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We all make resolutions for the New Year. Sometimes our goals are vague with no end point, so we are set up for failure. Another goal to lose weight this year? We purchase a gym membership, go for a few sessions, and then something comes up in our family. What do we cut? Sometimes the goal is so vague and so huge that there is little chance you will succeed! We set ourselves up to fail with goals like: Be more organized, Be more patient with the children or family, Lose weight, Take better care of myself, Eat healthier – and the list goes on.  

You can start with a vague goal and change it to make it “doable.” A goal to be a better person or be more patient with family members is huge! Think about a small step you can take that can become part of your daily routine. Start small – what about a goal to give each family member a hug every morning before leaving the house? A good hug – give them the kind when you put both arms around them and hold them close for a few seconds. Your family will feel loved and appreciated, and you will feel like a better person.

Another example is to think about what the goal “Get Organized” means to you. Start small. What is bugging you the most? Is it the daily hunt for car keys? Is it the school papers in every room? Is the assortment of shoes or sports equipment all over the house bugging you? Choose one point to work on, and discuss it with everyone involved. You are more likely to be successful in addressing the problem if:

  • Everyone involved in the issue has a suggestion for the solution.
  • The solution is simple.
  • It does not take much time.
  • The solution can become part of a routine.

For the problem of sports equipment all over the house, a possible small step is a laundry basket for each youngster in the garage. As the children get out of the car, the equipment, shoes, bag etc. get deposited in the basket. No one walks in the house with these items in their hand. On Friday evening, review the process. How did we do this week? Does a step in the process need to be tweaked? Is there a special treat for everyone because we all worked together this week? Give the process enough time to become a habit – at least 6 weeks. Then, move to your next item on the “Get Organized” list.

Happy New Year!

Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues. If you have questions, please contact Mary Ann at mmulcahey@springer-ld.org.

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