Tag Archives: resolutions


New Year’s Eve is almost here, and with that brings the famed New Year’s resolutions.  Adults everywhere are reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the next, finding places where they can improve their lives.  Parents often make big plans to change habits and behaviors with this fresh start, and these plans often include their children.  Here are a few New Year’s Resolutions you could work with your child to make.

Keep my belongings organized – The first thing that parents need to recognize about this resolution is that it very likely means something very different to your child.  Children typically have unique ways of keeping things organized.  This frequently stirs friction between child and parent because mom and dad might believe “organized” means that everything is folded, put away neatly and out of sight, while their child might consider things organized if he can find his underwear in the morning.  This is a great opportunity for parents to connect with their child.  Sitting down and discussing the differences between your view of organization and theirs can actually help a child if it is done though positive conversation.  Giving him freedom in this area can go a long way in helping him discover what his organization style is.  If there are rules in common areas, parents should be clear about those, but should also allow their child to control how he organizes his own space. This will help him learn to keep it all together.

Drink water with every meal. Most people do not drink enough water; this is true for adults and children.  Telling a child she cannot have soft drinks or juices anymore will cause aggravation in the child and will only work to make her sneak them elsewhere.  By setting the rule that everyone drinks water with each meal, this healthy liquid is introduced without the ban on other drinks altogether.

Practice the sport, art or activity of their choice for 30 min every day.  Everyone has hobbies or skills they want to improve.  Children often beg parents for lessons to learn to play piano or be in basketball, but after the first few weeks of lessons, the excitement fades when they learn they have to practice.  Parents can help their children set the goal to practice by finding their own new skill to work on. This way parents and children can work in unison to improve themselves in at least one way.

I will talk to one new person every week at school.  This is a great resolution for the child that has a hard time making friends and connections.  It can seem like a leap of faith for a timid child to make new friends, which is why it is so important to start with just one conversation.  Maybe only one in every five conversations end in some kind of friendship, but then in a little over a months’ time your child will have a new friend and be confident enough to make more.

I will try one new food a week.   Children tend to eat the same foods every week.  This is due in part to the fact that these foods are easy to make and because parents are tired of fighting with their children to eat new and more healthy foods.   This approach addresses the problem in steps.  It does not require the child eat entire meals that he hates, just one new food a week.  Make the new food three or four times during the week so that he gets a chance to try just one bite a few times.  Parents should try to make the experience fun and set a good example by eating the food alongside him.

I will help one person every day without being asked.  Generosity is a character trait most people believe is absent in children these days.  Parents can inspire the development of this habit by encouraging their children to find one person to help or to do one helpful activity each day without being asked to do it.  Keep a chart of these activities and praise the big-heartedness that it brings. Try to avoid “rewarding” these activities with material positions because part of generosity is not expecting anything in return.  Instead give rewards with kind words and gratitude.

Change is best done with someone else.  If parents want to encourage their child to make these transformations, the best way to do so is to make the changes along with their child.  Find one or two small changes that you and your child can work together to make, then connect and talk about the successes and the challenges of altering this habit every week.  If you do, then by this time next year both you and your child will be healthier, happier and more connected to each other.


It’s only natural that there are going to be workplace conflicts, as well as those disagreements at home.  Knowing how to settle them is like fitting all the pieces of the puzzle perfectly.  In the workplace, the supervisor is also the mediator.  Being a good mediator means that he/she can effectively resolve situations where different people with different ways of doing things can lead to personal and professional growth. 

Not taking things personally is very hard when it comes to being critized about your job.  Often times, intense personal animosity can result; that leads to too much downtime, teamwork breaking down, and wasted talent as people lose interest in their job.  It can lead to a downward spiral of negativity and recrimination.  

Suggestions to Mediate and Resolve Conflict:

  • Meet with the antagonists together.
  • Make sure that good relationships are the first priority.
  • Set out the facts.
  • Separate the people from the problems.  Many times one person may not be being difficult, but has real and valid differences with the other person.  Listen first; talk second.
  • By listening carefully you’ll understand why the person is taking his or her position.
  • See if each participant can describe actions they would like to see the other party take.
  • Open up communications.
  • Explore options together; a third resolution may exist and you can reach this point together.

