Hope

Hope can be defined as wanting something to happen or be true or to expect something with confidence, per Merriam-Webster. (Dictionary, 2021)

Each of us has hoped for something in our lives.  Maybe we hoped for Legos® for Christmas or to go to the movies with our best friend. We could have hoped to catch the biggest fish or to pass our driver’s license test.  Sometimes we hope for things that stir our heart, such as the health and recovery of someone we love or ourselves. We hope for lots of things.

The benefits of hope are real, as evidenced by research.  Research suggests that hope helps children succeed despite hardships. (Maholmes, 2014) Hope can predict academic achievement (Day, Hanson, Maltby, Proctor, & Wood, 2010) and performance. (Land, Martin, & Shea, 2011) Hope can moderate trauma and related anxiety in young adults. (Griggs, 2017) Hope promotes physical health and healing. (Schiavon, Marchetti, Gurgel, Busnello, & Reppold, 2017)

The most wonderful thing about hope is that it is an actionable step – not a passive feeling. (Sicinski, 2021)  We can and must nurture hope in concrete ways – for ourselves and those we care for, but how?  There are three primary components to hope:  goals, agency, and pathways.  (Snyder, 2000)  Agency can be defined as focused energy or believing in our ability to make things happen or reach our goals.  While pathways are the actions leading to those goals. (Weir, 2021)

So how do we translate hope into everyday steps we can practice or encourage in others?

  1. Envision what you want.  It is important to have a clear picture of what you want to work towards – what the future holds.  Consider writing it down or making a vision board or storyboard – inspire yourself.
  2. Create action steps.  Planning for two or three steps that move you closer to what you hope for creates movement.  Small steps are often the best as they create momentum. For example, instead of saying “I will only eat healthy foods,” try saying, “I will drink eliminate one soft drink or will add one fruit or vegetable to my diet.”
  3. Celebrate the positive movement towards what you want – what you hope for.   Sometimes we forget that success comes with action, something that we did to work toward that success.
  4. Allow the stumbling blocks to strengthen your ability to rise, start over, try again. When we bump into roadblocks, it is important to ask ourselves what we can learn from it and decide to try again.  Maybe we did not offer ourselves enough grace for the challenges, possibly our steps were too big, and it could be that the timing was simply off a bit. 
  5. Practice optimism.  Optimism supports feelings of peace, adaptability, and self-worth. All closely weave together to create a hopeful attitude.  (University of Kansas Health System, 2021) Talk to yourself with the kindest of words, as you would a loved one, your best friend, or the littlest child.  Challenge negative self-talk.
  6. Laugh.  Laughter decreases stress, creates a boost in energy – vital for hope. (Weir, 2021)
  7. Care for yourself.  Practice loving self-care.  Allow yourself to say no to others, take an afternoon on your day off, enjoy your first cup of coffee, turn electronics off a couple of hours before bedtime – do the small things that create peace for you.
  8. Connect with others.  Be with people who love you and who you love. Plan an afternoon with friends or treasured loved ones.
  9. Reach beyond yourself.  Look for opportunities to be of service to others.  Volunteer with a group or population that you feel passionate about or who inspires you. 

Hope is courage.  Hope is resilience. Hope is more than a feeling.  Hope is real. 

References

(2021, March 26). Retrieved from University of Kansas Health System: https://www.kansashealthsystem.com/health-resources/turning-point/programs/resilience-toolbox/hope-and-optimism/why-do-we-need-hope

American Psychological Association. (2021, March 9). Retrieved from www.apa.org: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/06/cover-opioids-stigma

Ashford, R. D., Brown, A. M., & Curtis, B. (2018). The Language of Substance Use and Recovery: Novel Use of the Go/No–Go Association Task to Measure Implicit Bias. Health Communication, 1-7.

Day, L., Hanson, K., Maltby, J., Proctor, C., & Wood, A. (2010). Hope uniquely predicts objective academic achievement above intelligence, personality, and previous academic achievement. Journal of Research in Personality, 550-553.

Dictionary, M.-W. (2021, March 18). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster.com: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope

Griggs, S. (2017). Hope and Mental Health in Young Adult College Students: An Integrative Review. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health, 28-35.

Land, K. L., Martin, A. D., & Shea, A. M. (2011). Hope, but not optimism, predicts academic performance of law students beyond previous academic achievement. Journal of Research in Personality, 683-686.

Maholmes, V. (2014). Fostering Reslience and Well-Being in Children and Families in Poverty. New York: Oxford University Press.

Schiavon, C. C., Marchetti, E., Gurgel, L. G., Busnello, F. M., & Reppold, C. T. (2017). Optimism and Hope in Chronic Disease: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychology.

Sicinski, A. (2021, 18 March). https://blog.iqmatrix.com/nurturing-hope. Retrieved from IQ Matrix: https://blog.iqmatrix.com/nurturing-hope

Snyder, C. R. (2000). Hypothesis: There is hope. Academic Press, 3-21.

