Family Resolutions

By Nora Heston Tarte

New Year’s resolutions are a popular tradition, but breaking those traditions seems to be just as common as making them. Instead of going it solo, get the whole family involved and keep each other accountable!

Why you should do it?
Making New Year’s Resolutions is a good way to better yourself, and for kids there are added benefits. Resolutions teach children about goal setting and self-discipline. Set a good example by making positive resolutions and sticking to them—then ask kids to self-reflect on ways to better themselves and create their own goals!

Setting the goal
It’s okay to still make individual resolutions, but try to embrace the idea of a family resolution or two. These resolutions should affect everyone in the house even if they can be worked on individually, too.

To pick your goals, spend some time chatting about what each of you would like to do to be better. Perhaps everyone wants to be more active. Make a goal of getting 60 minutes of exercise every day. This goal is broad enough that the whole family can participate vs. a personal goal of, say, losing 10 pounds. If eating better is on the list, agree to make dinner together as a family three days each week.

Making it happen
Don’t fall into the trap of dropping your resolution half-way through February. The best bonus of setting goals as a family is that you have multiple people available to keep you accountable.

Take steps to make success easier. For example, get a family gym membership or join a hiking club that meets weekly. When it comes to cooking dinners, give each family member a task such as picking the recipe, making the grocery list, and going shopping. It’s important to share the responsibility.

If you’re worried about falling off the wagon in a couple of months, plan ahead. It only takes 21 days to make something a habit, so stay consistent to make the new routine easier to stick to. Build in family rewards for staying on track if that will help—think a dinner out at a favorite restaurant for every month of successful meal prep.               It’s important to remember that you are each other’s support system in this. Don’t let each other fall off, and don’t let yourself take over the whole task. Give everyone a role and cheer each other on. Success or failure will come as a family.

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