Family Life

New Year’s Resolutions Your Entire Family Can Keep

Are you tired of committing to New Year’s resolutions that you never keep? This year try a new tactic and make it a family affair. Why not pick a resolution to try with your children and spouse. It’s a great way to do something together and your children will keep you honest. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Cook with your children

It can be something as simple as cookies or homemade pizza. Maybe plan a nacho/taco bar or a do-it-yourself salad bar. Experiment with themed dinners such as a Mexican, Italian or Chinese night. Encourage your children to go shopping and help with the meal planning. Then pick a night to plan the menu and allow them to prepare their own favorite foods.  

Get your game on and exercise.

Pick a day and start a regular exercise program. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as a family walk. Set a goal of three times per week. Or just get outside and play with your kids, soccer, sledding, basketball, baseball; it doesn’t matter what you do. The goal is physical activity and making it a habit for you and your family. 

Read together.

It doesn’t have to stop once your children can read independently. Let them pick a book for you to read aloud together. You read a page and then your child can read a page. Think of the interesting dinner table discussions you can have about the book. Of course, if your children are small it’s always fun and educational to read to them.

Raise compassionate children by volunteering.

Check with your local food pantry, humane society or senior center to find out ways your family can help. Collect donations and send care packages to our troops. Help clean up your local park or forest preserve. Volunteer with a local charity’s annual walk or run event. Inquire about opportunities with your childrens’ school or local religious organizations. 

Start a family savings plan.

It’s never too soon to teach children the value of money and the importance of saving. Develop your plan and have every family member contribute, no matter the amount. It doesn’t matter if the money is earned through outside jobs like babysitting or if it is allowance; the contribution is what’s important. After the savings start to add up make plans to spend the money doing something fun together or purchase something everyone can enjoy.  

Learn something new.

Have you always wanted to try snowboarding, skiing, fishing or skating? What about scrapbooking, jewelry making or sewing? Get your family in on the fun and try new adventures together. Take turns sharing something to try and learn.  

Conquer the clutter and get organized.

A great way to start the New Year is to clean the house of clutter and clear your mind. Have your children help and go closet by closet and room by room. Have three bags to separate the items you are removing from the house: donations, throw away or garage sale. Don’t wait; bring your donations to a local charity and plan a garage sale for the spring. The money from the sale can go into the family savings plan!  

Reduce, reuse and recycle.

Chances are good your children have already learned a great deal on this in school. Why not continue the practice at home? Use reusable sports bottles for water, cloth bags for the grocery store and washable cloth napkins instead of paper. As a family project, make a compost bin and always recycle whatever you can.  

Spend more time with family and friends.

Slow down and unplug the TV, video games and computer. Tame your family’s schedule and schedule in a family game night at least once a month. Plan a party and invite your friends. Be sure to put the time on your calendar and enjoy each other’s company.

Ring in the New Year with some bold new plans for you and your family. The saying goes: “Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.”

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