The start of a new year is the perfect time to get family resolutions into place.
Many of us are accustomed to setting personal goals for the new year. But have you ever thought about setting collective goals as a family unit? Setting goals will provide benefits to every family member. Family goals help motivate children to reach their own personal goals. How we think about our future affects how we go about our daily life. This year, try making some family resolutions to improve your life as a family!
1. Volunteer as a Family
Volunteering as a family is an excellent family resolution for various reasons:
- It teaches your children hands-on about your values as a family unit.
- Volunteering provides us with a sense of purpose.
- Giving back is a great way to teach your little one empathy and compassion.
- It is a great way to spend quality time together.
Making a difference together will create a sense of community within your family. It’s also a great way to feel more involved in your community. If you’re looking for ways to volunteer together, check out our blog on giving back as a family. We have ideas for families of all ages!
2. Make the Dinner table a “no phone zone.”
In the age of technology, this family resolution is more critical now than ever! According to a study done by The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, technology use undermines the enjoyment of face-to-face interactions. Technology use at the dinner table takes away from quality family time. Unplugging also helps family members become more present.
Additionally, it improves sleep quality, deepens connection, and increases productivity. There is a wide array of benefits that come from minimizing screen time. Allocating the dinner table a “no phone zone” is the perfect opportunity to get screen time down and quality family time up.
3. Weekly Family Ritual
Make a goal to have a weekly family ritual. Creating a weekly family ritual will bring your family closer together. It will also give everybody something to look forward to throughout the week. For example, turn Fridays into family movie nights! Gather around the TV with everyone’s favorite snacks to watch a fun movie. Another example would be to have a weekly family game night. Choose a night each week where you will disconnect and play a fun game as a family. A fun weekly ritual will strengthen your familial bond, teach children consistency, and provide a greater sense of security for everyone in the family.
4. Nightly Family Dinner
Having family dinner every night can sound a little intimidating. However, gathering around the dinner table every night has outstanding benefits. Thus, it is an excellent family resolution to try and reach for the new year. While cooking dinner every night may sound like stress, remember that it doesn’t always have to be fancy. Let’s say you’re having a busy week and decide to get fast food or pizza delivered. You can still enjoy the meal around the table as a family! If you’re struggling to find the time to prepare dinner, we’ve got your back. Dream Dinners can help take some of that weight off your shoulder with delicious and nutritious ready-to-cook homemade meals.
5. Exercise together
Exercising together is an excellent family resolution for various reasons. First, it helps to combat childhood obesity. According to the CDC, childhood obesity affects about 14.4 million children and adolescents in the United States. Exercising together as a family is a great way to minimize the risk of obesity and the negative health impacts that come with it. In addition, exercising together is an excellent way to bond. It promotes physical and mental well-being in all members of the family. Finally, it helps to establish healthy habits!
There are plenty of fun ways to exercise as a family. For example, have each member of the family pick out their favorite color yoga mat. Next, set them up in an area of the house to designate your exercise area. Practice yoga, do simple stretching, and meditate on your new yoga mats. You can also exercise as a family by dancing, riding bikes, heading to the playground, or playing a fun sport. The family will have so much fun, they won’t even realize they are getting a workout in!
6. Meaningful Conversations
Make the conscious decision to have more meaningful conversations as a family this year. A great time to practice having more meaningful discussions is around the dinner table. Try swapping the go-to, “how was your day?” with something more thought-provoking like, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?” and “What was your biggest struggle that you dealt with today?”. Asking questions with more intent like the ones above helps family members process their day and think through all the events. Check out our blog on Family Conversation Starters for Around the Dinner Table for more meaningful conversation ideas!
7. Practice Gratitude
According to Harvard Health, giving thanks can make you happier. That’s why practicing gratitude is an excellent family resolution! Practicing gratitude has benefits far beyond increasing overall happiness. It also has social, emotional, personality, career, and health benefits. Practicing gratitude increases our self-esteem, strengthens familial relationships, makes us more optimistic, improves decision-making, reduces blood pressure, and improves sleep.
There are several ways your family can practice gratitude daily. For example, practicing verbal gratitude is perfect to try during breakfast time. All you have to do is go around the table and state something you are grateful for. This practice can be done anywhere and any time that fits your family’s schedule. For instance, you can practice on the car ride to school, around the dinner table, or before bedtime. Another great practice is keeping a family gratitude journal. Have the entire write something they are grateful for in the journal each day. We love this practice because you can reflect on all of the things you were thankful for at the end of the year.
