Do you set New Years resolutions? We all know how it usually goes.
We start the new year with anticipation. And we for a while we stick on the right track.
But then slowly the familiar patterns start to appear. We get busy. Sidetracked.
Last year, our therapist challenged our parents to set 10 goals for the new year. Many of them challenged themselves to find employment outside the dump. Find a stable place to live. Save money. Break off a damaging relationship.
Yet a year later, the majority admitted to failing at accomplishing, many, if not most of their goals. (Some amazing goals were also achieved!)
As we reflected on the year behind us, many of them admitted to starting off well, but then circumstances got in the way of success.
We recognized a similar pattern among failed resolutions. While excellent aspirations, they required major personal habitual changes FIRST.
Sometimes our goals need to be high reaching and life changing. Other times we need to begin with simple, but key, steps in the right direction to becoming a better us.
So this year we challenged them to set 10 goals for their home. Out of a list of 20, we asked them to pick 10 (or less) behavioral changes to work on as a family to create a healthier, happier environment for both themselves as parents and for their children.
Obey the first time.
Say “please” and “thank you.”
Ask for forgiveness and forgive others.
Clean up our messes.
Use kind words.
Keep our promises.
Always tell the truth.
And so on.
But how could they make the year different from all the others? How could they take their hopes and dreams for positive change in their lives, their homes, their families and turn them into a reality?
Well, we encouraged them to read through their goals together as a family every day before breakfast. Set rules and follow through with consequences where needed. Set routines that establish stability.
Help their children learn how to express their feelings without hurting others or retreating to pouting and tantrums. Acknowledge and reward a family member when successful at a goal.
Pray for our parents as they embark on this new year, eager to establish new habits in their homes and fight for their dreams as a family. Pray that when hard times hit, they remain courageous and turn to Christ for strength.
We invite you to come along with us as we share stories of our trip ups and successes as we journey along the path God carves out for us in 2017.