Putting Your Best Foot Forward!
Create a collage using the shape of your own foot to represent your positive intentions for the New Year!
What you’ll need: Paper, markers or pens, old magazines and other sources of images, scissors, glue
What’s it for?
This activity will allow you to identify intentions for the New Year ahead while promoting positive thinking and creativity. Intention-setting could also be a daily practise that can give you a focus and a clear direction for your day, despite the challenges you may be facing.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
January represents a new beginning, often creating hope for new experiences in the upcoming year. Have you ever heard the expression “putting my best foot forward”? In this activity, think about it as stepping into the New Year with a positive intention. Setting an intention is like planting a seed in the ground. If taken care of properly, the seed will eventually grow. It is important to remember that the seeds also need a good soil to be able to grow. Just like your intentions need good thoughts to blossom. If your intention is to make new friends but you are preoccupied by negative self-talk or thoughts, then it will be difficult for this intention to manifest. This is not a good ground for healthy growth.
It is okay to admit when things are hard, but sometimes you will have to flip a negative thought and turn it into a more positive one! For example, a negative thought “Nobody sits next to me at lunch time” could be turned into a more positive one: “I don’t like sitting alone at lunch time; maybe I could join someone today”. Another way to flip a negative thought is to practise adding ‘yet’ to the things you cannot do yet. This could help you realize that learning a new skill is a process that gets better with practise and repetition. How would you flip a negative thought in your mind?
Now it is time to set your positive intentions for the New Year!
Using a blank piece of paper, think about and write down something you will DO. For example, “I will brush my teeth twice a day” or “I will eat more vegetable because I know they are good for my body and mind”
Think about and write down something you will LEARN. This could be something you are particularly interested in or something that would bring you joy
For example, “I will learn my favourite dance moves” or “I will learn how to cycle”
Think about and write down something you will BE. For example, “I will be kind” or “I will be helpful”
Think about and write down something you will NOTICE. For example, “I will notice my feet stomping on the ground on the way to school” or “I will notice when my friend or family member is feeling sad and ask if they are okay”
Think about and write down something you will OFFER back to others at home or at school. Reflect on your unique character traits or skills that you would like to use to help others. For example, “I will offer to help with cleaning at home” or “I will offer my time to play with my friend/ sibling when they feel alone”
Once you have finished writing down your intentions, trace your foot on another piece of paper - this could be done with or without socks and shoes on
Use the collage materials to find pictures to represent your intentions that you listed earlier; cut the images out and glue them inside the outline of your foot
You can use markers or pens to draw or write words to represent your intentions and use any other art materials to decorate it
When you complete your collage, cut out the foot outline using scissors safely
Look at your work and be proud of yourself for taking the time to think about how to “put your best foot forward” this year
Share you collage with the people in your family and the ways that you will “put your foot forward”
Finally, find a place at your home to display your collage to remind you of your positive intentions for this year
Extra Activity: You can turn this activity into a Family 2021 intentions project! Join your individual “feet” together to form a wreath and use the space in the middle to write down, draw and decorate your family intentions. Reflect on the themes that feel good within your family. For example, “We will be kind to each other”, “We will express gratitude before bedtime”, “We will be patient with each other”, “Games are more fun when we take turns”, etc.
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
Why is it important to start the New Year on your “best foot”?
What are some steps you will need to take this year to manifest the intentions you have identified?
Why is it good to set positive intentions for ourselves?
How did it feel to share your intentions with your family?
Do you think remembering your positive intentions can help you when things feel more difficult?
What did you learn from participating in this activity?
This activity helps to create annual intentions to focus on what you would like to feel and experience in the upcoming year. Designing positive intentions can have a powerful impact on your motivation, optimism, self-esteem, and relationships.
Created by Karolina Koman © January 2021
Creative Arts Used: Art
Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing and Self-Esteem
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This activity was adapted and inspired by:
Joiner, Lindsey. (2016): The Big Book of Even More Therapeutic Activity Ideas for Children and Teens: Inspiring Arts-Based Activities and Character Education Curricula, by Lindsey Joiner, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp. 137–139.