8. Read as a family
Reading as a family is an excellent New Year’s resolution because of its benefits. Specifically, it will strengthen your interfamily relationships. Additionally, it improves concentration, vocabulary, and communication skills. It encourages creativity and sparks the imagination of everyone involved. Did we mention that it is a blast?
Find a book or a series that interests everyone and read it together this year. The Harry Potter Series is a fun series to read because when you’re finished reading the books, you can watch the movies! Some other great series include The Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Magic Treehouse. No matter what you decide to read, your family will greatly benefit from this special time together.
9. Meatless Monday
Looking to set health goals as a family this year? We think you should give Meatless Monday a try! Going meatless once a week has a LOT of health benefits. Replacing meat with plant-based foods once in a while can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes while improving overall health. It’s also an excellent opportunity to expand your family’s taste palette and try some vegetarian dishes you usually wouldn’t think to try!
If you’re stressing about finding something veggie to cook once a week, Dream Dinners has you covered with new Vegetarian options. Try the Vegetable and Chickpea Curry over Coconut Rice or the Vegetarian White Bean Chili with Corn Muffins. Going meatless on Mondays will also help to reduce your family’s carbon footprint. So many wins in one family resolution!
10. Become an eco-friendlier fam
Speaking of reducing your family’s carbon footprint, becoming an eco-friendlier family is another excellent family resolution. Going green is a great way to teach the kids about keeping the planet healthy! There are a lot of simple ways your family can become more eco-friendly.
One way to get green at home is to recycle! Teach the kid’s how to properly recycle and make it a habit. Get together and decorate a recycle bin! This will make recycling more fun. Did you decide to add meatless Monday to your family resolutions? If so, you’re already on your way to becoming an eco-friendlier fam! Reducing meat consumption can help contain greenhouse gases that affect the climate.
11. Monthly Family Adventure
Consider spicing up the new year with a monthly family adventure. Commit to doing something exciting and different once a month! This will give everyone something to look forward to. It will also strengthen your familial bond. You can plan each month’s adventure ahead of time. Or, you can decide on an experience on the first of each month. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, don’t fret. We’ve come up with a fun family adventure for each month of the year.
January- Ice skating adventure
February- Escape room
March- Head to the zoo
April- Family bike ride
May- Outdoor concert
June-Mini Road trip
July- Beach Day
August- Camp out in the backyard
September- Apple picking
October- Pumpkin patch
November- Dine-in movie theater
December- Christmas light road trip
12. More Time Outside
According to Harvard Medical, spending time outside is great for your physical and mental health. Thus, it is also an excellent family resolution for the new year. Make a pledge to get outside as a family more. You can incorporate time outside into your monthly adventures, daily exercise, family reading time, and even family dinner. Make a conscious effort to do more of your family activities outside this year. Doing so will increase vitamin d levels, motivate everyone to exercise, increase concentration, and improve overall happiness and well-being.
13. Post-Dinner walks
Speaking of getting outside with the family, make a habit out of going for walks after dinner. Walking after dinner helps improve digestion and decrease bloating. In addition, it’s incredibly meditative! After dinner is the perfect time to go for a family walk. Going outside during the colder months can be difficult, but it’s essential to do so. Grab your winter gear and give it your best shot! Even if it’s only a short 10-minute walk around the block! The benefits your family will receive, both physical and mental, will be well worth it.
14. Stay in Touch
Life can be busy. With all the daily tasks that come with having a family, it can be easy to forget to check up on your loved ones! Between school, work, sports, dinner, and everything else… the days tend to fly past us quickly. Before we know it, we haven’t talked to Grandma in almost a month or seen our cousin in nearly a year. That’s why we think it’s a good idea to make staying in touch a family resolution this year.
Vow to call an external family member or a distant loved one once a week to catch up and keep in touch. It can be hard to foster relationships during these busy and uncertain times. However, having solid relationships outside your immediate family unit is vital for all family members! Try making Friday “phone a friend day” and have each member of the family ring up a loved one to catch up over the phone.
15. Practice Warm Greetings
Many of us are lucky enough to see our family every day. Consequently, enthusiastic greetings can get lost upon us. Think of the last time you went a while without seeing a loved one. Did your excitement to see them again reflect in the way you greeted them? Often times we squeeze our loved ones tight when we know we are saying goodbye for a more extended period. But what about when we are only saying goodbye for the day?
Try making all of your greetings and goodbyes enthusiastic this year. For example, hug the little ones before they head off for school and greet them with warm and enthusiastic welcomes when they get home. This will deepen your connection and help to make your day-to-day interactions more meaningful!
16. Cook Healthier Meals Together
Incorporate family dinner into your resolutions again by vowing to cook healthier meals together. Dedicate one day of each week to getting the entire family in the kitchen to cook a healthy recipe together. Have family members take turns choosing a new recipe to bring to family cooking night. This will make healthy eating a lot more fun! Additionally, cooking together is an excellent opportunity to spend time together and pass along valuable skills to the kids. For instance, while preparing your ingredients, go over what makes the food you are prepping healthy. For example, this broccoli that I am chopping is packed with Calcium which helps me maintain strong, healthy bones!
17. A Selfless Act a Day
This year, vow that you will each do one selfless act a day as a family. Doing something selfless once a day can be simple and easy. For example, holding the door open for the person behind you or bringing a cup of coffee to your coworker. Doing small acts of kindness will benefit those around you. Additionally, it will have you feeling great! Helping others boosts our mood because it feels good to contribute to someone else’s joy. Encourage the entire family to do something small and selfless each day. At the end of the day, talk about the selfless acts you all chose to do for the day and how it felt to do something for someone else!
18. Do Family Chores Together
On the one hand, chores can be a drag. On the other hand, they can be a lot of fun! Doing chores together as a family will make them more enjoyable and efficient. Dedicate a day of the week to be “Family Chore Day”. Vow to get all your household chores done together on this day. Take turns tackling different chores each week. Create a fun cleaning playlist to jam out to while you clean.
19. Family Bedtime
Sleep is important for our everyday health. That’s why establishing a solid bedtime routine is an excellent family resolution. Poor sleep impacts us negatively. We become grumpy, stressed, distracted, and unmotivated. Sleep is essential for our bodies to operate at their full potential. Hence, getting a full night’s rest is critical. Proper sleep positively impacts our health, concentration, memory, and thinking skills.
Establishing a family bedtime will improve everyone’s sleeping habits. Following a routine can be difficult when everyone has a different bedtime. For example, members of the house who have an earlier bedtime might feel left out. When we all have the same bedtime it feels more inclusive. Therefore, we are more motivated to follow a routine.
First, create a calm atmosphere for the hours leading up to bedtime. Next, avoid electronics for at least an hour before bed. Have you decided to make family reading a new year’s resolution? If so, bedtime is the perfect time to practice this routine. Establishing a healthy bedtime routine will model good sleep hygiene for your children. The entire family will feel healthier, concentrated, and rested.
20. Morning Affirmations
Speaking of establishing healthy routines… A morning routine is equally as important as a bedtime routine! What we do in the morning sets the tone for our entire day. Try and work positive morning affirmations into your family’s morning routine this year. Positive affirmations are positive statements that we can say to ourselves to overcome negative self-talk. We tend to be hyper-critical of ourselves, even at a young age, and speaking highly of ourselves can increase our self-esteem and set a positive tone for the rest of our day. Morning affirmations can help us feel good about ourselves, our relationships, and our day ahead.
Affirmations are easy to do! Have every family member say positive statements to themselves each morning. This can feel funny at first. However, it is a highly effective way to increase self-esteem. For example, after brushing your teeth, look into the mirror and say 5 positive affirmations. “I love myself. My family supports me. I do kind things. Every day I do my best. Anything is possible.” Do this every morning! Try to switch up the positive affirmations you say each day. If you’re looking for more affirmation ideas, check out our blog with positive affirmations for family members of all ages.
21. Swap the Soda
One easy way to meet our health goals this year is to cut out soda pop. Cutting out soda will result in your body changing for the better. It is better to enjoy soda pop as a treat rather than an everyday beverage. If you replace soda with water, then your body will thank you. Swapping out the soda for water will benefit your health in many ways. For example, you will become more hydrated and improve your dental health. You also lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
If soda is a part of your everyday life, start small to make the transition easier. Does your family enjoy pop with every meal? Try swapping it for water one meal a day. Transition to drinking pop less frequently until it is a habit. This may seem like a difficult transition. However, the change is much more attainable when you take baby steps!
22. More Quality Time as a Family
The majority of these family resolutions incorporate spending more time together as a family. This is an important goal. Time is precious. And quality time is one of the most important things we can give to our family.
Spending more quality time together will strengthen your familial bond. It allows more time to communicate effectively. In addition, it will instill strong family values in your children. You will connect on a deeper level with each other and create a stronger sense of stability. Whether you do this through nightly family dinner, family reading time, a monthly family adventure, or a weekly movie night. Above all, vow to spend more quality time as a family during the year.