Happy New Year, 2019!

As the fresh new year of 2019 approaches,  many of us are busily thinking up and writing down new year’s resolutions.  I must admit that I do that too!  Before you do that though, I encourage you to make a list of all the ways that you are blessed and the goals that you achieved in 2018.

Thinking about and writing down all the good things in your life will focus your attention on the positive and bring more joy into your life.   As you then plan out your resolutions for the new year, you will have more determination to accomplish them! You have many blessings to thank God for and have achieved many of your goals.  Be joyous in 2019!

Happy New Year, 2018!

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"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
Bill Vaughan

As you enter into the new year of 2018 and leave the old year behind, are you an optimist or a pessimist? As Christians, our hope is in God and we must be optimists!  Philippians 4:8 states: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (New Living Translation).

As we focus our thoughts on all that this verse says we should, we hold firm to the promise that all will be well with us, not because of who we are ourselves, but who we have our faith and confidence in. Our lives are not our own – we were bought with a price.  Have confidence that God continues to order our steps.  “I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.” Jeremiah 10:23 (New Living Translation).

I pray that you will receive your heart’s desires this year as you put Him first and foremost in your life.  Dream big and grow in faith because He is a God of big dreams!  Happy new year!

Helping Your Children To Make New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the beginning of a brand-new year and I’m sure that many of you have already sat down and written a list of resolutions to start off the year right.  Some parents think that new year’s resolutions are just for them as adults.  However, parents can help their children make changes and improvements in their behaviors and habits by encouraging and helping their children to make new year’s resolutions too.

In her online article 8 Ways to Help Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions, author Wendy Schuman gives some good advice.  First, she encourages parents to be role models for their children in making and following through with resolutions.   For example, if eating healthy is at the top of your list as a parent, make sure that you do your best to purchase healthy food and eat it.  Include your children in making healthy food choices and planning healthy meals.  And, ensure that there are plenty of nutritious snacks around, as we all know that kids love to snack.

Second, have your child write a short list of resolutions of just 2 or 3.  Ask your child: “What is the most important improvements that he would like to make?”  A long list can lead to frustrations when your child does not achieve every single item listed.

Third, be positive.  Don’t look for every time that your child has not followed through on a resolution and nag about it.  A nagging or criticizing parent can cause a child to develop a lack of self-confidence.  Instead, if your child does not follow through, try to remind him of the many successes that he has had in the past.  Encourage him to not give up and continue toward making the resolution a reality.  Each day is a new day and your child can always begin again.

Fourth, develop a family ritual around resolutions.  Get together as a family and share each person’s resolutions.  Make them meaningful. Be kind and loving to each other rather than critical and judgmental.   This is the beginning of a fresh new year that God has blessed you and your family with.

To read her entire article, CLICK HERE.

 

Some Suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions to Promote Reading

Happy new year!  Yes, it’s 2016 and I have some suggestions for new year’s resolutions to help promote reading in your family.  

#1 – Plan weekend family outings to your local library.  I cannot mention enough about the wealth of information and books that are available in public libraries.  Search the internet to find out what your library has to offer on the weekends for children and attend the events.  Above all, check out books and other material for your children to read, at no cost!

#2 – Have a variety of reading materials available at home.  Don’t let your children get bored with what reading materials you have.  In addition to fiction, have biographies, comic books, audible books, and books in other formats (on your Kindle or iPad).  

#3 – Intentionally set aside time each day to read.  That will take discipline on your part.  One of the best times to read is when you are putting your child to bed at night, or after dinner is finished.  Don’t wait until you are totally exhausted and sleepy to do this.  Plan time for reading in your schedule as you would any other important event.  Remember – your child is worth it!

#4 – Limit the video and computer games.  Children can sit in front of a screen (whether a large computer screen or the small screen on your mobile phone) playing games endlessly.  Many parents use these games as babysitters.  Instead of just having your child play these games, try downloading some good books and have your child read them.  That way, they will sit quietly and develop good reading habits at the same time.

Of course, there are many more suggestions that I can make.  But, let’s start with these in 2016.  You will be taking a huge step by making and following through with these resolutions. 

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt