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New Year's Resolutions

To think about the many resolutions that get made and how hard it is to keep them.

by Gill O'Neill

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To think about the many resolutions that get made, and how hard it is to keep them.

Preparation and materials

  • On small pieces of card or paper write out about 10 resolutions that you have, or might have, made (but could also be children's resolutions), e.g.:
    I will work harder at school.
    I will eat more vegetables and fewer sweets.
    I will do more exercise.
    I will keep my bedroom tidy.
    I will stop biting my fingernails.
    I will visit my friends more often.
    I will smile more.
    I will be more punctual.
    I will get my work finished on time.
    I will be kinder to my parents.
  • Put the pieces of card/paper into a small box (such as a shoe box), seal it, and wrap it up in Christmas paper.


  1. Tell the children how much you enjoyed Christmas, and that you had some lovely presents. Perhaps thank them if appropriate. You could extend this section by talking about the gifts you received and gave, and asking the children about the gifts they received - but beware of 'I got expensive presents' syndrome!

    Point to the box, explaining that you've just discovered one present that did not get opened at Christmas. Ask for a volunteer to come and open the present for you. Get them to shake it, feel it and smell it for clues. When they have opened it, ask them to tell the children what it is: a box full of bits of paper.

    Look disappointed and tell the children that it wasn't what you expected.

  2. Ask another volunteer to take one of the pieces of card out of the box, and read what is on it. React as if what they have read is their own resolution, making comments like, I don't believe you! Never! or That's very admirable.

    Choose other children, one at a time, to come up and repeat the process. Then ask them to line up across the front of the hall, displaying 'their' resolution. Read through them all again then send the children back to their seats.

  3. Now tell the children that the resolutions are actually your own. Talk about whether you have managed to keep them so far and why you've decided on these. Say how well you think you will keep them all year.

  4. Ask if any of the children have made resolutions. Have they managed to keep them so far? Has anyone broken one?

  5. Tell the children that most of yours are positive: I will do something. But often in our resolutions we resolve to give something up, and that's when we are more likely to fail. Rather than taking something out of our lives, we need to put something good in.

Time for reflection

Close your eyes, and try to think of one or two things that you would like to change about yourself. Think of a positive way that you could change. Could you do more to help others at school or at home? Could you work harder on developing a gift or talent you have? Could you help to raise some money for a charity?

How could you change to add something new or different, to make yourself a better person?

Dear Lord,
Help us to have the strength to work at our resolutions,
so that they may still be with us at the end of the year,
and we will have added something positive to our lives.


'Thank you Lord for this new day' (Come and Praise, 32)

Publication date: January 2003   (Vol.5 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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