6 Steps to Better Habit Building for Your Best 2023
New Year’s Day typically comes with resolutions to improve health, sleep more, and work out more consistently. Many changes we want to make come down to creating a new habit.
Is learning to be a confident, independent swimmer one of your child’s goals for 2023? Many of our locations are offering promotions for the month of January! Check on the website for more information.
As parents, we want to pass on our hard-earned learnings, and knowing how to make a new habit may be one of the most important life-long skills we can give our children. Here are some of our top tips!
Goals are good, but specific goals make progress much more likely to happen. Specificity matters: spending more time together is good but spending more time together doing reading or moving together is better.
Spend some time as a family talking about your specific goals. It may be to make sure you eat dinner together more, so set once a week as your goal to start. A vague goal is more likely to be put off, delayed, reconsidered or abandoned. Specific objectives are more actionable and more likely to be achieved.
If your child wants to make it to the next level at Big Blue, visualize what that might look like and what it might take. Helping children learn the habits of habit-making starts with setting a specific goal.
Break It Up.
Significant changes are made in small steps. At Big Blue, we set a big goal for our swimmers – swimming 1000 yards independently without stopping – but break up the plan into a series of progressive wins along our Big Moments Journey. It helps anyone boost morale and confidence to see progress made, and it can help you stick to a new habit too.
What are some benchmarks you can set for your big goal? Can you break it into measurable pieces? Set milestones that will mark moments of progress on your journey. If your child is school-age, this kind of goal-setting will help with long-term projects. For young athletes, it helps set the stage for incremental progress and ways to measure success beyond a win/loss.
Give It Time.
Research says it can take three months to replace an old habit. If your child wants to be better about making their bed, helping tidy up or checking their school’s online tools to ensure homework is in, know that the habit will come with time. If they miss a day, lead with learning and support instead of frustration.
Our science-based program uses games and fun to help young swimmers quickly create great swimming habits. We see results faster than the typical habit-forming time frame. Life’s Big Moments Start Here!
Find time to check in as a family on how everyone’s unique goals and your family goals are going. Who needs support? What can you do to help elevate everyone’s dreams? What’s been a roadblock, and what’s an idea to get around it? What’s everyone learning about themselves and habit forming?
At Big Blue, checking in on progress is easy with our app. You can replicate that kind of check-in with a weekly family meeting, a goal sticker chart or other visible and public ways to hold one another accountable and celebrate progress.
Kids get sick. Work gets busy. You fall back into an old pattern. If you pause for a week on your goals or adjust based on the realities of life, that’s ok! Better to be flexible than to quit altogether. Get back on the new habit if you slip instead of giving up. Rigid thinking about what progress should look like can cause frustration and may even lead to failure.
Be clear about why you are being flexible and what your new goals are. Maybe it’s a shift in what’s considered a success. Maybe it’s an extended timeline. Perhaps it’s a bigger goal!
Remember, when you model flexibility, your kids notice. They’re more likely to think flexibly, be patient with their own progress and ultimately achieve more. The next time they face a plateau or a delay, you can share how you got through yours.
We love to mark a milestone! Whether it’s honoring a step along the way, a streak of a new habit or a big goal met, take the time to celebrate wins.
As parents, we want to pass on our hard-earned learnings and making a new habit may be one of the most important life-long skills we can give our children. Add swimming to your child’s goals for 2023, and we can help make it happen!
We’ll see you at the pool!