The beginning of a new year often brings the feeling of a fresh start in life; a time to wipe the slate clean and begin again!
New Year resolutions do not have to be grandiose or all encompassing. Simple changes – one at a time- make accomplishment much more likely for adults and kids.
Resolutions are goals. Changes we want to make to improve our lives in one-way or another. They might be centered on healthier food choices, exercise, learning, finances, creativity, family time, relationships, de-cluttering…. The list is as individual as its creator.
Resolutions can be a great way for children to learn how to set goals that are meaningful. Parents can help their child pick a few to work on in the upcoming year -without imposing their own ideas of what to choose.
Begin as a family where everyone sits down and talks about what resolutions actually are and how they can be accomplished. Let each child make their own list and discuss what and why they think each goal is significant. You can then discuss ways to accomplish these goals. When it’s your turn to add to the list, tell your children your resolutions and why you think they are important goals for the New Year.
After the lists are completed, put each list somewhere that it can be seen every day as a friendly reminder. Corkboards, refrigerator doors, blackboards or even an app with a daily alert are some places to consider.
One-way to help make resolutions stick, is to do them together. There are plenty of family resolutions that can benefit everyone throughout the New Year! Here are some ideas worth considering:
1. Be creative: Take music or art lessons. Learn a short play and perform it as a family. Clear some space in the garage for an art exhibit or family concert. Start your own YouTube family channel (only seen by other family members) and share your accomplishments with the grandparents, siblings, cousins and nieces and nephews!
2. Improve your education: Help your little ones practice writing skills, coloring, reading, computer and research skills. Look up details on historical or current events. Challenge each other with math, spelling, literature, science and environmental projects.
3. Examine healthier food choices: Learn how to replace junk food with healthier choices. Many kids would love to learn how to cook and grow their own food! Make the kitchen a cooking school once a month and find a place in the yard for a small garden. Even a patio can be used for potted vegetables and herbs. Children that learn about healthier food choices when they are young, tend to keep and expand on those choices, as they get older.
4. Exercise together! Walking, bicycling, yoga, swimming together doesn’t feel like exercise, but the benefits are still the same.
5. Master a milestone! From taking a first step, to potty training, to getting a license to drive, to graduation and beyond. Every life has milestones each person meets. Practice and enjoy them together!
6. Help another in need. Pick a charity or non-profit to volunteer with as a way to teach compassion, responsibility and gratefulness. Reaching out to others may not only help improve the lives of others, but build life-long friendships and an understanding of what truly matters. This extends to pets as well. Rescue an animal or volunteer to foster a pet!
As old man time makes his way home and the New Year baby begins its new reign, we wish the very best for you and your family in 2018!