A couple of years ago, I ditched the traditional New Year’s resolutions and started making a one word resolution. That one word is like an inspirational idea that shapes the entire year. Instead of making a resolution that addresses one issue, the one word can cover lots of different areas of life. I like making these resolutions because it’s easier to stick with. Before, I gave up on my resolution to not eat as much sugar the second I ate a cooking on January 5. Since there aren’t such extremes with one word resolutions, I feel motivated to keep them all year long.
In the Past
My one word resolutions in the past have been “balance” and “less.” In 2016, I worked towards having less stuff in our house and fewer commitments on our calendar. The “balance” resolution was more focused on health than anything else. That year, I worked on finding moderation in my diet.
This year, my resolution is “habits.” This is a little different than my past one word resolutions, and maybe a stickler would say it’s more of a thing than an idea. But I’m realizing that I want to spend more time focusing on developing positive habits. This doesn’t just apply to myself, but to helping my children develop them, too. I know that habit training is important, but I haven’t always been intentional about it. Here’s the problem with that: if I’m not intentional about teaching my children positive habits, then they are going to pick up on negative habits on their own.
For the early years, habits are really the most important thing to work on. Habits establish their ability to listen, learn, and have meaningful relationships for the rest of their lives. When I think of the habits I want to work on with my children, I have to wonder: how am I doing at modeling those? Many of the habits that young children learn are through modeling and a positive atmosphere (I wrote about habits of atmosphere here). So, before I start diving gung-ho into training their habits, I want to work on some of mine.
- Clean up a mess (dishes, craft supplies, etc.) before leaving the room
- Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day- which doesn’t sound like much, but a lot of days I don’t get all of these in!
- Show gentleness in tone, even when frustrated or the big dog gets in the way
Charlotte Mason recommended only working on 1-2 habits at a time, so we’ll take baby steps to get these accomplished. I have a few habits in mind for my children to work on, but I’m not going to plan them out yet. I think putting a time frame on them is risky.
In 2017, I’ll devote more time to writing about habits. I’ll share how we worked on a habit, and about how long it took to get it down.
*Photo Credit: Unsplash via Pixabay