the importance of goal setting in our children.
As a parent, I cannot iterate enough the importance of setting examples. Children always look at us for inspiration. There was one particular new year morning I remember, when my older asked me about what new year resolutions were. I took this opportunity to tell him it was just a way to be motivated towards what we want to achieve. He immediately asked me to spell pollution for him and wrote reduce pollution as his resolution on the white board.
While this was a very long-term and tall task, I was impressed with his concern and took this opportunity to speak about simple goal settings, the joy of completing them and using the SMART technique. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
We started setting simple goals and rewarded ourselves with stickers each time we achieved it. Reading a book every night for a week was our first SMART goal. We faltered in week 1 but then did it successfully in week 2. I started setting goals like walking 10000 steps a day and shared my little victory with the kids. This sharing goals and realizing them together got us all excited and it became a habit eventually.
Cleaning our shoe drawers on the 1st of every month, eating one portion of fruit daily, learning 2 new words from the dictionary every Wednesday – small things became a part of our lives. We would list them and strike them out periodically making lists.
This is a small simple life lesson that goes a long way. To-Do lists and knowing that small actions everyday lead to a bigger impact in the long term and helps children not be overwhelmed with large tasks at hand. It also helps them plan better.
Hoping you can try this with your kids and for yourself soon.
Wishing you a great year ahead! And a happy Lohri, Bihu, Bhogi Pongal, Makar Sakranti to all those who celebrate these festivities...
Motivated & Joyous,