Our holiday celebrations have done us a disservice. We have unknowingly come to believe that decisions to change are best made on New Year’s Day. Which is fine if it’s only a couple of days away, but not so great if it is another 364 days from now.
Your children need to believe they can initiate needed changes – especially with God’s help – at any point in time. In fact, that is one of the huge beliefs underpinning Christianity – that we can change and make godly choices, becoming who God wants us to be. Don’t let a little thing like New Year’s undermine your children’s ability to repent and change course whenever it is needed.
You can lead by example – announcing a change you want to make at some random time and asking them to encourage you and hold you accountable. You can also create little random times of setting goals for positive change. A mom I know said that they would each write down something in their lives they wanted to get rid of (like a bad habit) and throw the piece of paper into the fire to symbolize the change they were working towards. You could have a “Goal of the Month” for the family or each person. Create space on birthdays, holidays, family vacations and at other times when a little reflection and goal setting would add to the experience.
While hopefully some of the goals will be spiritual, it’s okay to have some fun goals too. There’s nothing wrong with everybody saving money together so you can go on a special vacation. Or finally climbing that nearby mountain together. Your kids will still learn something from the process of how to set and achieve goals in life that can translate to spiritual goals as well.
Don’t believe the cultural hype that goal setting is for stressed out perfectionists. God has always asked His people to continue to grow spiritually and that’s a lot easier to accomplish if your kids learn how to set and reach spiritual goals.