As we near the end of January (How did THAT happen?), New Year’s resolutions, for many, have already gone by the wayside (What was that about a gym membership?). But at my house, where we set goals instead of resolutions, I am still going strong on my year of all things “better.”
With this in mind, my friends at Stonyfield invited me to expand upon my earlier annual planning by involving my family in setting goals for 2015. This was a great motivation to get my kids—my seven-year-old son, R, and my five-year-old daughter, G—to think about what they’d like to accomplish this year. However, despite my enthusiasm for the idea, getting R and G to focus on goals was a challenge (G, after all, is at an age where what her Hello Kitty will wear to stuffed animal day at kindergarten is the.most.important.thing.ever.) but it was definitely worth exploring. (It’s not too early to get them to think about goal setting, right?) So my husband and I sat down with the kids last week to discuss their hopes and plans for the year. Our conversation went a little like this…
Me: Tonight, we’re going to set goals for the year.
G: What’s a goal?
Me: It’s something you want to achieve, something you want to do.
G: I want to go swimming.
Me: OK, that’s good – you’re taking swimming lessons soon. Then, you’ll be able to work on being a better swimmer.
R: I want to get a dog. Can we get a dog? (You may have noted that he has been on this dog theme for a while; the kid is noting if not committed to his cause.)
My husband: Maybe….
R: I know! I want to do chores and get an allowance. Then, I’ll save up my allowance to get a dog! (This kid really doesn’t give up; tenacity does not need to be one of his goals for 2015.)
My husband and I then had a conversation with the kids about chores, with my husband explaining to R that he was old enough to help take out the trash and recycling each week, to make his bed every day (R is not a fan of making the bed), and to, of course, pick up his toys and books before bedtime. For G, we suggested setting the table for dinner, making her bed daily, and picking up her toys and books. Both kids clear their dishes after each meal, too. The kids seemed on board with having official chore responsibilities, so we’re working on setting up a regular schedule for them. As for an allowance to save up for that dog….? Well, that’s still under discussion.
As much as I hadn’t anticipated discussing getting a dog this year, I love that my son took the initiative to solve a problem by developing a plan (though, for the record, I do not see a lack of a dog as a problem; only R does!). Developing initiative and critical thinking skills are definitely on our list of things we want the kids to focus on in 2015.
After my recent experience with the flu, being healthy is another of our family goals for 2015. To that end, my husband and I goad remind each other to exercise, and we get the kids outside as much as possible. Skiing, running around, biking, sledding, and going for walks; integrating movement and exercise into their days will, we hope, set them for a lifelong practice of being active.
We’re also continuing our commitment to fill our kids with healthy food. We joined a CSA last summer that had us exploding in kale, carrots, and other vegetables. We’ll sign up again this summer. We’re currently part of a monthly farm share, which connects us to humanely-raised, hormone, and chemical free meat. We’re proud to support local agriculture and to put food on our table that’s good for us. We’ll continue to embrace organic choices in our food buying and look for ways to minimize sugar and avoid additives. Oh, and we’ll make our food interesting; after all, if my kids won’t eat the good stuff we make, this goal will be impossible to achieve.
And what a year it will be if we just do responsible things! We’re also going to have fun. We’re planning to trip to visit family overseas. We’ll have a busy summer: a week at beach—a wonderful thought on this cold, snowy day; camp for the kids; and another Summer Bucket List. Perhaps a trip to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary this autumn.
Our 2015 family goals feel doable to me, very much because they are based in how we want to live our lives. And, those are the best goals after all.
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.