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new year new goals“Shoot for the moon.
Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
– Brian Littrell

With the ringing in of each New Year, we tend to make promises to accomplish new goals thereby turning over a new leaf.

According to Gretchen Rubin author of best-seller The Happiness Project, “You hit a goal, you achieve a goal. You keep a resolution.”  Perhaps your resolution this year is to find more happiness in the little things?  If so, explore The Happiness Project! It takes you on a journey month to month of discovering your authenticity and embracing it!  How wonderful right?

So many individuals make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, to exercise more – the same ones year after year only to start out with much gusto and fall flat in a month, leaving those resolutions in the dust.  Instead of setting a resolution, set a goal!

Set New Goals – Try Something New

With each New Year, my resolutions have always focused on trying something new, attempting something I have never done before or facing a fear. My resolutions have included: to earn a Master’s degree, to dance in a flash mob, and to star in a musical play.

To overcome my tremendous fear of heights, one year, I set a goal and met it – parasailing!

Other years, my resolutions included learning sign language, taking a flying lesson (to continue to conquer my fear of heights), and going on a mission trip.

It really doesn’t matter what you choose to do with yourself or your child – it is highly personal.  The goal is…to set a goal and take as many little steps as needed to meet that goal!

Choose New Goals with Your Child

What do you plan to achieve this year with your child?

Keep it simple and choose one goal to accomplish this year.

Have your child help come up with the goal that can be successfully accomplished.

To ensure success, break the path toward achieving the goal down into smaller steps.

Pick a date to start and mark it on the calendar.  Be descriptive of all the potential ways to accomplish the various smaller steps.  Write it in pencil and allow yourself the room to erase and modify as you go along.

Celebrate good times! Celebrate with your child as each small step is reached.  Your child is, after all, getting closer to their ultimate goal!

Set your child up for success. Anticipate challenges to reaching the goal and problem solve with your child.

Not sure what goal to set?  Are you and your child left scratching your heads?  Try the following suggestions:

New Goals: Determine Your Child’s Strengths

What is a strength within your child? What ever the desired goal is, focus on teaching your child through his strength.  For example, my son was always strong with computer skills. His special education teachers always taught him via the computer.  Use this strength to take the small steps towards reaching the goal.

New Goals: Teach Responsibility

Teach responsibility by demonstrating to your child how to self advocate.  Include him in the IEP process and its inherent goal setting.

Explore More >> Advocate: Be the Change You Wish to See

Self-Advocacy: Like Speaking a Foreign Language

The Journey of Acceptance and Self-Advocacy

Get him involved in the state workability program.

Explore More >> Workability: Kids Learn to Earn

Assign a weekly chore to complete every day.  It could be as simple as emptying the trash each day.

Explore More >> Chores: They Do a Child a World of Good

Or, work with his teacher and ask the teacher to assign a classroom job.

Whatever the task, have him accomplish it at the same time each day and it will help him form a habit of responsibility.

New Goals: Imbue Compassion

Teach or imbue compassion within your child by giving her the responsibility of taking care of something else.  Consider adopting a small pet.  If that is too much, seek out a plant.

Explore More >> From Fish to Dogs: Selecting a Therapeutic Pet

New Goals: Nurture Empathy

Nurture empathy within your child this year.  Consider using Michelle Garcia Winner’s behavioral mapping tool.  It is a wonderful tool to help your child concretely learn how to take the perspective of others.

Explore More >> Teach Empathy – A Tool for Social Success

Teach Emotional Intelligence & Build Social Competence

Think Outside the Box

My adult son with autism advises – “focus on openness – think outside the box.”

Keep in mind, kids with various isms more often than not, do not learn in the traditional fashion.  Resolve to think outside the box this year when it comes to teaching your child how to achieve a goal.  If a particular system isn’t working, try something different.  Be unconventional.

What new goals will you be setting for yourself and what goals will your child be setting?  Let us know on Facebook!


“Every accomplishment starts

with the decision to try.”

– Unknown