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Setting Realistic O.T. New Year's Goals: Tips & Tricks for a Successful Year!



There are many mixed feelings about New Year's resolutions. But goal setting can be constructive, especially with your child! Over time, we see improvement for lasting change. It’s like your child’s growth - they won’t sprout 1 foot overnight. You may not realize any change until many months later when you go to your doctor for a check-up. Suddenly, they’re inches taller! Setting goals is a good way to see progress with measurable outcomes.


The benefit of setting occupational therapy-specific goals is for parents and children to work towards feeling confident in navigating daily life with less struggle. It’s a commitment to achieving change together so your family joyfully experiences life.

 

CHOOSING A GOAL

What have you and your child been struggling with recently? How will achieving this goal improve your family’s life? Can you seek help from outside sources to achieve this goal? (See below for O.T. professional help from Empower Kids Therapy!)


It is helpful to invite your child to set the goal together so they feel involved and accountable.


For younger children: Sit and talk with them in broad terms. Awareness of what they are working towards can help with achievement.


For older children: Ask them for direct input. They may already have ideas on things they would like to work towards. As a team, you can make a plan.


COMMON NEW YEAR’S GOALS

  • Independently tie shoes

  • Calmer exploration of new foods at at the dinner table 

  • Learning a specific social skill like maintaining a conversation about a non-preferred topic, or asking a peer question about themselves

  • Improving calming strategies when my child is frustrated

  • Working on handwriting skills

  • Introducing specific new foods into my child’s diet 

  • Sticking to a structured bedtime routine


THINGS TO REMEMBER


1.) SHARE YOUR GOALS

  • Discuss goals with your family, therapist, or teacher. Taping multiple sources can help with brainstorming and goal achieving.

  • Write your goals down on paper. Creating awareness helps with accountability. Use the worksheet below to help you get started!


Empower Kids Therapy New Year's Goal Setting Worksheet
.pdf
Download PDF • 288KB

2.) INCORPORATE PLAY

  • Play is a natural and instinctive way for children to learn and explore the world around them. Play can be a valuable tool in creating positive associations, decreasing stress, encouraging exploration, and fostering a healthier relationship with the goal you are introducing.


3.) GOALS INVOLVE THE ENTIRE FAMILY

  • Improving upon your chosen goal isn’t just for your child. It's a team effort to achieve and a team win when successful!

  • How can you, as the caregiver, help implement strategies for change?


4.) BE SPECIFIC

  • A goal such as “I want my child to eat new foods” is too broad to have real impact. Is there a certain food your child has been avoiding? Green vegetables perhaps? Try specifying your goal to “I will introduce broccoli, zucchini, and spinach into my child’s diet.” 


5.) BE REALISTIC

  • You know your child’s capabilities best. Is what you have outlined achievable? Creating goals that are too ambitious can discourage and cause frustration.

  • Focus on small wins!


6.) BE PATIENT

  • Change takes time. We can’t usually swim without our guardian (and floaties!) the first time we are shown how to do it, right?

  • Reiterate your goals often in a variety of ways to allow your child time to digest it and act upon it. 


7.) BE PERCEPTIVE & CHECK-IN

  • Stay aware of the situation and how things are progressing.

  • Schedule in time for reflection. 

  • What is working? Acknowledge success!

  • What could be improved? Identify helpful adjustments.


8.) STAY POSITIVE

  • Your child is very perceptive. Your positivity (and negativity!) is apparent in language, tone of voice, body language, etc.

  • Be sure to show them suggestions or encouragement in a loving, positive way.


 

Let me help you reach your goals!


1.) Send me your questions!

Reach out if the goal you want to achieve seems unattainable or if you simply don't know where to begin. I can help you make a plan for success.






2.) Set up a free consultation call!

Together, we’ll figure out what can work to reduce daily battles and set your child up for success.







Follow us on social media for more tips & advice on how to reach goals!

@empowerkidstherapy

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