It is coming up to that time of year where New Year’s Eve is upon us and next year we can start out on a clean slate. Many of us are already making our resolutions that we hope to intend to keep but will most likely fall to the wayside come February of next year. They may be promises to go to the gym more often or to lay off the Nutella.
Instead of making personal New Year’s resolutions, try making them as a family. You are more likely to keep them when everyone is on board, holding each other accountable and cheering each other on.
The following are some great ideas for New Year’s Resolutions to make with your family:
1. One Charitable Activity A Month
This is a great activity to do with your family as it teaches your kids how to be compassionate and have empathy. It can be something small like helping rake your neighbor’s leaves to volunteering at an animal shelter helping brush and clean up after them. Your family can also decide to focus on one charity for a whole year. Your and your family can think of different ways to raise money for said charity – a great way to use each other’s creativity and inventiveness. Not only are you helping others but it is feel good activity. It is one resolution that you can immediately see the results.
2. Eat Healthier
Now you don’t have to go and start throwing away all of your delicious snacks or chocolaty treats. A New Year’s resolution that everyone can get on board is committing to try at eat healthier – even if that just means trying to include one vegetable at every meal or giving up pop for juice. You can also take this opportunity to take cooking classes together that focus on preparing healthy meals. Many times it is hard to eat healthier because we just don’t know how to prepare meals that way. Learning how to prepare healthier meals is not only beneficial for your family but are lessons that your children can benefit when they grow up – especially when they go off to college.
3. Family Dinners
Resolve to make family dinners important. With everyone’s busy schedules and after school activities, it is sometimes difficult to connect as a family. There has been much research that shows that having consistent family dinners not only helps you connect with your family but also helps with your child’s development at young age. It shows them how to engage in healthy conversation without the distractions of all of our electronic devices. It helps expand their vocabulary and reading ability. For older children, it has been shown when a teen regularly dines with their family there are lower instances of drug abuse, teen pregnancy and depression as well higher grade point average and better self-esteem.
4. Family Night
Having family night is a great, fun way to spend time together. It is an awesome New Year’s resolution to keep! Each family member can take turns planning what to do on family night so that everyone has a chance at doing something they enjoy and introducing it to the family. You may find that you may like something that you otherwise thought you wouldn’t. Fun activities can include going roller skating and visiting a museum or as simple as having a fun movie night in. Family night can feel like a little vacation once a week! They are a great way to reconnect with one another after a busy week and just enjoy each other’s company.
5. Be More Active
Being active as a family is important to everyone’s overall health. With all the gaming devices, tablets, computers and TVs it is easy for us to become couch potatoes. Getting out and doing things is not only a great way to spend time with your family but it can feel like an adventure. Make the commitment to try new and exciting active activities with one another. They can be as easy as going hiking or even trying out rock climbing. Your children will love the ability to go out and use their whole body. This is a great way to not only encourage spending time with one another but you are also teaching them to make it as a habit throughout their adulthood. Being active not only helps us be healthier but keeps us all happier too. You can also incorporate being more active in day to day activities such as instead of driving your kids to school, if it is close enough you can all walk there. It is also good to promote active play such as going to a park or playing sports.
6. Shut Off The Devices And Gadgets
A great New Year’s resolution is making the commitment to turn off all devices for a set period of time. Being mindful of how much screen time your family is getting is important because children who spend too much time on these devices show a decree of attachment with not only their parents but also their peers. Encourage activities like board games or crafts as a fun alternative!
7. Little Less Structure
Many families nowadays have a habit of over scheduling and seem to go from one activity to another. Make the commitment with your family to not put to many things on the calendar and take the opportunity to have more free time is a great New Year’s resolution to have. It is important to allow kids to have a bit of unstructured playtime as it helps them create independence, use their imagination and creativity as well as help with their socials skills. It is important to remind everyone that it is just as important to relax!