The New Year gives parents and children the opportunity to set goals
for the coming months. Individuals often make New Year resolutions, but families can set family goals as well. Below are a few resolutions that your family might consider adopting this year. Or, the suggestions might give you ideas for other family goals to strive for in the coming year. Good luck with your family resolutions. And remember, resolutions can be made throughout the year, or they may change seasonally, along with your family’s needs.
New Year Resolutions for Families
Eat Dinner Together: It seems so simple, but many families struggle to find the time to sit down and eat a meal together. Homework, work schedules, and extracurricular activities are often to blame. But families can commit to dinner together, as long as they plan ahead. Choose one or two nights a week and schedule a family dinner hour. A simple menu like tacos or spaghetti will give you extra time at the dinner table to talk about what’s going on in your lives. Strive to prepare the meal together and clean up together.
Scale Back, a Little: So many families find that they over commit their time and schedules. Plan a family meeting to discuss how your family can find more time in the week to relax and enjoy each other’s company. That might mean giving up an activity or two, or scaling back on volunteer work or even certain chores. Try the new schedule on a trial basis, to see how it works for your spouse, children and for you. Be sure you use your extra time to do something constructive with each other, such as playing games, taking walks or even watching television together.
Get More Exercise: If you’re worried that you or your children aren’t getting enough exercise, use the New Year as a time to make exercising a family priority. Schedule family walks together, or consider making a small investment in sports equipment or a family gym membership. To keep it interesting, rotate activities so that you’re not just engaging in one sport.
Read More (for Fun!): Turn the TV off, put the computer on sleep mode, and put the cell phones on vibrate. Then, everybody grab a book or a magazine to read for fun. You could even read a book together, or hold a family book club once a week. Reading will help your child develop reading and writing skills, and by reading for fun, you’re teaching your kids that entertainment doesn’t have to be high tech or cost a lot.
Eat Healthier: So many people make New Year resolutions to eat healthier, and for good reason. Many families just aren’t getting the nutrition they really need. But your family can improve its eating habits, and have fun doing so. Grab a few cookbooks, or search online for healthy family recipes. Then shop for the ingredients together and prepare the food. You might even consider picking a day of the week to have a healthy dinner menu, say every Wednesday. Or, you might try going vegetarian one day a week.
Make Time for Fun: Has it been a while since your family took a vacation? Do you ever make time to go to the movies or have a family game night? Be sure your schedules aren’t interfering with important family time. If your budget allows, sit down together and talk about possible vacation trips you might take. Then do the research together to find out about all the possible locations. Or, have family time at home, playing games, or going to nearby low-cost destinations. The point is to be together, and to enjoy one another’s company. And that doesn’t have to cost a cent. Just your time.