Individual resolutions are easy to give up on, because they're all about you in a world where you're focused on taking care of everyone else. So, moms and families, why not try making resolutions as a group this year? See the best New Year's resolutions to make as a family in the new year. They can be fun, painless, and are sure to benefit your entire household.
These days, we spend so much time with electronics for work and play. When was the last time you and your family spent a day "unplugged," without watching any TV, checking any emails, or staying glued to your cell phones? Set a goal of spending at least one day a month (if not per week) without your gadgets, and instead, enjoy the outdoors or have a board game marathon.
Moms are usually the ones who go on a (torturous!) diet, but committing to eat healthy meals as a family can replace the need to turn to the latest fad eating plan. Even if your children are a healthy weight, seeing their parents keep healthy eating habits can positively shape their relationship with food. Use this cool Meal Planner tool to help you come up with healthy meals, and try these tips for sneaking veggies into meals. Also, involving kids in the kitchen can make them more interested and adventurous at mealtime.
We all know how easily resolutions to exercise can quickly fade within a few wintery weeks. Make fitness fun and easy by doing family activities that get you moving. Have a snowman-building race, an indoor dance party, or just go for a walk after dinner.
How many books do you and your kids have on your shelves that you've never cracked open? And when is the last time you took a trip to your public library? Together you can make this the year that you all become bookworms! Find recommended reading for kids of all ages, and encourage kids to keep a reading chart or book diary to rate and summarize the book.
Having a system for household responsibilities spreads out the work instead of having it all fall on one person (you know who!). Assigning chores and reminding kids to do them can feel like a chore in itself. Try keeping a chore jar with slips of paper for kids to pick which chore they'll do that week, such as taking out the trash. Print out this chore chart to help your family stay on task.
Be Good to Others
Could your family use a little more kindness? Put a stop to kicking under the dinner table, refusing to share, and forgetting to use the magic words with a refresher on manners. Keep in mind that kids learn how to be kind by watching their parents' actions, so try to compliment your partner and be compassionate during disagreements.
Also, consider being helpful to others through community service. During tough financial times, organizations can really use volunteers to carry out their mission.
Get More Sleep
You'd do anything for one more restful hour in bed, and your kids would fight you tooth and nail to stay up an hour later watching their favorite channel on TV. You just can't win! The fact is, you all need at least eight hours of sleep to stay healthy and productive. Use this bedtime routine checklist to help your younger child settle into a better sleep schedule, and talk with your teen about his nightly routine. Also, explore tips to help you unwind.
Squeezing more out of your income can feel impossible. Start the year off right by managing your debt and saving money every way you can. Stick to a budget, and teach your teens and younger children how to manage money, too. Establishing good financial habits and goals with your kids will make them better with their money down the road.
Living "green" is good for the planet, your family, and even your wallet. Check with your town or private recycling program to make sure you're recycling everything you can. Buy reusable grocery bags and print this organic shopping list to keep harmful pesticides off your plate. Check out these other ideas for saving the environment and making crafts from recycled objects.
Have More Dates
This one is for the parents. When is the last time you went on a real date? The occasional date night will help you and your partner connect – over wine glasses rather than sippy cups. So try to book a babysitter or helpful relative with some regularity, maybe for a Friday night every six weeks. Your marriage will benefit from a little romance and quiet time.