Simple and healthy New Year’s Resolutions to do as a Family

First, let’s establish some ground rules when setting resolutions.

1. Let’s call them ‘intentions’.

This seems like semantics, but hear me out. A resolution is definitive and fixed. You either do it or you don’t. So failure is pretty much guaranteed at some point throughout the year. For kids especially, this is hard. If they fail the first month, then chances are they will give up for the rest of the year, and we all know it takes time to build habits. An intention is putting your attention toward a goal. It’s a state of mind. We all have good intentions but we are human, sometimes we make mistakes. Allow this as a natural part of your intention process. Acknowledge the mistakes and celebrate the successes!

2. Keep intentions simple and achievable.

If the goal is too vague or broad, you won’t feel regular satisfaction. Some sort of regular progress is needed to help encourage you to continue.

3. Regularly check progress.

This could be a chart that is posted in the house or a regular verbal check in during family meals. Many families celebrate completion of chores using a reward system or sticker chart. Why not do this for your intentions? Visuals are a great way to drum up excitement about a family intention and remind you of progress.

4. Hold each other accountable.

This goes for parents and kids. If your kids didn’t do their homework, you wouldn’t just forget about it and move on would you? No, you call your kids out. Do the same for intentions. The difference is it goes both ways. Your kids will LOVE to call you out when you fail to make progress on your intentions, and brain science tells us that positive accountability is good for you when trying to achieve goals.

Ideas of Intentions to Set as a Family

You can take a BuzzFeed quiz to determine the best intention for your family here.

Pick (at least) one night a week to eat together as a family. WITHOUT DEVICES.

Then make this night sacred (no play dates, last minute grocery shopping etc.). For many families Sunday is the perfect night- there might not be sports practice and hopefully not too much homework. Plus, Sunday is a great time in the week to reset and create intention for what comes next. There doesn’t have to be a lot of pressure or build up to this, in fact, make it as low stress as possible. Maybe make it the night to order in pizza or take out. The important part is that everyone in the family knows that it is time set aside to be together as a family. Making gatherings simple but intentional is helpful to making the experience enjoyable and sustainable over time.

Make an effort to be eco-conscious as a family

This could mean removing all single use plastics from lunch boxes, or vowing together to cut out wasteful beverage containers (like to-go coffee cups). Track this together using recycled materials to create a progress chart.

Waste saved in 2020
Read together!

When our kids were learning to read as a family we made an effort to all sit down and read together. If you were in the house, then you came into the living room and read for 30 minutes. You can choose your own book but you must sit and read it for the agreed time (usually this was about 20-30 minutes). What was really was that sometimes the reading went on for hours afterwards just by choice. Make sure to make this goal specific though. “Reading more” will be a lot less successful than a goal of “reading 12 books this year” or “reading together for 20 minutes each week day.”

Expand Your Palate!

There are so many amazing foods out there, but we are often too intimidated to try them. There are many articles about superfoods and antioxidants but where do we start? It’s overwhelming and often the content is not very clear. So make it simple. Pick one new food item to try a week as a family. Make the process fun but searching at local farmers markets, trading off who gets to pick the food or using it in a new recipe to make as a family. By the end of the year your family could try 50 plus new foods!

You can take a BuzzFeed quiz to determine the best intention for your family here.

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