36 New Year's Resolutions for Kids They'll Actually Want to Keep

We've got resolution ideas for every age of kid, plus lots of tips to help.

Updated December 6, 2023
Small girls writing New Year's resolution

A new year is a chance to set a new goal for yourself, and that's not something that's only for adults. Whether you want to train for try-outs or plan to start your novel this year, a New Year's resolution for kids is the place to begin. It's way easier to know what you want and make it happen when you set a formal goal. These are a few of our favorite resolutions for each age of kid.

Kids' New Year's Resolutions for Pre-K

The youngest kids can set goals, too (just ask any preschooler who negotiates for another cookie or to stay up later). The key here is keeping the resolutions short-term. Think something that happens daily, not a goal to work on by the end of the year.

  • I plan to try a new food first before I say whether I like it.
  • This year, I will pick up my toys before bed every night.
  • I will do one extra-nice thing for someone every day.
  • I will help feed the cat (or dog) each day.
  • I plan to say a nice compliment to someone each day.
  • This year, I will eat more things that help me grow every day.
  • I will wash my hands every time I get home to help keep everyone healthy.
  • I will read a book with my mom or dad every night.
  • I will stay in bed after my parents tuck me in.
Quick Tip

Because the littlest kids don't always find the pleasure of achieving their goal motivating enough to keep doing it, it's okay to add in a reward. You could do stickers for each day or have them work toward a weekly or monthly reward.

New Year's Resolutions for Kids in Grade School

Kids in elementary school can set and keep New Year's resolutions that are a little more complicated. We're not talking a major change here, but daily and weekly habits are fair game. A longer-term goal works, but make it monthly instead of by the end of the year.

Family at market with sparklers
  • I will keep up with my homework every day.
  • I won't do my screen time until my homework is done this year.
  • I plan to ask someone at school a question about themselves each week.
  • I will work on writing a story at least once per week.
  • I will read to myself for half an hour every day.
  • I plan to get outside every day unless it's raining or really snowing this year.
  • I will give someone a compliment every day.
  • I'll do a really good job brushing my teeth every night before bed.
  • I will get ready for school in the morning every day without reminders.
Quick Tip

Older kids find accomplishment rewarding, but it's also nice to have a reminder in the form of a chart or calendar. We like adding a checkmark to every day of the calendar when they follow their resolution. Then, they can look back and see how well they're doing.

Tween New Year's Resolutions

Tweens are really getting the hang of abstract thought, and they're much more independent. They can handle a longer-term resolution, though it's still better to check in monthly.

  • I will have my homework done and in my backpack before bed every day.
  • I plan to make something new or write something cool every week this year.
  • I will have one really great conversation every week this year.
  • This year, I will take a bath or shower every day.
  • I'm going to be kind to myself this year and say one nice thing in my head before I go to sleep each night.
  • I will write in my journal at least three times a week this year.
  • I'm going to practice every day for something I want to try out for.
  • I will make food for someone in my family every week.
  • I plan to learn my neighborhood really well by going for a walk three times a week.
Quick Tip

Tweens benefit from a calendar or checklist, too, and it's nice to do a monthly check-in for goals. It's great to offer positive feedback about their progress.

Teen New Year's Resolutions

By the time kids are teenagers, they can handle much longer-term goals. They're also really good at meta-cognition, or thinking about their own thoughts and thought processes. There are tons of great options for New Year's resolutions for teens.

Mother and daughter holding New Year's sparklers at home
  • This year, I'm going to get up earlier so I don't have to feel so rushed in the morning.
  • I will get my homework done every night so I don't feel as stressed about school.
  • I'm going to limit myself to three activities a week so I have more time to hang out with friends.
  • I'm going to say something nice to someone in my family every week.
  • I plan to get in great shape this year by exercising every day.
  • I'll work on something creative at least three times a week.
  • I'm going to try to learn something new every week this year.
  • When I start to feel stressed out, I'm going to remind myself that everything is going to be fine.
  • I'm going to pick one area of my life to work on every month and do something to improve it.
Quick Tip

Teens mostly handle their own motivation for New Year's resolutions. You can ask if there's anything you can do to help, but it's best to leave the responsibility with the teen.

Tips to Help Kids Set and Keep Resolutions

For kids, New Year's resolutions can feel a little overwhelming to set and keep up, but there are lots of ways to make this easier. Parents can step in with support, and kids can use strategies to make sure the resolution fits what they need for the year.

  • Think about what the kid feels like they are struggling with or wants to learn. Just like with adults, the best New Year's resolutions for kids are things they already need or want to do.
  • Word the resolution in a positive way. Instead of "I will stop getting out of bed after bedtime," say, "I will stay in my bed after bedtime." It may not seem like a big difference, but it changes how the whole thing feels.
  • Ask older kids how much they want you to check in. They might want to manage this on their own, and sometimes, stepping in can be a source of conflict.
  • Realize that keeping a resolution is hard (we've tried so many times, and it doesn't always last the whole year). Let kids know it's a choice, and it's okay to choose not to do it anymore or change the resolution as you go.

Resolutions Can Empower Kids

Just like adults, kids' New Year's resolutions can be a way to set and keep goals and make changes to habits, but they actually serve another purpose. They can empower kids, too. Even if they don't end up keeping the resolution the whole year, they will see how they are making choices that have an impact on their goal. Don't forget to let them know how proud you are of them for that.

36 New Year's Resolutions for Kids They'll Actually Want to Keep