As time passes, our small, seemingly insignificant daily accomplishments are often forgotten.
However, it is those tiny efforts that build toward reaching our goals, and forming our personalities through trial, error and success. This year, take note of everyone’s accomplishments, large or small, collecting them in individual jars or one big special family keepsake box.
The idea is simple, continually adding good efforts, achievements and total successes to the collection. These might include:
• Learning to tie shoes.
• Riding without training wheels.
• Learning to make a bed.
• Working hard on a homework assignment which earned an A.
• Taking responsibility by apologizing for a mistake.
• A big lesson learned.
• Spending extra time with a not-so-favorite relative.
• Befriending someone who needed one.
Include photos whenever opportunities present, capturing those visual successes forever, adding to interest and excitement when jars or boxes are opened and accomplishments are reviewed. Perhaps opening jars and savoring each success will become your family’s newest and most beloved New Year’s Eve tradition.
Why make the effort?
We know that when our efforts are recognized, even with the slightest bit of attention, we feel valued and supported. Typically we focus on negatives, constantly correcting and criticizing. Even when constructive criticism is offered out of love or concern, very few children or adults can boast that they have been inspired to do great things while feeling defeated.
Spending just a few minutes and consciously making note of success where there was once doubt will help to teach your family about perseverance, goal setting, trust and confidence. These are the foundational building blocks upon which many other lifelong successes will be built.
A favorite quote, “Turn your can’ts into cans, and your dreams into goals” is an inspirational motto for family members of all ages, underscoring the importance of planning and perseverance.
As goal setting is not an innate skill, children can follow your lead as you prompt them to think of things they hope to accomplish over this next year. List their hopes and dreams — asking how they might make those happen — and post or tuck safely away for another day.
Once goals are written, our subconscious goes to work, finding opportunities to achieve and succeed.
I was amazed to uncover goals I’d written last year and tucked away in my desk drawer. I had outlined what was needed to accomplish each goal, and made a quiet commitment to myself to follow through every day. To my delight, I actually met each goal without realizing I had been working effortlessly toward them.
Enjoy, as you watch your children achieve and succeed!
Diana Boggia, M.Ed., is a parenting coach who lives in Stark County, Ohio. She is author of “Parenting with a Purpose.” Send your child-rearing questions to FamilyMatters@cantonrep.com or The Repository, c/o Family Matters, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton, OH 44702. Find parenting resources at her website,www.yourperfectchild.com.