January 5, 2018
‘Tis the season for resolutions but instead of going it alone, why not make resolutions a team sport this year? Working towards resolutions as a family is not only a great bonding opportunity, it can be a teaching moment for your kids to learn about setting goals, navigating roadblocks, and celebrating successes together.
4 Tips for Setting Resolutions You Can Keep
Start with a Vision Board
Before you get to specific resolutions, allow yourself to daydream a little. Gather all those magazines you’ve been holding onto and cut out images that spark your imagination. Whether you choose pictures of things you want to make, adventures you’d like to take, or visions of your future self, seeing encouraging visuals will help manifest positivity. You can turn this into one collaborative board or let each family member make their own.
(source: Meri Cherry)
Keep Resolutions Simple
Make sure resolutions are easy for your child to understand, and therefore accomplish. When setting individual goals, younger kids can focus on smaller daily tasks while older kids can practice self care like identifying healthy activities they enjoy or finding positive ways to deal with stress. Nutritionist and Pediatrician Dr. Laura Jana says that, “Picking an unrealistic goal serves to make you feel bad about yourself, whereas a New Year’s resolution that is meant to be life-enhancing and long-lasting can be great for your family.”
Frame them Positively
Treat resolutions as an opportunity to treat yourself well, not trip yourself up. When you frame resolutions positively, rather than as a matter of self-sacrifice and denial, success is achievable. “Instead of a resolution like ‘No desserts this year,'” a family might choose something more attainable like ‘Eat healthier this year,’” says Paul Tough, author of “How Children Succeed.”
Include Kids in the Process
Kids will be much more invested in keeping resolutions that they’ve helped make. Go Gingham blogger Sara Tetreault explains that in order for a resolution to be successful “you have to market it to your kids and get their buy-in. Instead of saying, ‘OK, the parents have decided this,’ we say, ‘Let’s think about how we can improve ourselves and spend more time together as a family in the process.’”
Our Favorite Family Resolutions Continuing with the theme of positivity, we’ve listed ideas for resolutions you can work towards as team. Each category has a few potential activities to get you started but put your personal spin on them to fit your family best.
GOOD FOR YOU
- Keep a sketchbook
- Visit museums
- Improve a skill (via TinkerLab)
Start a Weekly Ritual
- Family Board Game Night
- Family Movie Night
- Family Art Night
Stay Active as a Family
- Visit parks
- Take family walks
- Try out new seasonal sports
Document Family Memories
- Print out photos
- Make scrapbooks with mementos
- Keep journals to record memories
GOOD FOR THE WORLD
Be Environmentally Responsible
- Use every piece of paper twice
- Collect food scraps to compost
- Turn recyclables into change and donate to a good cause (via 28 Ways Your Family Can Protect the Earth)
- Visit the local shelter to play with and walk animals
- Cook a meal together for elderly neighbors
- Host a book drive for a local library (via Volunteer Your Family Hobby)
- Visit your local farmer’s market
- Join a community garden
- Learn new recipes to eat seasonally
- Make time to share how each family member has practiced kindness that day
- Write cards to far away relatives and friends to let them know you appreciate them
- Acknowledge the people in your daily life with “hellos”, “goodbyes”, and plenty of “thanks”
DIY Charts to Keep you on Track
“Taking the time out to acknowledge successes throughout the year is an important way to motivate your kids to carry on,” says Jennie Lyon, a sustainable living blogger. Keep your team on course with a chart that helps them see their progress. Whether you make a giant board for the the entire family or one for each member, make sure to take the time to celebrate when you reach your goals.
Take inspiration from chore charts to break down goals into digestible steps. Here are a few of our favorites!
- To literally stay “on track” create this clever race car board that’s sure to be a kid pleaser. (via Hot Wheels)
- Let your kids stage pictures that represent each of their goals then turn them into magnets. They’ll feel a sense of accomplishment by following their own lead. How to from Sisters Suitcase Blog.
- Patterned washi tape creates a cheery chart that can easily include the whole family. Give each family member their own row and write group goals across the top. Follow Grey House Harbor’s easy instructions.
- Goals with tickets give kids something tangible to work towards. Hello Splendid suggests allowing kids to turn in tickets for prizes or treats but they could also add up to a family outing if everyone pools theirs!