It’s the beginning of the year, and it’s time to focus on what lies ahead in 2016. While the adults in the household begin to make resolutions for new behavior and new goals, we should also be helping our kids do the same thing.

Like us, our kids are always striving to achieve more — whether it’s better grades, a coveted spot on a sports team or in a school activity, or to get a better part-time job. We can, and should, help them focus their goals, encourage them, and assist them to work towards their victories. Here’s how you can help them stay on track.

1. Outline Their Goals

The first step towards any successful resolution is to define what you want to achieve. Ask your child what it is that they want. Once they can verbalize it in a succinct and concise fashion, you can help them figure out ways to make it a reality.

2. Get Specific

Once you’ve identified your child’s goal, sit down and ask them how they can achieve it. They need to get specific on what they need to do to accomplish what they want. Their answer might be nebulous like, "Practice more to make the team," so you need to drill down to get to the heart of the matter. A better answer might be, "Run and lift weights to get in better shape for tryouts."

3. Track Their Progress

We all know that at the beginning of a goal we are amped up and ready to do whatever it takes to achieve it. Then, reality sets in. Most of the time, our goals are hard to accomplish and take more work than we expect. Help your child to create a workable schedule over the coming weeks and months to meet — and hopefully, achieve — their goal.

4. Make it Front and Center

If you make a chart to track their progress, put that chart in a spot in your home where you can both see it. It might be a necessary and useful incentive for your child to know that others can see how they’re doing.

5. Stay on Top of It

Ask your child every so often — not enough to seem like you’re hounding them — how they’re doing and whether they feel like they’ve accomplished what they set out to do.

6. Let Them Know That Failure Is Okay 

Let’s face it, your child might have some stumbles on their way to the mountaintop. This is where you need to serve as their support system to encourage and help them understand that many of us fail multiple times before we achieve what we set out to do.

7. Urge Them to Try, Try Again

Remind your child that no one is judging them and that one of the advantages of setting goals is that they can try again as many times as they want to get it right.

Have you and your kids set your own New Year's resolutions? How are you staying motivated?

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