The Power of Positive Resolutions for Adults and Kids

27 December 2023
Smiling kids in swimming pool

When it comes to setting resolutions, psychologists say that embracing a positive mindset significantly heightens the likelihood of success. Unlike negative resolutions, which focus on what we need to eliminate or give up, positive resolutions frame our goals in a more optimistic light. Read more to find out why positive resolutions are more effective and get tips for helping children achieve their full potential.

Why Positive Resolutions Lead to Success

Negative resolutions, such as "lose 20 pounds by June" or "quit drinking sugary beverages," can be demotivating and create a sense of deprivation. On the other hand, positive resolutions like "be more active,”  “train for a half-marathon," or "carry a water bottle" inspire enthusiasm and focus on the benefits of adopting healthier habits. By approaching resolutions with a positive mindset, we can set ourselves up for success.

Encourage Kids to Make Positive Resolutions 

The new year presents a fresh opportunity for parents to encourage healthy habits by promoting a positive outlook when it comes to healthy eating and being more active, habits that can make a lasting impact on a child’s well-being. Here are a few strategies to help children reset and achieve their full potential:

Get them excited! Start by asking children about the physical activities and healthy snacks or meals they enjoy. Encourage them to commit to these options even when faced with tempting alternatives or excessive screen time.

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Teach children the importance of setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.) goals. An example may be to drink all the water in their water bottle by lunchtime every day. This approach helps children track their progress and stay motivated.

Spell it out! Encourage children to write down their resolutions and place positive reminders where they'll see them regularly. Visual cues can serve as powerful motivators and keep their goals top of mind.

Join them in the challenge! Working towards a goal with your child is fun and keeps parent and child accountable and encouraged. Setting goals as a team also allows parents to demonstrate ways to overcome obstacles and gives families the opportunity to celebrate milestones together. 

Expanding the Definition of Healthy Resolutions

It's important to remember that healthy resolutions for children extend beyond nutrition and physical activity. Completing homework, being kind to others, volunteering, learning a new instrument or skill and practicing positive self-affirmations are all ways that young people can develop healthy habits. By broadening our understanding of what constitutes a healthy resolution, we empower kids to explore various avenues of personal growth.