There has been a lot of talk about New Year’s resolutions over the last few weeks, as there always is at the beginning of a new year. But this year I decided to research a new question: what kinds of New Year’s resolutions are homeschoolers in the Philadelphia area making? And what is the best way to stick with that resolution until you reach your goal? To find out, I did some research and talked with my sister and her friends about their resolutions.
My sister, a sophomore, said her resolution is to get on top of her homework and turn everything in on time this year. Her friend Nate’s resolution is to get a better SAT score and her friend Angela’s resolution is to eat less junk food. Her friend Shelby made a joint resolution with a friend: to exercise together.
The website The Homeschool Classroom has this to say about how homeschoolers should form & keep their resolutions:
“Breaking the process into steps makes it easier.
1. Set a realistic goal that has value or meaning to you. Don’t try to become a new person this year, just improve on one habit or trait. After you achieve your goal, you can always set another one. Goals that are too ambitious can end up making you feel discouraged.
2. All goals should be measurable. Write down the goal as well as what success looks like to you and why you want it. For a child, this could be, “I will learn to ride my bike without training wheels. I will be able to take bike rides with Dad and Mom.” Remembering your motivation is important in achieving goals. Having a clearly written measure of success lets you know when you have made it.
3. Create a plan to achieve your goal. For me, this part gets tricky. It is like the grand homeschool plan that gets thrown out week 4. Instead of making this rigid, I make a flexible plan. For completing a book, my plan would be: Buy it, read from it at least once a week, be halfway through by July, finish by Dec 31st. Your plan is really just a list of mini-goals that help you achieve the greater goal.
4. Use reminders. For my personal goals, I write notes in my planner to remind me to keep at it all year. This would work for an older child as well. You could also set up an accountability partner system where a child and their sibling, parent or friend ask each other about their goals.
5. Set a time line. For New Year’s resolutions, this is usually by the end of the year. However, you can set any date you want.
6. Celebrate success. I think it is really important to celebrate the things we have worked hard to achieve. This can be as simple a big family bike ride or as grand as a new bike. Find what fits your family and budget.”
I like this contributor’s checklist quite a bit. Structure is key to keeping resolutions!
Good luck, everyone!