What are some New Year’s goals for kids? Did you know they can actually be fun? Check out this simple way to make a plan this year!

Typically, goal or resolution setting starts with thinking about what you want to work on or get better at doing. It can be really open-ended and hard for kids.

We decided to simplify goal setting and focus on only three things this year!

Our family set goals focused on things to…

  1. Eat (new foods to try, foods to make more often, places to go eat)

2. Do (places to go, activities to do together)

3. Learn (new skills to try)

These three goal areas (eat, do, learn) are more focused, less open-ended for kids.

When we make goal setting positive and do-able, it’s much more likely the goals will be accomplished.

Young children don’t necessarily need to set goals about cleaning their rooms or learning something complex, but they can choose something simple and work to accomplish it so that they can learn to understand what it feels like to set a goal and complete it! Kids can set a goal about anything!

RELATED: Have a goal of doing more activities with your kids this year? Download our Year of Play ebook so you’ll have a plan for the year!

How can I come up with New Year’s goals for kids?

Young children who have had less exposure to the world might not know what they want to eat, do, and learn. To help them discover some ideas, we set up a simple goal setting activity.

Watch the New Year’s Goal setting activity in person, or scroll down for written instruction:

New Year’s Goal Setting Activity

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What you need:

How to get started with goal setting:

  1. Make an EAST-DO-LEARN chart similar to the one posted above.
  2. Look at books and magazines and talk about things that are happening in the pictures. What are people doing? Ask kids to use their pretend binoculars and look for ideas of things they might want to try that they see others doing.
  3. Read The Power of Yet by Maryann Cocca-Leffler and see if kids notice anything they can’t do yet that they want to try.
  4. Look online at Pinterest and Google based on things your child is interested in. See if they get any ideas as they explore.
  5. Once your child has a few ideas, have them draw a picture of one goal idea on a post-it note. Grown ups can then write to the goal and kids can stick it up on the Eat-Do-Learn chart.
  6. Continue drawing and writing ideas until each child has picked one idea for each column (eat, do, learn).
  7. Once everyone has picked some ideas, make a plan and choose one to start with. When you work together as a family or support one another with goals, they are much more likely to be accomplished.

How can setting New Year’s goals benefit kids?

“Setting goals can teach children persistence, focus and the value of planning, according to Gary Latham, Secretary of State Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Toronto, who specializes in goal setting.

“Involving kids in the decision-making, and making these fun for the whole family can help turn these resolutions into long-lasting habits,” says Dr. Lanre Falusi, a Washington, D.C., pediatrician.

The goal your child sets matters less than just helping them practice creating a habit.

RELATED: Need another fun way to kick off the New Year? Make a New Year banner!

Do you have a goal you’ve set this year? Have your kids set any goals? Tell us about them in the comments!