Some of the benefits that a mediator may reap from communication skills are the following:

  • Improved self-knowledge.  Conflict pushes individuals to examine their goals in close detail, helping them understand the things that are most important to them, sharpening their focus, and enhancing their effectiveness.
  • Increased group cohesion: When conflict is resolved effectively, team members can develop stronger mutual respect, and a renewed faith in their ability to work together.
  • Increased understanding: The discussion needed to resolve conflict expands people’s awareness of the situation, giving them an insight into how they can achieve their own goals without undermining those of other people. 

Conflict Mediation in the Home 

Usually, workplaces have mediation processes in place.  It isn’t quite that simple in the home.  Who among us haven’t had differences with our spouses, parents, or children?  If you have such conflicts in your home, try establishing a conflict resolution process, including the location.  The place you choose may play a large part in resolving those problems.  The bedroom should be a safe and loving place in a marriage; therefore, you should never designate your bedroom as the conflict resolution area.  If, on the other hand, you are resolving a disagreement with your child, his/her bedroom is a good idea, as they feel safe in their bedroom and can open up to you better. 

For adults, your living room, dining room, kitchen or other room you are both comfortable in should be the place you sit down and work things out.  Talking things out should not be done while others are in the home.  Find a time when each of you has the opportunity to talk.  Don’t interrupt, but show respect for each other by listening to each point of view, and then do your best to understand and go about acknowledging mistakes that may have been made, and vow to try to rise above that point.  Loving couples have arguments at one time or another; but by talking it out, problems can be resolved without the “cold shoulder” treatment.  You may be surprised by something that has been bothering your spouse that you weren’t even aware of. 

It isn’t always easy to resolve conflicts at home or work – but it is always important to settle disagreements before they spin out of control.  Whether it’s talking things out by two family members, or having a mediator guide two persons to smoother waters at work, the mediator crafts a work environment that enables the success of the people who learn it.  Conflict mediation is an example of “practice makes perfect.”


Every New Year, we tell ourselves we are going to do better in the coming year.  At least, I do, but then it is hard too follow up and keep our promise to ourselves.  Some of the most popular things that are listed on my resolutions are:

  1. Planning to lose weight;
  2. Getting more exercise;
  3. Getting more sleep;
  4. Being more productive;
  5. Being more patient;
  6. Driving more carefully;
  7. Turning off the cell phone in the car;
  8. Being more punctual for jobs, appointments;
  9. Trying not to be as forgetful, 
  10. Keeping up with things better.

These are things that are important to me; however, when it comes to losing weight, it seems it hasn’t been important enough to give up desserts, which are my downfall.  So, here we go, one more year, one more time; let’s all try to do better! 

Here are some facts that might help us all realize why we need exercise and proper diet:

  • Significant health benefits can be gained by moderate physical activity, and greater benefits can be gained by additional physical activity.  At least 30 minutes a day is needed, which can be broken down in 15-minute increments if necessary.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S.  Inactive people are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as regularly active people.
  • Poor diet and inactivity can lead to overweight/obesity.  Have you ever sat in a mall and noticed how many obese people there are?  Many are young people, who have probably preferred junk food to healthy food most of their lives.  We are certainly not judging, but obesity can lead to risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, gallbladder disease, and diabetes.
  • Nearly 60 million Americans are obese.  More than 108 million adults are either obese or overweight – meaning around 3 out of 5 Americans carry an unhealthy amount of excess baggage.
  • Not having enough time for exercise is one of the causes many people don’t get enough activity.  Young people should take advantage of physical education at school and get some kind of extra exercise.  Too many spend hours in front of their video games and television, which can get them into a sedentary rut. 
  • Workplaces should have safe places where their employees can work out on breaks, or at lunch.  Some worksites have walking trails on location, which gives their workers a chance to enjoy the outdoors and get a break from being inside all day.  Others have actual fitness centers for their employees.
  • Other health risks associated with physical inactivity are Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  We once thought these to be age-related; however, they are now diagnosed in children and teens. 

This year I am going to print out my resolutions and post them where I won’t forget what I promised to do this year.  My dog Buddy is getting older, and he doesn’t want to walk as far as he used to.  So, I have used this as my excuse to go back into the house, as well.  I am going to put him back in, and continue to walk at least as far as I used to.  It is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and plan my day. 

Good luck on your New Year’s resolutions.  After all, the definitions of resolutions are: decree, resolve, promise, solution.  And isn’t that what will happen, if we keep them?  May you have a safe, happy, prosperous, and healthy NEW YEAR!