5 New Year Resolutions for Kids That Will Make a Difference
We grownups tend to obsess over the same things when it comes to defining our resolve to become better people in the new year. We pledge to spend more time in the gym, eat better, and spend less on excess. Whether or not we stick to these goals, they have one thing in common – on their own they don’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. But when it comes to the future of our country, your children, a new year resolution takes on far greater significance. What they do today reverberates for decades to come and when a better foundation is laid for self-improvement their goals can make a big difference in their lives and even in the lives of others.
With a greater number of children joining the family in setting new year goals it’s important to provide them with some guidance. Below we have detailed a few fun ones that they can adopt that may not only serve them well today and tomorrow, but their own communities too.
Five Fun Yet Important New Year Goals for Your Children to Aim for in 2020 and Beyond
1. Less Screen Time, More Outdoor Play
Outdoor play leads to outdoor learning, and the proven benefits of the latter are resoundingly favorable. However, screen time (TV, tablets, smartphones) often gets in the way of outdoor play/learning which is what makes this goal so very important. Parent’s love the idea and often attempt to enforce it upon their children but it will have a greater chance of success when the child is the one to establish the goal in the first place. How do you make that happen? Give them options beyond “go play outside” by presenting them with tangible ideas. We have laid out seasonal inspirations below. Share them with your kids to help them plan and ultimately achieve this worthy goal.
- Outdoor learning experiences on a family bike ride
- Outdoor learning activities for rainy days
- Spring break outdoor learning activities
- Summer vacation outdoor learning activities
- Outdoor learning activities in the winter
- Outdoor activities for all four seasons
Lastly, another way to help them with the transitional goal is to tap into (pun intended) their “screens” by leveraging smartphone/tablet applications that actually focus on outdoor learning. You can view some top outdoor learning apps here.
National Volunteer Week is a few months away, but there is no better time than now to get started on this resolution. Have your child identify a cause that is close to their heart and find an outlet where which they can volunteer to help. Depending upon their age they may be able to volunteer at a local animal shelter, hospital, or charitable organization. If they don’t meet the age requirements there will be a local community garden than will be more than happy to have their tiny green thumbs dig in the dirt to help out.
3. Become an Example of Sustainably
Kids today are far more conscious about the environment than prior generations ever were, so the initial education required to get them moving on this goal is minimal. You can start by asking them to take the lead in serving as an example of sustainability in your own household. They will love the chance to spearhead this initiative, especially when it involves giving mom or dad heck for tossing a soda can in the trash or not taking a reusable bag along on a trip to the grocery store. You can make this goal more fun for them by suggesting that they decorate old pails, buckets, or bins from around the home/garage and delegate them as receptacles for landfill, compost, and recyclables. They can take their eco-friendly resolutions beyond the home environment too, with weekly beach clean-ups (where viable) and the like. Your household’s carbon footprint will be significantly reduced when led by your child’s baby steps.
4. Mentor Someone Younger
A child mentor? Absolutely! If your kid is old enough to take charge of their own new year goals then why not serve as an example for someone younger, someone who looks up to them? This can be their own younger sibling or cousin, but quite possibly through a peer-helper program at their school (more on this below) or local community center. Your child can make a conscious effort to take a little buddy under their wing to lead them by example about some of the very same initiatives that we addressed above – outdoor learning and the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) concept – or literature, arts, and athletics. This goal teaches them to learn and exercise patience while fostering their leadership ability.
5. Start Something at School
In the past kids may have avoided setting new year goals because they felt somewhat powerless over their ability to take charge of a given situation, especially when it pertains to the place they spend most of their time – school. But the tides are changing in 2020 as teachers, administrators, and curriculums as a whole are learning to value input from those they seek to educate. Your child may have set one or all of the goals above, but may not currently find a channel for them at school. Is there no outdoor learning program in place? A limited number of recycle and compost bins in the halls? No peer-helper program? No charity drives? Then why not be the one to initiate one these programs (as applicable) with some help from you? A detailed proposal can be presented to their teachers who can then take the action plan to school administrators. Even if the program doesn’t get a pass, their teachers will likely institute some form of the program in the class where they have more control. At the very least they will appreciate the initiative that your child has shown and that will certainly reflect well on their future assessments. It’s a win-win that also teaches your child about taking the bull by the horns when it comes to something they’re passionate about.
If you are looking for ways to fulfill new years goals as a household by getting involved in a worthy cause we encourage you to learn more about our Foundation’s causes here. Here’s to an amazing new year ahead!