Family ideas for New Year’s resolutions
by Melissa Brodsky
New Year’s is notorious for bringing out the best goal ideas parents can come up with but leading to disappointment when the follow through proves far too difficult. Often, we shoot for the sky with resolutions only to discover that we can’t fulfill them because our goals are simply unrealistic.
Instead of getting stuck in this trap, aim for simple resolutions intended to keep your family members engaged with each other, encourage physical health, and reduce stress.
Make family dinners a priority.
Yes, you’re busy and so are your kids, but family dinners can help you stay connected as a family, may help head off youthful dabbling in drugs and alcohol, and might even encourage better grades. Don’t resolve to do it every day if this is unrealistic for your family, but do make a commitment to family dinners at least a few times per week.
Get fit together.
Too much riding the couch is bad for you and your loved ones. Make a commitment to fitting in more exercise.
This can involve taking a walk each evening or afternoon, bicycling together on the weekends, working out to a new yoga video, or heading to the community center for a swim a few times per week. The point is to strive for regular physical activity as a family.
Having trouble figuring out where to find the time? Engage a little less in your electronic activities, such as watching television, surfing the Net, and playing video games. Then get physical in the time you’ve freed up.
Some other ideas for physical fun include laser tag, ice skating, or hiking. You could even sign up for a fitness class as family–think martial arts lessons!
Allow for more free time.
As parents, we want our kids to have every possible opportunity. But doing too much can lead to burnout for you and your offspring. Focus on scheduling the activities your loved ones enjoy the most and making room in the schedule for plenty of free time. Downtime is good for the soul.
Pick your battles.
If it seems that you’re always in some sort of conflict with your loved ones, take a step back and decide which issues are really important. Let some of the small things go, and work on taking a deep breath and laughing off (or walking away from) the less significant squabbles. This should help reduce stress not only for you but also for the entire family.
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