January 1st signals an opportunity for a new beginning.  What are your resolutions?  Perhaps you want to read X books, lose X pounds, and make X dollars. Initially our competitive nature kicks in and it can be exciting to set goals and work to achieve them.  By January 31st though, most of us have moved on and forgotten about all the high hopes we had for the New Year.

This time around, my resolution is to GET REAL. Rather than focusing on a specific competitive goal, I resolve to focus on the more process-oriented goal of overall self-improvement.  At the end of the year I know I can look back at the small changes I’ve made and feel a sense of success. I must say, that feels way better than the failure of knowing I only lost half a pound and I started about 6 books and didn’t finish a single one!

We are competitive enough in our everyday lives that we deserve to give ourselves a little slack. Teaching this lesson of setting process-oriented goals to our children is also important because it can help to relieve kids’ anxiety and boost their self-esteem. This practice eliminates a need for perfectionism and leads to overall self-acceptance. See some examples of competitive goals versus more healthy resolutions for kids below:

 

Competitive Resolutions (Anxiety Provoking)                      Process-Oriented Resolutions (Esteem Building)

I will go to bed every night at 9:00                                                           I will get more restful sleep

I will make 3 new friends                                                                            I will enjoy my positive friendships

I won’t eat chocolate or pizza                                                                     I will eat more fruits and veggies

I will attend church every single Sunday                                                 I will strengthen my faith

I will go get straight A’s                                                                               I will enjoy learning at school and do my best work

I will come in first at my swim meets                                                       I will improve my swim times

I will workout  5 times a week                                                                    I will exercise often and spend less time on electronics

 

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