New Year's Resolutions for the Whole Family


Make this year’s resolutions together as a family.

By Sara Kendall

 

As the new year rolls around, we take stock of where we are and where we want to be. This year, try making resolutions as a family. Doing so will give the kids an opportunity to learn about working together as a team and the value of setting goals.

Here are five goals to work towards as a family. Don’t tackle them all at once. Choose one and focus on it for several weeks before adding a new one. Take stock of where you are before moving on, as well.

Eat More Healthfully

It’s truly important to put your family on the path of eating more natural and whole foods and fewer processed meals. Lifelong eating habits are formed in childhood and contribute to good health.

Search online and in books for healthful recipes. Sure, homemade meals take a little more time to prepare than those highly processed frozen or boxed meals, but the more you cook at home, the easier it gets. And you'll soon find it's worth it! (Plus it costs less in the long run. Good news all around!)

To get started, look for simple recipes that don’t require a lot of prep. Get your kids involved by helping out. For dessert, serve seasonal fruit.

Get Fit Together

Figure out a schedule and make plans to get your family moving on a weekly basis. Active families are healthier families, so get yours out there. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Walk around the neighborhood
  • Hit the bike trails through a local park
  • Play laser tag or paintball
  • Go sledding or play in the snow
  • Go rollerblading or ice skating at an indoor rink
  • Create an obstacle course in your backyard or indoors

Unplug Once a Week

Technology is an incredible tool, but too many of us have become obsessed with it. We constantly check social media sites, play games, or watch videos. Try unplugging completely once a week for a Screen Free Day (or evening?!)

Your kids will protest, you and your spouse may find it tough, too, but everyone will learn different ways to fill their time. Kids will get active and their creativity will blossom. Parents will get back to the basics and spend more time with the kids.

Simplify Schedules

Overscheduling has become a common concern in many families. Is your family’s calendar jammed with multiple activities on each day? Are your kids tired and grumpy? Grades slipping and their friends don’t come around anymore? Eating take-out every night? If you’re nodding your head yes, you need to make a change.

Kids need time for their homework, to play with friends, have family time, and just relax. If yours are overscheduled, it typically means parents are, too. Reduce activities and stress levels will drop for everyone.

Argue Less, Talk More

Do you hear a lot of screaming and bickering between your kids? Teach them to “take five” by removing themselves from the situation. A strategically placed break from the action will allow emotions to calm down. This results in less screaming and more talking. Constant reinforcement of this new process is necessary to make an improvement.

All of these resolutions are worthwhile for your family. When it’s a group effort, there’s a greater chance for these resolutions to turn into habits. When positive changes are put in place, every family member reaps the rewards.

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Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters