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New Year’s Resolutions for Families

by Heather Reynolds

Resolutions can be easy to give up on, mostly because they are all about YOU in a world where you’re constantly focused on taking care of everyone else. We have entered into not only a new year, but a new decade…so why not try making a new annual tradition of establishing family resolutions? We chose to call ours “goals” and we each picked one for bettering ourselves, our finances and our jobs/school. We wrote them down, shared them as a family to keep each other accountable, and will pack them up with the Christmas décor…so when we get everything out next year, we can look back on what we wanted to achieve and see how well we did! Need some ideas to get your family started? We’ve got them for you – and they are fun, easy and are sure to benefit your entire family unit!


We spend so much of our time on electronic devices these days…for work and for play. When was the last time you and your family spent a day “unplugged” without watching any TV, looking at your cell phones, following your social media accounts or checking your email? Set a goal to spend at least one day each month, better yet – each week, without your devices. Use the time to play board games, enjoy the outdoors and simply communicate face to face with the people who mean the most to you.


Committing to eat healthy meals as a family can replace the need for the latest fad diet plan. Even if you and your children are a healthy weight, seeing their parents keep healthy eating habits can positively shape their relationship with food. Talk about what constitutes healthy eating as a group and come up with a meal plan together. Involving your children in the planning, shopping and cooking can help them be more interested and more willing to try new things at mealtime.


It’s easy for your exercise resolutions to fade quickly in the wintery weather. However, you can make fitness fun and easy by doing family activities that get you moving. Take the dogs for a walk, have an indoor dance party or go for a bike ride. We are lucky that our winters are pretty mild, so as long as you cover your head and hands, you can beat those winter blues with some physical activity all winter long in Texas!


How many books do you or your children have on your bookshelves that you’ve never even cracked open? When was the last time you took a trip to the Library? Why not make 2020 the year that you all become bookworms? Get recommendations from your children’s teachers or the local librarians to select appropriate reading levels for your kiddos. Think about topics that you might want to read up on as well – and keep a family reading chart. During one of your family UNPLUGGED times, you can devote some time summarizing what you’ve been reading with one another.


If you don’t already have a system to spread out the daily responsibilities in your home, now is the time to make one! Not only will it alleviate the stress of the work falling on one single person, but it’s a great way to build confidence in your children! Knowing that they have fulfilled a task that helps the entire family gives them a sense of belonging and importance. Assigning chores and reminding kids to do them may seem daunting and like a chore in itself – so try keeping a chore jar with slips of paper for kids to pick which job they’ll do that week, such as taking out the trash or running the vacuum.


Could your family use a little more kindness? A little refresher course on manners may be all that is needed to put a stop to the whining, refusing to share or forgetting to use those magic words with each other. Bear in mind that children learn how to be kind by watching their parents’ actions, so try to be intentional about complimenting your partner and being compassionate during disagreements. Another great way to teach your children kindness is through community service. There are many local organizations that could really use volunteers to carry out their missions.


More than likely, you’d do anything for a little more restful time in your bed, but your kids would fight tooth and nail to stay up an hour later watching their favorite show. The fact is, everyone needs an average of at least eight hours of sleep to stay healthy and be productive. Create a bedtime routine checklist for help your younger kids settle into a better sleep schedule and talk with your teenagers about their nightly routines. You can also implement some great ways to unwind yourself – a cup of tea, a warm bath or simply turning off your devices and reading.


Start the new year and the new decade off right by managing your debt and saving money every way you can. Make a budget – and stick to it! Teach your teens and younger children how to manage money too. It’s never too late to establish good financial habits! Setting goals with your kids will make them better with money down the road as well.


Sure, living “green” is good for the planet, but it’s also good for your family and your pocketbook. Check with your local town or private recycling program to make sure you are recycling everything you can. Buy reusable grocery bags and purchase organic whenever possible to keep harmful pesticides off your plate.


This one is for the parents. Oftentimes we can get so wrapped with our children’s activities and our jobs that we begin to lose focus on the number relationship we have. When was the last time you went out on a real date? Date nights help you and your spouse connect – over wine glasses instead of bottles and sippy cups! So, book a babysitter or a relative regularly, preferably at least once a month. Your marriage will benefit from a little romance and quiet time!

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