Want to get your children to set some New Year's resolutions for themselves this year? Check out these resolution ideas for kids to get them started! This page is adapted from an article by Emily Gulla on Mums' Net.
55 New Year's resolution ideas for kids
The New Year is the perfect opportunity to get your kids thinking about goal-setting and self-development – and having them set their own New Year's Resolutions is a fun and easy way to introduce this idea.
Plus, having them write down and attempt to stick to some New Year's resolutions is a great way for them to learn about commitments and how to see them through.
Watching the children make an effort to stick to their New Year goals might teach the adults a thing or two as well!
Depending on your child's age, you can ask them to think of some New Year's resolutions to set for themselves. But if they're still toddlers or preschoolers, or they're just stuck for ideas, it can help to give them a list of potential New Year's resolutions to choose from.
So, we've rounded up some of the best New Year's resolutions for children to make this year, organised by category. There's sure to be one to suit your child!
Now all that's left to do is see if they stick to it!
New Year's resolutions about school for kids
Depending on your child's age, school may be a big part of their life at the moment. So, ask them to have a think about what they'd like to be better at in an education setting, whether it's working harder or making more friends.
- I will work hard in class.
- I will do my homework on time.
- I will try to achieve better grades.
- I won't be hard on myself if I don't achieve the grades I wanted.
- I will join new clubs at school.
- I will apply to be on the student council.
- I will spend more time reading books this year. (They could even set a goal for how many books they want to read).
- I will be kind to other children in my class.
- I will make new friends at school.
- I will make an effort to make friends with children who are lonely.
- I will do as my teachers tell me to.
- I will practise my writing at home.
- I will be a better friend.
- I will tell the teacher if somebody is being mean to me.
- I will spend time at home learning about something new that interests me. (This could be reading books or watching a kids' documentary).
New Year's resolutions about behaviour for kids
Every child has some aspect of their behaviour that probably causes them more trouble than not, and the New Year is the perfect time to work on this!
However, this doesn't have to centre around being naughty. It can mean positive things like helping out in the house more, being more independent, making more time for family, or being more confident.
- I will keep my room clean and tidy.
- I will be nicer to my sister or brother.
- If I feel upset or angry, I will walk away and calm down.
- I will put things away when I've finished using them.
- I will listen to my parents.
- I will wash up my plates when I've finished eating.
- I will talk more openly about my feelings.
- I will make my own bed every morning.
- I will keep my toys tidy.
- I will never hit anybody.
- I won't shout at anybody.
- I will do my chores around the house.
- I will help my parents around the house.
- I will help to cook dinner once a week.
- I will help with the cleaning once a week.
- I will help to look after our pets.
- I will listen to my parents if they tell me to stop playing video games/watching TV etc.
- I will be more eco-friendly. (This one is easiest if you choose specific actions to take, eg: I will always turn off the lights in the house when I don't need them; I won't leave the tap running; I will pick up my litter.)
- I will have more confidence in myself.
- I will believe in myself more.
- I will stand up for myself.
- I will celebrate my achievements.
- I will be more independent. (If your child is older, you could choose specific goals like walking to the shop on their own.)
- I will get rid of toys I don't use anymore, and give them to children who need them.
- I will visit my grandparents more often.
- I will spend more time with my family.
- I will share my toys more with my brother or sister.
Healthy New Year's resolutions for kids
Health and wellness is the most popular New Year's resolution theme for adults, and there are lots of ways to make it kid-friendly too.
Try not to make your child feel as though they are unhealthy or that they need to eat less or exercise more, as these can be really damaging thoughts for children.
Instead, focus on fun things like trying new activities, having less screen time or eating more fruits and veggies.
- I will eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable with every meal.
- I will try new foods.
- I will play outside more often.
- I will brush my teeth by myself every morning and night.
- I will go to bed earlier/go to bed on time.
- I will get up earlier/get up on time.
- I will start a new sport or activity that I want to try.
- I will spend less time watching TV.
- I will spend less time on my iPad.
- I will spend less time on the computer.
- I will spend less time playing video games.
- I will always wash my hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
- I will learn a new skill that I want to try.
How to help your child stick to their resolutions
It's hard enough for adults to stick to their New Year's resolutions, so kids are bound to need a little extra help! Don't worry, we're here to help, with a few tips and tricks to help your kids to keep on track.
Help make their resolutions achievable and trackable
Have a chat with your kids when you sit down to decide on your resolutions, and ask them if there are any areas that they would like to work on. If they have an idea, great! If not, you can use the categories above and some of the resolutions as examples of things they could pick.
If their goal is general (like spending more time with family), start by breaking it down into more specific tasks, such as 'spend 10 minutes a day talking to Mum about what happened at school that day', or 'play with my sister for 20 minutes every Saturday morning'.
Once you've worked out exactly what your child needs to do to keep their resolution, a star chart can be a great way to keep them motivated.
Add a star every time they fulfil their promise, and offer a treat when they get a certain amount of stars. This can really help toddlers and preschoolers to have an idea of how well they're doing with their resolutions (though it's probably not so great for teens!).
Be careful with rewards
While you might be tempted to reward every success, it's worth keeping in mind that one of the best things about New Year's resolutions is that they encourage personal growth for its own sake.
If you reward every success with a treat, you're making it more about an external gain rather than their own sense of self-worth.
We're not here to judge though. If you've found that rewards help them to achieve their goals, then that's absolutely fine. Make sure that any rewards fit in with your child's ambition, though.
For example, if the goal is to eat healthily then make the treat a fun day out or a new book to read, rather than a sweet treat or a trip to McDonald's.
Keep track but don't nag
If you have a teenager that's a bit too old for a star chart, you could instead try a weekly check-in, where you ask them about their progress and congratulate them on any achievements.
If you've got a resolution of your own, you can compare progress to give a sense that you're all in it together.
The most important thing is just to gently remind them about their resolution, and give them plenty of praise whenever they achieve their goals.
If your child is struggling to keep up with their resolution, let them know that you understand how hard it can be. After all, no one has ever succeeded without failing plenty of times first. Ask them what's causing them problems, and try to find ways together to make it more achievable.
Set a good example
80% of adults give up on their resolutions by February. With that in mind, it's easy to understand why kids might have trouble keeping them going too!
If you really want your little ones to stick to their resolutions, one of the best ways to help them is by setting yourself some achievable resolutions and then visibly sticking to them.
Then, when you sit down to talk about how everyone's resolutions are going, you can share your successes and failures with your kids, and they can learn from your example.