New Year’s Resolutions – What Makes a Good One?

Last year at this time we offered some New Year’s resolutions for college and high school parents and for their students.  We still think they are good resolutions, worth considering carefully if you are a college or high school parent.  Please take a few minutes to follow the links below and reread our suggestions.

New Year’s Resolutions for College Parents — and Their College Students

New Year’s Resolutions for High School Parents — and Their College Bound Students

In addition to the specific resolutions offered last year, this year we’d like to offer some suggestions to keep in mind as you and your student think about creating your own resolutions for the fresh start that the second semester of the year offers.  Give some thought to these characteristics of good resolutions as you consider what matters to you in the New Year.

What makes a good New Year’s resolution?

  • Realistic — Try to make resolutions that are realistic.  Can they really be achieved?  Are you setting yourself up for failure or expecting too much from yourself?  Scale back or revise if necessary.  If it’s not realistic, you’ll only be disappointed.
  • Optimistic — Often the reason for a resolution is to make something better in the New Year.  Believe that you can make a change for the better and that accomplishing this resolution will move you forward.  Plan to succeed.
  • Balanced — Think about all of the aspects of your life.  Will this resolution help you keep all of your interests, activities and needs in balance? Does it make sense in the larger scope of your life?
  • Meaningful — If it doesn’t matter to you, really, then you won’t work at it.  Make sure you care.
  • Ambitious — We’ve talked in earlier posts about the value of doing things that are difficult or hard.  Choose at least one thing that will challenge you to greater things.
  • Specific — Make sure that you are clear to yourself about exactly what you want to accomplish.  Don’t let your resolutions be so general or vague that you can’t really define them.  The more specific you are, the more easily you’ll be able to tell when you’ve accomplished your goals.
  • Measureable — How will you know when/if you’ve accomplished what you’ve resolved to do?  Is there an end point?  Is there an outcome that you hope for?

The New Year offers all of us an opportunity to make a fresh start in many areas of our lives.  For students — and their parents — the new semester is a double opportunity to begin anew.  Whether the fall semester was the success you had hoped for, or could have been better, think about what changes might take this new semester to an even higher level.

Happy New Year!

Related Posts:

9 Ways to Help Your College Student Get a Fresh Start for Second Semester

Helping Your College Student Be a Better Student: Twelve Questions to Ask

Talking To Your College Student About Grades

Ten Wise Decisions Your College Student Can Make to Improve His GPA

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