We know all about resolutions – I have my favorites that I make every year! But setting bite-sized goals and guiding them to fulfillment is key to helping children progress. Doing this as a family turns it into a fun activity that everyone has to participate in and be accountable for.

Vision boards have become a popular planning tool in the last few years. This article from a working mom discusses vision boards as a family affair, and provides some fun twists on a vision board. As a parent, you may be pleasantly surprised at some of your child’s new interests or dreams. At year end, look back at your boards as a family and see which visions became reality.

Sometimes we need a simpler tool, to track daily progress. For that, this item from our school Facebook page is very useful. I’m reposting it here in case you missed it: http://bit.ly/1deA9Ia

Grades & goals – Keep it gradual but steady: Impossible goals can be counterproductive for your child. It may not be realistic to go from low performance to straight As, just as none of us can drop 50 pounds in a week no matter how we try. Work with your child to set realistic goals – a higher grade on every test, or turning in homework every day. With each goal your child meets, he or she will get more confident in his or her own abilities.

Fitness goals – Do your kids (and you) need a little push to be active and fit? The Winter Olympics will bring us lots of inspiration soon – but skiing and snowboarding aren’t so easy to practice here in the desert! Many of our families love sports, and need no extra motivation. But if yours isn’t one of them, why not start with walking as a family for at least 30 minutes, three to four times a week? Take advantage of our cool, pleasant Arizona sunshine.

This early and it’s already shaping up to be a busy school year. Get your 2014 plan in place now, and you’ll find it easy to stay on track.

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