The month of January is a great time to sit down and reflect on our lives and set goals for ourselves that will help us improve, grow, and become better versions of ourselves. New Year’s is the perfect time to discuss with kids and adolescents about the very unique and engaging concept of New Year Resolutions so that they can get into the habit of visualizing personal goals, which is an amazing skill to learn at a young age. When children learn the art of realistic goal-setting, they also learn how to work towards achieving these goals and use all the opportunities that come their way as learning experiences.
Making our New Year resolutions practical
While many of us abandon our commitment to the resolutions that we set for ourselves within the first few months itself, the practice of setting New Year resolutions is worth engaging in as they provide us with clarity and direction for a life-affirming and happier year ahead. For New Year resolutions to be more practical and attainable, it’s important for us to make sure that they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). It’s also a good idea to think about smaller goals to be worked on each day, if long-term goals seem too tedious to achieve. It’s important to reward ourselves when we are able to work towards our goals or show commitment. Children can begin working on building sustainable life habits such as cleaning up their rooms at least once every week, taking good care of personal hygiene, making sure that they don’t waste food or reading at least two new books every month. These habits go a long way in building discipline, training the cognitive-analytical aspects of the mind, and making them more independent.
While traditional/commonly adopted resolutions have their own significance, they may be cliche and rather tedious, so let’s look at some unique and out-of-the-box New Year resolutions that you can adopt to make the New Year more adventurous and fun!
The world in a frame
The world is a spectacular place to explore, unwind, and discover new things! Whether it’s within your own country or a trip abroad, this year make a resolution to build a visual record by getting yourself photographed in at least five new places!
Whether it’s on the Great Wall of China, a lonely island in the Andaman, at the Colosseum in Rome, the ancient Inca city of Machu Pichu in South America, a quiet, snowy hamlet in the Himalayas, or even a part of your own city that you have not visited so far- make sure that you visit beautiful new places throughout the year. Travelling is after all one of the best forms of education.
Friendships keep you healthy
It’s not just salads and juices that can give you good health, building strong friendships is also very essential to make sure you stay fit and healthy. It’s a good idea to adopt a New Year resolution to make at least one new friend every month so that by the end of the year, you have your very own strongly knit group of chums who can stand with you through the ups and downs of life!
What’s more, apart from giving you some friends you can count on, this resolution will also help in pulling you out of your comfort zone, make you more social, help shed your communication blocks and broaden your horizon.
Try a digital detox
Kids these days tend to spend a lot of time on digital devices. Maybe a quick digital detox can help you get back in touch with “real” life. This will help you develop interests that are not confined to the usage of digital technologies or constant digital simulations and help you reclaim your own creative self. It will surprise you how a digital detox leaves you with so much more time to pursue your hobbies, better your social skills, help you fall asleep better, as well as improve your social, physical, and academic growth.
Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Learning to be grateful for all the things that you have including a family, a home to call your own, good health, friendships that you cherish and all the positivity which surrounds you is a wonderful habit and it’s a good idea to make a resolution to incorporate it into our lives. Why not make each day a thanks-giving day, as it will train our hearts and minds to be optimistic and hopeful even when things aren’t going as we would like them to? Acknowledging the contributions of others around us, being reciprocal and respectful in all our relationships and adopting a generous and empathetic attitude will help us feel more positive.
A resolution for Mother Earth
How can we be happy when our home, the Earth, isn’t happy with us? Whether it’s erratic global temperatures, unaccounted droughts and forest fires, animal extinctions, or the depletion of the ozone layer, it’s high time we gave back to the planet. This New Year’s, let’s make a resolution to ensure that we take small steps and do our bit for mother nature. Some of the things we could do is switching to cloth/jute bags instead of plastic bags, eat as local and organic as possible, reduce our needs wherever we can and learn how to recycle/up-cycle as much as possible so that our carbon footprint gradually shrinks!
Read for the love of imagination
Reading as a habit makes sure that you are always in good company! You never feel lonely or lost when a book that you love is by your bedside. Reading not only helps you utilize your time productively but also opens up new and unexplored horizons.
So here’s a checklist of all the things that you could do to follow your resolution to cultivate the habit of reading.
- Ditch your comfort zone; pick up a book from a genre that’s new to you.
- Try to attend a one-on-one interaction with an author or maybe a book discussion.
- Watch a movie/series that’s based on a book.
- Write a book review.
- Become an author, write a small story book and illustrate its pages, share it with your friends.
As you now sit to pen down your set of resolutions for the year ahead, we hope that these out-of-the-box resolutions have inspired you.
Wishing you a very Happy 2023!
The author is the Associate Editor, The New Leam and a co-founder at Shiksha Swaraj Creative Learning and Resource Center, Bihar.