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Building a Container for Resolutions

By Kate Allen

The new year is upon us and with it comes the excitement of setting new year's resolutions! Around this time also our cookie season begins and girls set goals and make thoughtful, strategic decisions about how they want to achieve them. We’ll show you an activity you can introduce to your troop that will show them the strength of outline steps to big goals.

My daughters have often aimed high when it comes to goal setting during cookie season. They'll be the first to tell you that the recognitions for high achievers are enticing. When it comes to showing up for the work required to meet those lofty goals, though, the enthusiasm that comes with goal setting can dwindle. Established habits and desires to do other things may end up taking precedence, and if they do, disappointment about the failure to meet goals can surface.

Making a resolution for the new year is like setting a goal for cookie season. How does one strike a balance between setting resolutions and developing habits that support the actions required for them? 

Below is an exercise you can do in a hands-on way to explore this balance and reach your goals.

  • 6 strips of colorful cardstock or paper (1" wide, 8.5" long)
  • A colorful marker/pen
  • Clear tape
  • One marble 
  • Step 1: On the first strip of cardstock, write down your resolution. On three additional strips, write down three steps that will support your success in meeting that resolution. These steps may include actions you know you'll need to take as well as subsequent actions you'll take if/when your initial interest begins to fade. 
  • Step 2: Hold up your marble. This is your resolution. Now use the strips of paper to pick up your marble. How well do the strips hold your resolution? 
  • Step 3: Arrange two of the strips next to one another vertically on a flat surface. Then weave two strips horizontally through the vertical strips, alternating between going over and under. Once this is done, you'll have a plus sign with a woven square at the center. This square is the floor of your container. From here, fold the ends of the strips so that they stand straight up above the floor of the container. These will be the walls of the container. 
  • Step 4: Take another strip and fold it every two inches along its length to form a square shape. Tape the ends of this strip together to secure the square shape.
  • Step 5: Position your square from Step 4 so it is parallel with the floor of your container. Weave the square from Step 4 onto the upstanding ends of your container from Step 3. The ends of the container from Step 3 should alternate over and under the square from Step 4 on all four sides. Once this is done, repeat steps 3 and 4 with a second strip of paper.
  • Step 6: Fold the ends of the vertical strips from Step 3 over the second square from Step 5 (fold it toward the inside of the container if the strip is on the outside of the square, and fold it toward the outside of the container if the strip is on the inside of the square). Tape the folded ends to the walls of the container.
  • Step 7: Put your marble in the container you've woven and pick up the container. How does the container support your marble compared to the individual strips of paper? Describe what was it like to weave a container for your resolution. What do you imagine it would be like to try weaving a container again for a new resolution? Journal for 5-10 minutes about the process and share your insights with someone you know.

Try this activity with your troop and have a discussion on goal setting. Share your troop’s experience with creative goal setting at

This article is hosted by the Authentic Leadership Community. The Authentic Leadership Community is currently running a new workshop for Service Units - Introduction to Authentic Girl Scout Leadership. We would love to visit your SU! To learn more and sign up, please complete our interest form.

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