New Year’s Resolutions for Families

Family drawing and writing new year's resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions for Families

New Year’s resolutions sometimes get a bad rap, and with good reason — the ones we set are often overly ambitious and unrealistic, and sometimes forgotten by February 1.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no sense in making resolutions at all. In fact, they can be a great motivator for you and your family, as long as you make them while being kind to yourself and honest about your limitations.

Here are some simple steps for making better resolutions:

  1. Be specific: Be as specific as possible about what you want to achieve. Rather than setting general resolutions, such as “I want to spend more quality time with my child,” try, “I will spend one hour with my child playing and reading together four nights a week before bedtime.”
  2. Schedule it: Schedule action steps to help you meet your resolutions and put them in your calendar just like you would an appointment or meeting.
  3. Share your plan: When we share our goals with friends and family, we’re more eager to keep our word and follow through. Plus, people close to you can help hold you accountable.
  4. Track your progress: Measure and track your progress often while working to meet your goals. Put a star on the calendar for each day you did what you set out to do and look at the calendar every day. This will help keep you accountable, and it will make it all the more rewarding when you meet your goals and can look back on your hard work.
  5. Don’t throw in the towel: If you slip, get up and keep going rather than beating yourself up or giving up. When you achieve your goals, you’ll be thankful that you never quit. Plus, this is a great opportunity to model a spirit of resiliency for your children.

Now that you have the steps to help make resolutions stick, maybe you’re wondering what kinds of resolutions you and your family should set. New Year’s resolutions provide a wonderful opportunity to make a meaningful family tradition where you are all growing and bettering your lives together.

Here are some ideas for resolutions you might consider as a family:

  • Have a family taco bar and game night on Tuesdays.
  • Prepare meals together and eat at home three evenings each week.
  • Take a family outdoor excursion once a month, such as biking, hiking, rafting or skiing.
  • Practice having an “attitude of gratitude” each night before bedtime by sharing three things you feel grateful for.

You can help your child set resolutions like these:

  • Put my dirty clothes in my basket every morning and every night.
  • Help in the kitchen by taking the dirty dishes to the sink after meals.
  • Choose a toy or book in good condition to donate.
  • Help organize the recycling and take it to the curb or recycling center.

Here are some resolutions you could set for yourself:

  • Take 30 minutes each day to do something I find rejuvenating, such as reading a book, writing in a journal or doing yoga.
  • Attend 12 of my child’s after-school events during this school year.
  • Read a positive parenting book and implement new parenting strategies this year.
  • Listen attentively when my child speaks to me by setting aside what I am doing, getting down on her level and making eye contact.

For more on activities to bring you together as a family, check out:

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