5 Steps to Creating the New Year With Your Teen

First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope 2012 was filled with exciting moments and lasting memories, and that 2013 brings you happiness and vitality!  People often start their new year by making resolutions, either  individually or as a family. Many think of a resolution as a single goal, or a habit that should be created or dropped. Instead of this approach, try planning all that you would like to accomplish over the next  year.  This is even more fun if you do this with your teen. You may find this experience an eye-opening opportunity to learn about what is important to one another.

Creating with each other is another way to build a strong relationship. Teens feel important when you show an interest in them and empowered when they get to contribute to family plans. The first step in creating together is being individually thoughtful about what you want and then coming together to discuss. Take some time to brainstorm what is important to you personally and what you want for your family.  Then, build a new tradition by sharing what you have come up with over a good cup of tea or your favorite meal.

Plans don’t have to be complex. In fact they should be simple, a true expression of what you want to achieve and your initial thoughts on how you would go about accomplishing your goals. The best plans start out short and very high level. Of course, you can create as many plans as you would like, but make sure they inspire you!

Use the following format and begin creating!

Five Steps to Planning Your Upcoming Year.

1.  Review the Last Year.  Take some time to think about what you have accomplished, and what you have left undone. Some people make lists that they can check at the end of a given year. It is important to remember that this is not a time to be critical of yourself. Don’t assign meaning to what was not accomplished, but instead evaluate if that is still important to you. If it is, include it again this year. If it is not, scrap it and create something new.

2. Identify Your Goals, Where You Are Now, and New Steps Toward Your Goals.  Begin by making a list of your high-level plans and then start filling in the details.  It can take some thought to move you from A to B.  This is where you can benefit from the ideas and support of other family members.  Of course, you can continue to add to this as the year goes on and you learn more and more about what it takes to reach your goals.

Follow this template:

On the top of a blank sheet of paper, write “What I Want

On the bottom of that page, write Where I am now in relation to where I want to be”

In the middle of the page, from the bottom up, write “The steps that will get you to your goal”

3. Share With Your Family and Continue Brainstorming. Share what you have come up with and then write as many new ideas as you can on your sheet of paper.  Be open to what comes up in the discussion. Don’t judge yourself and HAVE FUN! You can make a final product later.

4. Display Your Goals: Find a common place in the house to display everyone’s goals. You can use anything from an inexpensive cork board to a more creative display. This can serve as a daily or weekly reminder of what you are committed to over the next year. It also provides a place to celebrate achievements, or to adapt initial goals as the year goes on.

5. Revisit Your Goals Together. Pick regular intervals to revisit your goals as a family. This may be monthly, quarterly, or whatever time frame works for you. Don’t leave this step out! Peoples’ lives and circumstances change on a regular basis. Revisiting will help you stay present to what is going on in each other’s day-to-day lives.

You will be surprised by what you can accomplish when you are intentional!

Happy Parenting!

Shelly

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Author: Shelly D Mahon

I have been working with families and teens for almost 20 years, and teaching in a university setting since the year 2000. My commitment is that parents have the support and resources they need to take care of themselves and foster the growth and development of their children. ABOUT ME I have a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and over 20 years of experience working with youth and families. No matter what your family structure, I am committed to helping you make your family work. I can guid you in effectively managing divorce, strengthening parent-child relationships, embracing the teenage years, reducing risks and increasing resiliency in your families. If fostering the growth and development of your children is important to you, I am committed to working with you. APART, NOT BROKEN: LEARN, CONNECT, & CREATE! Apart, Not Broken is for divorced or separated parents who want to: Move past fear, pain, & guilt Create the life they want with their child Manage their relationship with their ex Contribute to others Be the creator of their future The program gives you a place to: Learn: Hear others real experiences and insights. Receive information and recommendations that can make a measurable difference in adjusting and parenting after separation or divorce. Connect: Join an online community. Learn to use creative strategies to connect with your child and manage your relationship with their ex-partner. Create: Feel powerful in your ability to be the parent YOU want to be. Create the relationship YOU want with their child by building on existing strengths, starting new traditions, and creating lasting memories. This program has: – Videos reflecting real life experiences; – Online tools for sharing photos, comparing calendars, communicating, and more; – Current & concise information about divorce & parenting after divorce; – Engaging activities to enjoy with their child; & – Additional resources to build their own parenting toolbox. Happy Parenting, Shelly I took my first Human Development and Family Studies course as an undergraduate at 18 years old. This was the beginning of a lifetime love and commitment to this field. I have another online program Parenting Through Middle School. I am the mother of two teens myself. This has been an interesting journey and quite the adventure. Over the years, I have learned that parenting takes a lot of energy, but it is well worth the effort. To me, parenting brings to life an ever-changing spectrum of human emotion. It is filled with moments of love, excitement, anticipation, expectations, fears, hopes, and dreams. It has made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time! Just when I think I have everything figured out, my children change. In these moments I realize that I too must change. As they grow, I find myself looking for the balance between teaching them my values, beliefs, and interests and helping them discover and develop into their own unique individual characters. I love to exercise, eat well, sing and play my piano. My favorite sports are running, mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding, yoga, Pilates, and most recently, road biking. Happy Parenting! Shelly

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