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Family laughing and high-fiving on the couch

Looking Back, Planning Ahead

With one year ending and another beginning, many people mark this occasion by making a New Year’s resolution. As a kid, I don't remember making any New Year’s resolutions. As I've gotten older and have a child of my own, however, I see the value in this tradition. There is just something about putting your thoughts on paper that grounds you in keeping your eye on the prize. This is no different for kids.

Over the last few years, Ryan and I have used the new year as a marker for setting our family and individual goals. We also include our daughter Sophia in this process. It's a great way to teach children to set and achieve their goals. We call our tradition of reflecting and goal-setting "The Year In Review."

Here are a few questions to help you and your children get started on setting goals, too!

Introduction Section

  1. Name, age, and grade.
  2. Favorite movie, food, and talent.

Reflection on the Past Year

  1. Greatest lesson learned.
  2. Hardest thing you did this year.
  3. Favorite memory.

Setting Goals for the New Year

  1. Something new I want to learn this year.
  2. Something new to try this year.
  3. What are two ways to help my community this year?
  4. What do I want to accomplish this year?

If you have younger kids, you can modify these questions. For example, instead of focusing on a difficult lesson they learned, you can ask them if they liked or disliked anything that happened during the past year. There are also fun coloring sheets with this same concept on Pinterest that are worth checking out.

The last step is to post your newly set goals somewhere you and the kids can see them. This will keep those commitments in mind as the year continues. Add a craft, some snacks and voila -- you have a fun New Year's Eve activity for the family!

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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

About Adrianna and Ryan  Walden Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 14 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs. Both have enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for the past eight years. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy school-age child. The Walden's also lead a weekly community group through their church for married couples and their children.