Like most of you, the Christmas rush is slowly fading into the recess of my memory. I love the days between Christmas and New Year because no one seems to know what day it is or what time it is. Days drift into one another filled with early morning or late night swims; constant snacking, lazy afternoons curled up in the sun with a good book or magazine. Oh, the bliss of it all And now a New Year we have ushered in. We’ve said goodbye to 2017, and for some, I’m sure it was with joy that you said farewell to the year. I know it’s been a tough one for many. For others, it may have been a smooth slide into 2018 without much to say goodbye to. Whatever the case, we are now faced with the blank canvas of a New Year, and that’s an exciting thought.
From all of us at Little Miracles, we want to be some of the first to wish all of our incredible families a very Happy New Year. We are confident that this year is going to be filled with milestones reached, much love, laughter and community and we can’t wait to walk the days, weeks and months out with your little ones and your family.
As I reflect on 2017 and look forward to 2018, I find myself pondering the past and wonder what it was like for you. Was 2017 Chaotic? Peaceful? Energised? Organised? Maybe there are other words you would use to describe the year. It might be helpful to find a piece of paper, a few moments to yourself and reflect on this. Did you set goals for 2017 and if so, what were they? Can you remember? Are they goals that were achieved or will they travel into 2018 with you?
Or, if the goals were reached, how did you celebrate? Were they public or private goals? All of this is interesting territory to explore. It helps us to look forward and make some concrete decisions about the year ahead. Our past successes and failures (whatever they look like) can build or bleed in the coming year.
As you think about 2018 and setting some new goals or desires, I think it’s important to consider the language we use when creating our list. Our goals are personal, and with that, it’s crucial to begin with a positive mindset and that, of course, starts in our thinking but translates into our language. As an example of this, you may be thinking that you want to shed a few pounds in the coming year. So, instead of focusing on the ‘I want to lose weight’ which may or may not have been successful in the past, perhaps focussing on and using language surrounding health would be more beneficial to your plan/goal than focusing on the weight. So, using language like ‘I want to be healthier and want to make healthy food choices that will benefit my body, soul and spirit’. This becomes more of a goal and plan than a resolution.
A New York Times article I found encourages us to be SMART with our goal-setting. That is be Specific. Make it something you can Measure and Achieve. Is it Relevant to your current stage in life? Be Time-bound (set a timeframe) to make your chosen goal not drag on through the entire year.
Do not put pressure on yourself – instead, embrace the difficulty with strength and encouragement from others, share your goals and keep yourself accountable in that way. Pick easy goals too. Do not be defeated but slowly increase their length and intensity. Goal setting is intensely personal. And, as always, remember we are body, soul and spirit and it is important that we heed our attention in all areas, so we have a holistic approach to 2018.
Goal setting with kids.
It is equally important to pass on the knowledge of personal goal-setting to your children.
They are young, but they understand far beyond their years. Here is an article in which the strategies for setting goals with children were as follows:
- get the idea across
- start small
- let them choose
- be alert to possibilities
- provide a reality check
- applaud the effort
These ideas are great and likewise can become an intertwined lesson with teaching children the value of understanding hard work and recognising their accomplishments. Sit down with your children and brainstorm some things that they would like to achieve and accomplish this year. Like the guides given to adults – be SMART (see above) and help your children to make plans for hobbies, learning a musical instrument, liking school or starting a new sport.
A way to move on this beautiful growth journey together is choosing the same goals. Help your children to read more. And you can do the same. Create a reading chart and decorate it! Choose a certain amount of available books that they would be happy to tackle or maybe to embrace their creative talents (and you can pick this as a goal at the same time!)
Making sure you support their endeavours (and see the results and joy when goals are achieved) will furthermore encourage you to be an example and follow your own.