If you’re someone who is motivated by creating resolutions for the New Year, you may be wondering how to make this year as intentional and successful as possible when it comes to accomplishing your new goals. There is something to be said for creating a goal list at the beginning of each year—we know, we know, January 1st is a day just like any other and you absolutely can start the process of conquering your goals at any point of the year. That being said, the first day of the new year has a way of representing new opportunities, and allows people to feel that they can leave their perceived shortcomings in the past, and purpose to live more intentionally moving forward. If the new year gets you thinking and feeling inspired to strive to adopt healthy habits, then we see no harm in it!
We would like to encourage you to consider how you can set New Year resolutions this year that focus on your family dynamic. While personal goals are wonderful, you can also set family resolutions that you work to accomplish together. Additionally, rather than set goals that may lead to burnout within the first month or two, consider how you can set resolutions that are realistic for your family’s schedule. Even if you set a goal that only takes place once a month, if you’re able to successfully incorporate that habit into your lifestyle, you can continue to build on that goal and incorporate it into your schedule more frequently later on down the line.
And remember: bonding is created in the quality of the moment, not the quantity of moments. Rather than force unrealistic goals on your family that makes everyone feel stretched and forced, consider setting goals that will capitalize on the quality of the time together. We’ve come up with some great family-focused New Year resolutions that you, your partner, or your children can tackle together.
Eat Together Once a Week:
There’s something to be said about sitting at a table with your family and carving out the time to just talk and connect. Whether you cook up a nice meal or order in a pizza, purpose to sit down with your family once a week so that you can catch up on life and the little details of your days that often go unspoken when only asked about in passing. If you’re not sure how to start up conversation during this time, consider making it a tradition to go around and share “a rose and a thorn” from the week, or have everyone share a brag about another family member that helped them at some point in recent days. Focusing on conversation that is centered around sharing experiences and gratitude can help to create vulnerability and openness between the family.
Schedule a Game Night Once a Week or Once a Month:
There is so much bonding that can take place when a family prioritizes opportunities to laugh and play together. It’s important to let your hair down and be silly with the people you love the most, and playing games that incorporate fun and friendly competition can help to create a special connection. There are a multitude of family-friendly games out there, but even if you can’t afford to buy board games, the game of Spoons is always a family favorite (and all you need is a deck of cards and the spoons out of your kitchen drawer!) Get creative with your game nights, and consider setting the rule for it to be a device-free event, so that everyone is focused on each other, and not distracted by virtual conversations or entertainment with others.
Go on Family Walks Once a Week:
If you’re hoping to focus on a healthier lifestyle, there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate the entire family in the effort! Schedule one evening a week after school and work for the entire family to get outdoors together, whether it be for 15 minutes or an hour. This can either be a family walk together, or everyone can choose their own form of physical exercise, whether it be riding a bike, a scooter, a skateboard, jogging, or even doing some lunges down the street. Perhaps you and your partner prefer to walk together to catch up, while the kids ride ahead on their bikes. Whatever you choose to do, getting fresh air and experiencing the outdoors is good for the soul, and getting in some steps is good for the body. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Read One Book a Month Together:
With technology dominating our day-to-day lives, it can be easy to fall into the habit of spending free time staring at a screen, whether it be our computers, our phones or our televisions. Setting a goal as a family to read one book a month creates the necessity to set down our devices, and spend time finding entertainment elsewhere. Being able to get lost in a story helps teach children not only vocabulary, but creativity. If you or one of your family members is adamantly against reading, you could carve this time out for “creative projects”, whether that be reading, drawing, pursuing a hobby you’ve always thought about. The idea is to get away from the screen and dedicate time to sharpening your mind and make time for creative thought and expression.
With New Years quickly approaching, start brainstorming ideas of how you and your family can set realistic goals to promote connection and healthy lifestyles, both physically, mentally and relationally.