For many people, the beginning of the new year feels like a fresh start. It’s a time to reflect on the previous year and anticipate what the new year will bring. Many people resolve to make individual lifestyle changes that will improve their quality of life. Why not change things up this year? In 2018, get the whole family on board and set your sights on resolutions that will bring your family closer together and keep everyone healthy, too.
Call A Family Meeting to Discuss Your New Year’s Resolutions
Ready to set your family resolutions? Gather everyone together and discuss ideas. Each family member gets a turn to share about something they are proud of this past year and something they want to improve. It may help for parents to go first, to give children a model. If your child is old enough to write, he or she could write down their accomplishments and goals, and you can help your younger child by writing their’s down.
So, put on some music, pass around the snacks and encourage each person in your family to speak up and contribute. Here are some family-centered ideas to help get you started.
5 Fun ideas to get 2018 off to a great start!
1. Explore Your Home Town Together
Who’s going to say “no” to this resolution? It’s the “family who plays together, stays together” idea. Goals could include going on one fun adventure every month. This helps you explore different areas of town, indulge each family member’s interests and focus on each other.
Another option may be to make “mini dates” with different family members. It’s important to play as a family, but individual attention is great, too. Parents can have date night or kids can take turns going out with one parent, every other month or something. Whatever activity your family picks, you’ll come back from your adventure with solid family memories and a closer bond.
Des Moines has a lot to offer families in the way of attractions and activities and this resolution doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. Look on the dsm4kids’ website for ideas that are inexpensive or FREE.
2. Learn Something New Together
New experiences can not only be fun, but encourage kids to get out of their comfort zone (parents too!). Encouraging kids to try something new is easier when the whole family is involved. It’s especially good for kids’ self-esteem, if they see that their parents aren’t good at something. Parents show they can learn, make mistakes and recover from them.
Talk about what each family member enjoys, then plan to learn something new in each of those areas. For example, you might take a cooking class together, learn a new family sport, take an art class or go on an outdoor hike.
3. Spend Quality Time Together
Sure, you’re technically together in carpool or when you’re all home but in different rooms. But this resolution is about really being with each other — focusing on one another. And you know what that means: Turn off those electronics! Ban electronics once a week for a couple hours of devoted family time. And, be sure to let each family member have a turn picking the activity, whether it’s playing board games, or just talking over a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies.
4. Focus on Fitness and Nutrition Together
You know those traditional New Year’s resolutions? The ones that show up on everyone’s list: eating better, exercising more? Why not do it as a family? Just be sure to focus on the positive. Rather than saying, “We’re all going to lose weight,” say, “We’re going to get healthier together.”
Look through cookbooks or food websites together to come up with healthful food changes everyone will embrace. Then shop and cook together. Kick fried or fast food to the curb. Initiate a nightly family walk around the neighborhood or a weekly hike at a local park.
5. Give Back Together
Is this the year you want to make volunteering a priority for your family? There are many local organizations that welcome kids as volunteers. Visit Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities in Des Moines and discover more about a few of the local volunteer possibilities that exist for you and your family.
Other ways to volunteer could involve walking or running a 5k for a cause that is meaningful to your family, picking up litter in your neighborhood (or favorite park) or writing letters to service members that are deployed. Kids might also enjoy making cards for hospitalized children. Talk to your children and decide as a family what sounds best for you and how you all would like to give back together.
Making Your Family’s New Year’s Resolution Stick
Making a family resolution stick takes commitment from everyone. After your family has decided on a few realistic goals, determine how you’ll stay on track. Post goals in a visible place (like the refrigerator) and make action items. The key is to keep it fun. After you have made a resolution that is best suited for your family, enjoy the time spent together doing something worthwhile.
What resolutions will you set with your family this year? Let us know in the comments below!