New Year’s Resolutions for the Whole Family
The new year is nearly here, and many people are making new year’s resolutions and promises about what they will and won’t do next year. Though many resolutions fail, either because they are too ambitious or people are simply too lazy, making small changes and setting easy to manage expectations can lead to healthy habits that will stick.
Having other people holding you accountable works wonders in sticking with resolutions, so creating them as a group can really help. Here are some great ideas for resolutions for the whole family that you can easily keep.
Have some quality family time every day
Our lives are extremely busy and between work, school, clubs, hobbies, and chores, it can be hard for the family to spend much quality time with each other. This is especially hard with older children, because if they’re not out with friends during the weekend, they’re usually sleeping or in their rooms playing computer games or watching TV.
Scheduling a little bit of time each day – even if it’s only thirty minutes – can really help you feel closer as a family. It could be anything, from a short evening walk or trip to the park, to sitting and watching your favourite TV show or reading a book together.
Try to eat dinner together as often as possible
As we already mentioned, families often have busy schedules. This can make it difficult for everybody to eat dinner together. However, make a rule that everybody eats their evening meal together, at the table. This may mean making dinner a little later, and giving the kids a healthy snack to tide them over until later. This meal time ritual gives you the chance to make sure that everybody is eating what they should be, and also gives you a good chance to catch up and find out how everybody’s day was.
Schedule a weekly ‘family meeting’
Everybody wants to feel like they’re being heard, especially children and teenagers. Sometime’s people’s voices can get a little lost in the chaos, and children can feel frustrated that nobody listens to what they have to say. Scheduling a time for everybody to sit down and discuss any issues they are having will help promote healthy conflict resolution and should lead to fewer arguments and fights. Go around the table and give everybody a chance to have their say, and then work together to solve the problem.
Plan a fun day out at least once a month
We all need something to look forward to, especially kids. Plan something fun at least once a month that everybody can get excited for. It’s also a good idea to let different people choose what you do each time, so that everybody feels included. It doesn’t have to be expensive; many museums and art galleries have free entry and lots of fun special events for kids, or you could drive to the beach or go on a hike and have a picnic.
Limit Screen Time
It’s tempting – especially in the cold winter months – to just come home from work or school and crash in front of the TV or computer. However, there is such a thing as too much screen time. Though this will probably not be a popular choice at first (especially with teenagers!), try to limit screen time in your home.
An easy way to do this is by having an ‘unplugged’ hour, when you turn off the TV and put down phones, and do something that doesn’t require electricity for sixty minutes. This time could be spent reading, learning a new skill such as musical instrument, going for a walk or doing another sport, or playing board games.
Get Creative in the Kitchen
We can all eat healthier, and what better way to get kids interested in healthy food than introducing them to it in the kitchen. Make it a goal to have the kids help prepare at least one meal a week, and get them to choose a healthy recipe they’d like to try. They’re much more likely to attempt to each something healthy if they helped prepare it. Of course, occasionally let them make something more fun such as cakes or another kind of dessert!