It is the opportunity to make positive changes and to turn lemons into lemonade.
How to Make a Good New Year’s Resolution and a Few Helpful Examples
How do we approach the new year with a hopeful attitude? Well, one great option is to begin the new year by starting down the path to completing a worthy goal. A common method for this is in a new year’s resolution.
In today's blog, we’ll first discuss what it means to make a good new year’s resolution (or any kind of resolution!). After that, we’ll discuss some example resolutions both you and your student can make!
To begin, when determining a resolution, first make sure it’s SMART!:
When making a New Year’s resolution, one of the first things someone should do is make sure that it's specific. If it’s just something vague like, “Work out more,” it makes it much more likely that it won’t be kept. You need a plan! Iron out the details!
When will you do this? How regularly? At what time? Where? How are you going to track progress? Who is going to keep you accountable?
Start answering these questions and develop a specific plan.
Rather than just making a broad resolution, like, “Read the Bible more,” narrow it down further into measurable and trackable segments. Let’s say we make the goal a little bit more specific and change it to reading the whole Bible over the course of one year.
Considering the Bible has 1,189 chapters (that’s a lot!), that averages out to roughly 3.25 chapters a day. So now, instead of looking at the overwhelming 1,189, we instead are just looking at 3.25 a day, or a little less than 23 chapters a week.
Or, we could even split this into two years, and then it’s only 1.75 a day or 11.5 a week. Now that’s measurable, trackable, and achievable!
A third aspect of creating a good resolution/goal is making sure that it’s achievable! If your student’s resolution is to go from being a couch potato to performing an ironman triathlon in three months, it’s probably not going to happen.
However, going from “I can walk from the bed to the car” to doing a 5k in three months is certainly achievable! Ultimately, a good resolution just needs to be realistic; otherwise, we’re dooming ourselves to disappointment.
Another good thing to keep in mind when making a resolution is that it should be directly helpful or significant to the person making it. Making a resolution to play more video games probably won’t help your child, and making a resolution to visit Uruguay when you don’t even want to go there is probably not significant either.
Make sure that your student’s resolution is actually applicable and helpful!
The final thing to remember when making a resolution is to set a specific timeframe. Where are you expecting to be in your resolution one month from the start? What about in six months?
Keep track of your timeframe, and this should help in charting your progress and keeping yourself accountable. It also lets you know when you’re succeeding quicker than you initially planned!
Together, the SMART structure will help you and your student(s) to set resolutions this new year that you are actually capable of following through on! Sit down with your student and start planning the resolutions that you’re going to make together.
No matter what the resolution, it’s also a great idea to sit down and pray about it together as well. Taking this time with God may also inspire you to make a resolution that is intended to boost your spiritual walk as well!
Below, we’ll discuss a few specific examples that you can either use yourselves or perhaps can use just for inspiration in coming up with your own!
Example 1: Start Eating Healthier
Using our SMART system from earlier, let’s break this down into a resolution that’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound:
Start eating healthier:
- Consume no more than 2,000 calories in a day (this is also a good way for you and your student to practice your addition and subtraction skills!)
- Eat breakfast every day. There are tons of reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but one of the biggest ones is that it helps fill you up to prevent yourself from snacking during the day.
- Drink water before/during regular meals. A recent research study showed that drinking water before and during a meal tended to lower the amount of food consumed, increase energy levels, and assist overall with weight management.
- Eat at least one vegetable with every meal. Do we really need to even say why this is important? Well, we will anyway! By eating more vegetables, you’re lowering your calorie intake, preventing chronic diseases (like cancer and heart disease), and taking in necessary nutrients that will make you live longer, lose weight, and have more energy.
- Follow through for at least three months. By setting this time limit, you have fewer days to count down until, and you also have a chance to sit down and look at your progress and decide if this is something you wish to change, stop, or continue.
Example 2: Start Reading the Bible More
Using our example from earlier in the blog, let’s approach it in a little more detail with the SMART system. This is an excellent resolution for both students and parents and may be one of the most beneficial commitments someone could make. Let’s look at how we can make this a reality:
Start reading the Bible more:
- Read the entire Bible over one year. Cheating by using our math from earlier, we know that it’s 3.25 chapters a day. How about we try to do 2 ½ chapters of the Old Testament and 1 chapter of the New Testament every day? That would actually take a little less than a year!
- Have Set Progress Goals. By February, we should be over halfway through Exodus and at least a few chapters into Mark.
- Read it every day at 6:30 AM. Yes, yes, we know every person is not a morning person. It’s just an example of having a set time, one that you probably don’t have a lot of other things going on at. With a specific time set, you can also have a set daily alarm to remind you each day.
- Have an accountability buddy. Maybe we’ll start this plan with a friend or between you as a parent and your student. Plan to meet once a week to make sure the other person is staying on top of it and to discuss what we learned this week.
- Journal once a week. Rather than letting all these newfound insights slip away, make a plan to also journal once a week at a certain time to record what God has taught you or your student this week through Scripture. This is another way to keep you accountable and will make for an excellent resource to look back on to remember significant passages which stood out to you.
Even though these were just some made-up example resolutions, goals like these could really be beneficial to you and your student in helping you to become more healthy, both physically and spiritually!
Talk with your student and discuss ways in which they want to grow this following year, and together, compose a plan that will help them achieve those goals. This is truly an opportunity to help you grow together as a family and grow together as followers of Christ!
We at Emmanuel Lutheran School understand the importance of this, and that is why so much of our curriculum incorporates Scripture, as well as offering students the necessary skills to succeed socially, spiritually, and academically (we couldn’t think of another word that starts with “S”).
If you’re a parent within the western North Carolina region and place as much importance on these aspects as we do, we would love for you to check out our website and would be happy to answer all of your questions regarding our school and our STEAM-based curriculum!
Standing together as followers of Christ, this coming year does not need to be one of gloom or sadness but can instead be one of hope! The church flourished under the worst of external circumstances, and so can we as the church today!
We truly hope this article has been helpful to you as a parent in determining ways to bring that type of hope into this coming new year! Contact Emmanuel Lutheran School for more information today!