The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opiods. (2021, March 9). Retrieved from https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/: https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/executive-summary/reasons-for-optimism

Weir, K. (2021, March 26). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/10/mission-impossible

About the Author

Shawna is the Executive Director of Great Kids. Prior to joining Great Kids, she worked as home visitor, supervisor, and a program manager for a home visiting program in Kentucky where she utilized the Growing Great Kids (GGK) curriculum. Shawna loved the curriculum so much that she became a GGK curriculum trainer for her state and Great Kids, Inc. Shawna lives in Kentucky with her family.

Recent Posts

Love Leads to Learning

Love Leads to Learning

Carving out time to create our monthly blog is always refreshing for me. It’s an opportunity to step back from writing curriculum and...

read more
History is Not Your Destiny

History is Not Your Destiny

Some people are born with a love for reading. You know if you’re one of them! My sister is. Even as a child, she often had her head...

read more
Embrace the Joy!

Embrace the Joy!

As I sit down to write this blog, my week is coming to a close. It’s Friday. I’ve spent my workdays in a virtual conference learning,...

read more
Fresh Air

Fresh Air

For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, spring is officially here, and that’s a reason to celebrate! I don’t know about...

read more
The Next Generation

The Next Generation

Great Kids has been up to some exciting things for the past couple of years, and we are finally ready to share with the rest of the world! We have completed our most comprehensive update of our GGK Prenatal to 36 months (GGK P36) curriculum series – we call it the “GGK P36 NEXT GENERATION” series. It has been a labor of love for us. We intentionally reviewed all components of the curriculum, listened to feedback from the field, and incorporated the best practices in early childhood for our revisions, and the result is spectacular.

read more
Welcoming a New Sibling

Welcoming a New Sibling

In today’s technology-driven world, it seems so much simpler to capture special moments. Most of us usually have our phone handy, so...

read more

Growing Great Kids® Next Generation P-36

Our latest effort to support the work of Home Visiting, our Growing Great Kids® Next Generation (GGK®) Curriculum materials.

GGK® for Preschoolers

A Curriculum & Certification Program for Home Visitors aimed at fostering the growth of nurturing, developmentally enriched parenting skills, building protective factors for children 3 to 5 years old.

Open Enrollment

View upcoming virtual seminar open enrollment dates and subject areas.

How to Get Started

Start by scheduling a free 30-minute webinar to learn more about how your organization might benefit from Great Kids® affordable curriculum with no recurring costs.

Schedule Your Free Webinar Today

Frequently Asked Questions from Our New Customers

Please review common questions for those that are new to Great Kids®. Book your free, personalized webinar to learn more.

For Our Existing Customers

Thank you for being part of the Great Kids® family of agencies and programs. Support from Great Kids is just a click or phone call away.

Pre and Post Certification Products

All the tools you need to start using Great Kids® Curriculum right away and to continue to enhance the effectiveness of your program.

Ordering Materials

Need replacement manuals? Want to add to your library of Great Kids® resources? Find everything you need here.

  • New Products
  • Recovery-Impact-Support-Empower
  • Replacement Materials
  • Spanish Materials Available

Open Enrollment

View upcoming virtual seminar open enrollment dates and subject areas.

Existing Customer FAQs

Are you a past or current customer of Great Kids®? Find common questions and answers here.

Pricing Information for Existing Customers

Find pricing for companion products and other programs.

About Great Kids®

In partnership with home visitors, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of children feel safe and secure, loved and valued, curious and capable.

Contact Great Kids

100 North 72nd Avenue

Wausau, WI 54401

Email: info@greatkidsinc.net 

Phone: 1-800-906-5581

Research

Great Kids® has incorporated decades of theoretical and empirical foundations regarding the kinds of interventions that have been shown to make a difference for children into the Growing Great Kids® Prenatal to 5 Years and Growing Great Families® curricula.

Alignment With Program Models

Our curricula are flexible enough to be used within a multitude of program models.

Protective Factors

The research-based principles of the Protective Factors Framework were foundational in the development of the Growing Great Kids® Curriculum.

Great Kids® Blog

Find informative articles about growing creativity in young children, welcoming a new sibling, playing outside, as well as general Great Kids® updates.

GK Video Podcast

A video podcast series dedicated to overcoming bias in others, and within our selves.

Parent’s Place Newsletter

Limited edition, weekly installment Newsletter published by Great Kids® from March through December 2020 with printable resources for home visitors and the families they serve.

Open Enrollment

Great Kids is proud to offer a variety of virtual seminar opportunities! Visit our Open Enrollment page for the latest dates and seminar offerings. 

 

We continuously add seminar dates to our list so please check back often. For more information about how to enroll, contact us at info@greatkidsinc.net.

 

You can also enter your email address in the form below to subscribe to receive regular updates from GK, including information on open enrollment. 

 

We look forward to partnering with you!

We look forward to connecting with you!