Setting Goals for the New Year

new-year-goal-setting-by-jennifer-millerThe quiet of falling snow, the start of the year and the lull after the pile-up of holiday season events offers an ideal time for reflection. Whether or not you set new year’s resolutions, using the winter months for envisioning your best self and setting goals just makes sense. My partner handed me a deck of cards after the new year with values and goals written on them called “Purpose” cards. I sifted through the cards and picked out the ones I most wanted to cultivate in my life – presence, forgiveness, and parenting with love and wisdom. It gave me the idea that maybe I could use cards to help me consider and think through some of my goals for parenting. Certainly, parenting is a top focus in my life. And there are many values related to parenting that I’d like to adopt and pursue. But there are so many, at times, I lose track of where I should focus my improvement efforts. So with a helpful model, I created my own parenting cards for your use and my own. It wasn’t difficult thinking of 52 different ways I want to be, act and live as a Mom. And I find being clear about exactly what qualities I want to cultivate in my life helps me achieve my hopes and dreams for who I want to be. I share these ideas below for your own reflection. You can simply use the following list or print off the cards and sort through your own pile. Check out the questions that follow the list to prompt your thinking while you sort through them.


Here are the 52 potential goals for parenting. I narrowed down to my top five to work on for 2017. Try narrowing down to your own top five. Then consider the “how.” How will you do this in the coming year?

  1. Model kindness.
  2. Seek joy.
  3. value-hard-work-and-practice-card-by-jennifer-millerBe playful.
  4. Find laughter and fun.
  5. Extend patience.
  6. Learn about development.
  7. Forgive.
  8. Be present.
  9. Take time to calm down.
  10. Get out in nature.
  11. Plan for anger triggers.
  12. Deep breathe more.
  13. Be quiet together.
  14. Prioritize trust.
  15. Trade judgment for compassion.
  16. Recognize positive actions.share-grateful-thoughts-card-by-jennifer-miller
  17. Provide wait time.
  18. Facilitate sibling kindness.
  19. Listen with empathy.
  20. Ask open-ended questions.
  21. Learn about others who are different.
  22. Name feelings.
  23. Own role in conflict.
  24. Align hopes with daily actions.
  25. Delegate decisions.
  26. Take a child’s perspective.
  27. Stay healthy.
  28. Think creatively.
  29. tell-stories-card-by-jennifer-miller-1Gain fresh perspectives.
  30. Reflect on actions.
  31. Express love regularly.
  32. Offer choices.
  33. Step back to allow for discovery.
  34. Use simple, direct language.
  35. Demonstrate love through actions.
  36. Practice home routines.
  37. Accept mistakes for learning.
  38. Respond to old problems in new ways.
  39. Trust child’s intentions.
  40. Seek to understand before rushing to fix.
  41. Practice self-care.
  42. Express frustration constructively.
  43. Confront fears.
  44. Hug more.
  45. Show generosity to neighbors.dream-with-your-family-card-by-jennifer-miller
  46. Serve community together.
  47. Be kind anonymously.
  48. Focus attention on each child daily.
  49. Value hard work and practice.
  50. Tell stories of failures and comebacks.
  51. Dream with your family.
  52. Share grateful thoughts daily.

After sorting through the cards and selecting your top five, consider these questions.

  • Why is this a focus for you this year? What makes it important to you?
  • What are some specific ways you could demonstrate this quality or value in your life?
  • How will you hold yourself accountable to your goal? How will you remember?
  • It’s next January and you are reflecting on the year 2017. What can you imagine you did to incorporate these goals to improve your parenting and your life?

Let me know if these are useful to you! And here are the pdf files of the cards if you want to print and use them. If you love them, let me know. Is it worth creating and printing a deck of cards to offer on the site?

Happy New Year to you and all those you love!















3 Comments on “Setting Goals for the New Year”

  1. Love the cards. Get idea. Cutting out the cards individually will be a chance to reflect on each of the cards as well.

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