By Marnita Coleman
Special to AFRO

Wow, can you believe how fast time is flying by? It seems as though it was just yesterday when I used to watch “The Jetsons,” a cartoon about a futuristic family that lived in outer space, employing smart home technology by way of a robot named Rosie (not Alexa), video chat, voice-activated appliances and other conveniences of virtual assistants currently used today. It’s a bit mind-boggling how real life and technology are moving at warp speed.

Yet, with all the advancements of technology, we still find that three to four weeks into a new year, folks who started the year strong with new resolutions have somehow lost their momentum. Before the end of the first month of a declared “new” year, they are derailed and right back where they started the year before. What is needed is determination and a firm commitment to accomplishing their goal. 

1948: This AFRO archive shows the East Side Federation of Youth Club leaders Priscilla Lawson, far left, standing beside Mary Williams, with J. Haywood Harrison, bottom left, and Constance Kelly.

In order to have a genuine new year, it will take a steadfast new you.  That is, there should be an element of newness or something different to add to the mix in order to create the results you are anticipating. Otherwise, 2020 will end up just like the year before.

I challenge you, today, to arm yourselves with determination and reintroduce this strategy to your children. Take whatever you desire, formulate an action plan, mark the completion date and set your mind to follow it through. Aid yourself with motivating tools that go alongside your resolutions to keep you inspired. Accountability partners, affirmations, vision boards, meaningful words, and stirring music will direct your focus and move you through the process, ensuring a victorious outcome. Then, help your children with their goals.

Remember during the pre-k and elementary school years, how teachers urged parents to acknowledge and praise every effort made by their children? It was called positive reinforcement, and it promoted healthy development in children by encouraging continued effort.  

Parents helped their children to be strong and courageous by being confident when taking on new tasks, setting goals, or stepping out of their comfort zone.  

So often the cruel reality is that not everyone knows how to adequately celebrate or embrace your child’s efforts. It is no different for them than it is for you when haters, or adversaries, come to stop or frustrate their progress. In every stage of advancement, there will likely be opposition because it is a learned behavior of a negative culture, but work the resistance to your benefit and get your child prepared for the inevitable by teaching them what it means to have determination.  

When opposition comes to discourage, let your child know that it is fuel and to always keep the embers of progress moving forward. I am reminded of sewing a garment: each pattern contains notches to serve as a guide to ensure that the sewer is aligning the pattern properly. The notches are an indication that the pattern is properly placed and the sewer is right on track.

When these signs show up, tell your children they are closer to their goals than they know and to proceed as if success is inevitable!

Marnita Coleman is an author and host of The Marnita Show, a parenting show heard daily across the globe. For more parenting tips and information, log onto

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