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Thursday, December 30, 2010

I resolve to resolve the problem of resolutions!

As New Year's quickly approaches many of us think about making resolutions.

As teachers or parents we often have our students or children create resolutions for themselves.

The problem: When thinking about our own resolutions we may realize they are often not attained or neglected by mid January. Why does this happen and why would I ask my students to create resolutions of their own when mine clearly are not followed? Resolutions are often not met because they are too general with little or not accountability.

The solution: Create resolutions that are SMART! Based on the way we set our goals at school, we should help our students create goals (or resolutions) that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely. SMART GOALS!

The reasoning: Creating goals that are specific insures better chances they will be met. Measuring goals along the way will not only show results, it will provide incentive. Generating goals that are attainable means a plan or action will be put in place. Smaller steps will help those goals become realistic. Keeping a log will help your goals be met in a timely fashion.

The following sites will help you as a parent (or teacher) when talking about resolutions or goals for your kids:

Goal Setting Kids: This website provides a pdf visual (a ladder to write the steps you will take to help reach your goal - see picture above) as well as a data sheet (for those who need less visuals).

eHealth Connection: This website provides Healthy New Year's Resolutions broken down by ages from Pre-Schoolers to kids 13 years old and up.

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals: This website provides more information on using the SMART idea for creating goals.

Hope you find these sites useful when planning your own, your child's or your student's goals as the New Year gets underway!

In the words of Oprah Winfrey: "Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right"


  1. Great post! I love the Goal Setting Kids ladder and am going to have the kids do it this year for their goals for 2011. SMART Goals are great to utilze too. One thing I do that I learned from the book "Balanced Living All Year" by Joan Celebi is to not only write your resolution to do list, but to reflect on the past year and write a "done list". It is really helpful to take a moment to write down accomplishments and tasks that you have completed over the past year to . Too often we focus on the unfinished items on our to do lists, but we should celebrate all that we have done too!

  2. Great! I am setting my business and personal goals right now and are going to follow your advice! Thank you!

  3. Thanks for the advice - perhaps I'll start making some resolutions now.

  4. Resolution? What's that?

  5. I don't know where you get the time to be doing all the things you are doing. Love Dad

  6. Nancy, thanks for pointing me back to this post. I like the SMART acronym. It will help students to consider goals. I'll be referring to it again They will need to make sure their novel-writing goal is attainable and realistic. For this one, everyone's, by nature of the NaNoWriMo program, will be specific, measurable and timely. I'm looking forward to all of them realistically reaching their goals this year!

    Thank you,

  7. Hi Nancy,
    A tweet led me to this post and I was so excited to work on my lesson plan for incorporating it into my lesson plans that I almost forgot to leave you a thank you.

    This is such a great way to start the new year with my 4th graders. The resources you shared are fabulous.

    Thank you so much.

    Your friend,

  8. @Denise: I wonder if you tried using the SMART goals with the NaNoWriMo. I know I use the SMART goals for myself. It takes a little practice to work on them but makes sense in the end.

    @Paula: So glad you visited and found this useful. I wrote this last year and used the Goal Setting right at the New Year with my students. I have yet to use it this year - perhaps in the next couple weeks. Thanks for stopping by!


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