Look forward to all the new year will bring
The calendar will soon turn, and you will have a whole year before you. What will you do? Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, why not tap into the positive image of possibility that lies beyond January 1st, and take your family into adventures all year long!
This year I will…
Write down (or print out) the phrase: This Year I Will…, then have your children list as many things as they can. Prompt them with reminders of a few expected events, but also encourage them to consider things they want to make happen. For example, a child may write: This Year I Will turn six, start first grade, learn how to ride a two-wheeler, and go to Grandma’s for my first long overnight without Mom and Dad.
Ask younger children to draw pictures of what they hope will come in the next year. You can then write a description of what each one depicts.
While your children are working on their lists, write your own. Again, start off with the occurrences you can be fairly certain will happen. Note any special events you are looking forward to. Then list things you would like to see take place.
Consider also creating a family list. There may be some overlap with the individual lists, but it doesn’t matter. The important thing is to take the opportunity to look ahead at how you will spend time as a family.
Power in writing
Just having written those thoughts down will make a difference. As Henriette Anne Klauser says in her book, Write It Down, Make It Happen, the act of putting a goal in writing stimulates a part of your brain that filters out the unnecessary and non-urgent and latches on to what is relevant to the stated goal. “Once you write down a goal, your brain will be working overtime to see you get it,” says Klauser.
In practical terms, it means you will pause and pay attention when information related to one of your “This Year I Will” desires comes up. If your intention to take up watercolour painting for example, you will be more likely to notice the article in the local paper about a woman opening a studio to offer art classes. Plus, you will be mentally prepared to take action – to check your calendar to see which class fits your schedule and then phone to register.
Review lists often
If you can, post your lists out in the open where you can see them and be reminded regularly of what your family is looking forward to. Commit to reviewing your lists once a month or so – perhaps as a family night activity. As you review, cheer each other on for any progress made toward attaining goals, or reaching milestones.
Unlike New Year’s resolutions, where often we hope to break a bad habit or initiate a difficult one, “This Year I Will…” let’s you look forward to all the new year will bring with anticipation. And it keeps generating enthusiasm long after others’ resolutions have died.