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The New Year is off to an amazingly sweet start! Not only are we fortunate to see 2013, but we have been afforded the chance to witness and share history in the making with all of the special little ones in our lives. On January 21st, we celebrated and honored both the past and present-day accomplishments of two great men of distinction, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama. Dr. King’s birthday coincided with the second inauguration of the country’s first African-American President. How befitting for both of their legacies! These men are representative of dreams fulfilled, goals achieved, and adversities overcome, for the sake of not just themselves, but for each one of us, and especially our future generations. The hopes of Dr. King and President Obama have a chance to be realized through our precious little ones, as the work of these men has broken down boundaries and opened doors of opportunities that had been securely locked for so long, so that our children will have access to any and every opportunity to achieve their own greatness.

So, there is even more for you and your sweet child to be excited about as 2013 has been ushered in with a promise of a brighter tomorrow. Together, with your little one, make a commitment to explore the opportunities and reach even higher this year. Here are some ways that the two of you can make 2013 a year of fantastic accomplishments and treasured memories:

 

Create a Dream Catcher. Unlike the traditional Native American yarn-spun Dream Catcher, this version will be a hands-on time capsule that you will be able to reflect on in the years to come. For this project, you and your sweet little girl will need either a box or jar that can be decorated. One idea for decorating it is to decoupage pictures of things that represent the dreams and goals that the two of you have for yourself. This container will be your Dream Catcher. Each of you should have your own. Knowing that you also have dreams and hopes, and that you will go after them, will inspire your precious one to believe that dreams can happen for her, too. Together, make a commitment to write down your hopes, dreams, and goals, even if they are ever-changing, and place them into this Dream Catcher. Set an anniversary date for opening them, and see how close the two of you are to reaching your goals or celebrate those dreams that have come true.

 

Change the world in a year. It may seem like a lofty goal, but there are so many things that you and your little brown girl can do to make a difference in this world. Pick a cause that you would like to support together. Then, set a monthly goal for your service or activity for that cause. With each passing month, you and your special girl will begin to feel better and better about your work, and after a year, the two of you will be able to look back on the progress that was made to further that cause.

 
Make goal setting a priority in both of your lives, and be prepared to celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how great or small. When you work with your little one to set goals, you are encouraging her growth on a number of different levels, and helping to build her self-esteem in the process. Ultimately, the two of you will find that life can be even more rewarding and satisfying when you dare to dream.