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Planning for the New Year

Motivation! Is anyone surprised?? This is one of my favorite topics! This week's motivation tip is to send voice texts. This is a feature available on most smartphones and a great alternative to text messages because they are far more personal. A text message is certainly nice, but voice texts can showcase one’s excitement or serious tone. During this time of minimal contact and busy online work schedules, staying connected to family and friends is important. Voice texts are a quick and easy ways to go that extra step staying connected and personal.

Did you know that Tuesday, December 15, is National Cupcake Day!? I absolutely love cupcakes, but I am not going to be providing you with a recipe; instead, I want to talk about positive reinforcement. A few weeks ago, I talked about leveraging Christmas lists for chores, and this week I want to talk about something similar. Using treats like cupcakes, healthy banana muffins, or any snack that your child loves, can be valuable ways to reward good behavior, and even more special when used spontaneously. This can encourage good behavior and instill good habits early on as well as given our children positive associations with responsible habits like chores or schoolwork!

How many of us are desperate for 2021 to come? While I know that a new year doesn’t necessarily change any of the circumstances that we are living in now, it can offer a mindset change and new fervor and motivation to accomplish goals. This week, I want to challenge you to organize your New Year Goals! Prepare for this new year that will be full of opportunities for growth and change. One thing that I like to do is reverse plan- and I am going to give you a template this week to help you do just that. Studies show that planning in general can enhance self-control and happiness. There is also a marked difference in success between forward and reverse planning. Reverse planning not only enhances motivation, but tends to improve overall outcomes. The great part, too, is that once you begin reverse planning for one task, it gets easier to repeat the steps again and again for new, subsequent tasks.

The act of reverse planning in practice is also shown to be highly beneficial for students! It can break down the overarching goals into smaller, more attainable steps that are less daunting for most people. For example, if your child is just starting to read chapter books, instead of just setting a goal to read one chapter book every two weeks, use reverse planning and break down the goal to one chapter a day! With that being said, think about what goals you want to pursue in 2021. And think big! After 2020, I think we are all primed for big changes and open to changes. While this may stem from challenging circumstances, we have an opportunity in this new year to do better and be better. And, once you master reverse planning, you can teach your children and/or students this method

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