As the flurry of the holidays comes to an end, our thoughts shift towards the welcoming of a new year and what it may have in store for us and our families. If you’ve ever tried to set and stick to self improvement goals on your own, you know that by February 1st, things start to slide a little. Experts say that by making goals with a friend, partner or even better, as a family, we have a much greater chance of making year-long improvements stick. Theses resolutions may be about making changes to the way things are run in your family, feeling better about ourselves or things we want to continue doing as a family.
Making family resolutions can be both a bonding experience for families and also a way for parents to teach their children that life is about setting goals, recovering from setbacks and celebrating victories along the way.
Setting goals as a family team can ultimately be more successful. Shared ownership, daily support from people in your own home and a team commitment can be a great way to achieve a goal. Sometimes getting buy-in for certain changes can be tough, especially from teens and tweens but trying to phrase a goal in a positive light can help.
Keeping goals simple and achievable makes the process easier for all family members. Likewise, all family members should be included in the decision process. Even the youngest people should have a chance to express their thoughts. Asking children to help with goals is also an inclusive tool. For instance, “I am going to try to drink more water, can you help remind me please?”
Some simple ideas for family resolutions are:
* Journal together
* Eating dinner together, We are a busy, working family so we try to keep Wednesday during the week as our make no plans, eat together evening.
* Family hikes. Ideas for family friendly hikes can be found on RI Families in Nature.
* Family Board game night. Bingo, Snap and Memory Games can be a great way to include younger kids.
* Volunteering together. Some places such as Providence Children’s Museum, Local Animal Shelters and the RI Food Bank (children over 14 years), encourages family volunteering.
* Try a new activity – ice skating, roller blading, or try a totally new family hobby.
* Go outside every day – even in winter.
* Limit screen time/Unplug/Switch off phones during a certain time
* Say one nice thing to each other every day
* Daily walks
* Drink more water
* Plant a garden/veggies in pots on a windowsill
* Hold a Craft Night
* Cooking together
* Go swimming or to a museum (most public libraries have free/discounted passes to many local museums).
Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy New Year!