Words for the year Over the past few years, starting on January 1st, I’ve focused on a word to try to live my year by. Words from the past years have been ones like simple and joy. This year, I wanted to teach this tradition to my daughter. We’ve been trying to get more in touch with our feelings and emotions. So, using positive feelings words like love, kindness, joy, happy, fun, brave, patient, organized, and strong, my daughter and I came up with some words to live our year by. Here’s how I started the exercise: ⁃ I explained that it was the new year. I let her know some people like to have goals for the year. I like to choose a word that I think about for the year. I word is a good (positive) word. ⁃ The word is something that we want to think about for the year and make sure that everyday we try to practice and live our day trying to focus on that word. ⁃ I read a list of words to her and said she should let me know the words she liked and that stood out to her. ⁃ She wrote all the words she liked on a piece of paper. ⁃ Next, I asked her the one she wanted for the year. She actually circled 3, and I just went with it because who wouldn’t want more positive in their life! ⁃ When we came up with the 3 words, I asked her what the words meant to her and how she could act on those words each day. I even read her the simple definition of the word so she could understand it more. ⁃ Then, we created a project with the words. I got out a canvas and we wrote the words on the canvas and then decorated it. ⁃ We found a place to hang the canvas so we would see the words everyday. ⁃ In the past week, I remind her of the words we are living by. ⁃ When people come over or she FaceTimes friends and family, we share our words project with them. ⁃ I’ll also be looking for examples of how we can live by those words. For example, one of the words is friendship. One way to be a good friend would be to color a picture and send that to your friend. ⁃ If I see our words out and about I may buy a card to put up with the words. ⁃ If I see examples of us using the words, I’ll point them out. We have this sign board, so my daughter changed the sign to show our words for the year.
I may also add in a goal for the year. It make it a general goal and one that would be easy for her to achieve. A few years ago, her goal was to learn to swim. Some ideas for simple goals for the year for your children might be ones like: ⁃ To have a cleaner room ⁃ To help out more ⁃ To earn money from chores ⁃ Read more ⁃ To be a better listener ⁃ Eat healthier Once the general idea is written down, then you can talk about ways to reach the goal and talk about how you can help them achieve that goal. If the goal was to read more, maybe you’ll go to the library together once a month. Or if the goal was to eat healthier, then take your child to the store or Farmer’s Market to pick out food they want. Your child’s goal may also turn into a goal for the family. If your child sees you doing it, they may feel more supported. It’s still January and still time to create ways to make a change about being more positive in 2022.