5 SMART Ways To Help Kids Stay Focused With New Year’s Resolutions 

Making New Year’s resolutions is a yearly rite for millions. With such a number, you would be surprised to find out that in most times, people do not stick it out with their goals. A University of Scranton research study suggests that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals. This is because most of resolutions made are vague and non-specific. Therefore, to help your kid stay focused with new year’s resolutions, it is important to adopt the SMART goal setting approach, which brings structure and traceability into the new year’s objectives. In fact, it is one of the most effective, yet least used tools for achieving goals. SMART means – (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)ttainable, (R)elevant, and (T)imely.

1. Specific

No matter how many things your child would like to accomplish this year, parents should ensure their goals are specific and detailed. If your child’s new year’s resolution is to improve their Chinese language skills, guide them to plan and write words like- “I want to read a Chinese storybook 30 minutes before bed every night”, this makes their resolutions clear.


2. Measurable

It is important to break down your kid’s one-year goal into measurable elements and help them to constantly check their plan of progress. This allows a higher chance of your child actually achieving resolutions. If reading two Chinese storybooks every night is too much for your little one,  reduce it to one book a night to keep them interested. Also, it is healthy to do regular check ins on them – once a month or once a week, depending on the difficulty of the tasks. So, even if your child misses the tasks or encounters any struggle, the plan can be then adjusted immediately.


3. Attainability

No matter how big or small your child’s goal is, parents should always be realistic with their resolutions, and they should also teach their children to be realistic too.  Your child may want to become a great musician like Beethoven in the new year, but let’s face it, such goals are unattainable and definitely unrealistic for a child. Being overly ambitious is a recipe for great disappointment.

Thus, it is best to change the goal to something like, “This year, I want to practice the piano for 30 minutes every day”, taking turtle steps towards a big resolution is actually easier to manage.


4. Relevance

Building your child’s inner desire is critical in helping them to achieve their goals. When you assist your little one in making a plan, you can explain to them the benefits of achieving this goal, especially if the goal is relevant to their lives. As such, they will have more motivation to achieve it! For instance, when you read a Chinese storybook with your child, you can explain to them that as long as they read a Chinese storybook daily for 30 minutes, they will be able to have a fluent conversation with their friends in China in the future. This will be a great motivation for them for them to keep at reading.


5. Timely

Time is money. We all know that deadlines are what make most people switch from “thought to action.” So, set different deadlines for different goals for your child when planning. Decide which plans should be done before the summer vacation and which ones can be finished after – up to the end of the year. Segregate the time frames clearly and they will find more ease in achieving their goals. However, remember to keep the timeline realistic and flexible, that way, you can keep your kid’s morale high, and keep them encouraged in making new year resolutions again next year.

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