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New Year Activities for a Growth Mindset Classroom

If you have been working hard to create a growth mindset classroom, then you know how important goal-setting is for students!  The start of a new year is a great time to help your students set goals with a growth mindset.  The new year activities that I’m going to share with you will help your students ease back into the school routine after winter break. 

New year activities for a growth mindset classroom

Growth Mindset New Year Activities 

Goal setting can come in many different forms!  These growth mindset new year activities can give students the tools and confidence they need to set and achieve their goals in the new year.

Goal Setting

Before inviting students to set goals for the new year, it’s important to review the elements of a SMART goal:

  • Specific: The more focused the goal, the more likely our students can achieve it.
  • Measurable: Assign a number or frequency to the goal, which also helps with specificity.
  • Attainable: Choose a goal that is actually within reach.
  • Relevant: Ensure that it’s the right time to be working on this goal.
  • Time-Based:  Set a time frame to help drive the goal forward.

Once students understand the elements of goal setting, they will be excited to write down the things they would like to accomplish in the new year.

A banner that says "2023 will rock because..."


The difference between goals and resolutions can be difficult for even adults to understand, so it’s understandable that it would be a little bit abstract for students.  Resolutions are different than SMART goals because they aren’t as specific or time-focused.  Instead, resolutions are firm decisions that you make to help you become the person you want to be.

A great way to help students practice resolutions is to break them up into the different aspects of their lives.  For example, you could have them visualize the type of student they would like to be. What kinds of things are they doing? What are they not doing?  These are resolutions that they would write down to help them become the student they want to be.  Then you could repeat for family, personal, and friendship resolutions.

Power of Yet

Another fun format for goal setting is to use the Power of Yet!  A key factor in growth mindset is the belief that all students can achieve at high levels.  Students need to understand that just because they can’t do something right now, they are still capable of doing it!

Students can write down their goals as something that they can’t do yet but will do in the new year.  When students view goals in this way, they are encouraged to work hard to accomplish them.  They will see mistakes and setbacks as stepping stones they can use to achieve their goals.

Growth Mindset Encouraging Phrases

When students are challenging themselves to accomplish something, there will definitely be moments of frustration!  Another helpful new year activity for a growth mindset community is to help students identify encouraging phrases.  They should choose growth mindset phrases that will be helpful to them when they experience setbacks.  When students choose encouraging phrases that are meaningful to them, they are more likely to use them!

A variety of colorful new year banners

Mindset Flips

Another powerful tool that students can put in their growth mindset toolbox for the new year is the mindset flip!  They can identify and write down the limiting beliefs that they experience.  Then students can write down phrases that they can use to flip that limiting belief to a growth mindset.  

This activity can be especially helpful for students as they are deciding on their goals for the new year. As students think of goals they would like to achieve, those limiting beliefs are often right on the surface!  This is the perfect time to write them down and flip them!

New Year Plans

Help your students look forward to the year ahead by having them write down a list of things they plan to do.  These don’t necessarily have to be goals or resolutions.  These can just be things they want to do during the year!  Having something to look forward to can go a long way in creating a positive attitude for the year ahead.  

SMART goal setting can be intimidating for students, so it can be helpful to start with a more open-ended activity like this one.  Students can say that they plan to read more books this year.  From there, you can help them turn that into a measurable goal.  Even if you don’t use new year planning for goal setting, it’s a worthwhile activity to help students look forward to the new year. 

A completed 20 Years from Now banner

Long-Term Planning

In addition to looking forward to the new year, students can visualize themselves 20 years from now.  This powerful activity can help students imagine who they will be after all the learning and growing that they will do.  Having a long-term goal is very helpful for students as they set goals and resolutions for themselves. It provides a certain amount of intention and purpose for their goals. Students can begin to see that the effort they make and the challenges they face now will help them become the person they want to be.

Printable Growth Mindset New Year Activities

The new year activities mentioned above can all be found in one easy-to-use printable resource.  You can choose from various page types to help your students create their own unique growth mindset banner for the new year.  You can display these in the hallway or classroom for a fun bulletin board, then have students take them home as a reminder of their goals for the new year.

Three different new year banners

If you’d like to look at everything included in this resource, you can find it in my shop.

Save These New Year Activities for Your Growth Mindset Classroom

Be sure to add the pin below to your favorite teaching or growth mindset board on Pinterest.  You’ll be able to quickly find these new year activities for your growth mindset classroom whenever you need them!

New year activities for a growth mindset classroom

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