We all face resolutions with both hope and trepidation: the hope that we can make positive changes in our lives and the fear that by bleak mid-January our good intentions will all have fallen by the wayside. Luckily, by making resolutions as a family, you can work as a team to motivate each other to succeed. Family resolutions can help you enjoy a healthier, more balanced lifestyle and allow for more time and more fun together as a family.
The first step is to be realistic about the changes that need to be made. If children are overcommitted with activities and mom and dad frazzled with balancing life in general, schedules may have to be rearranged. The kids may need to drop an activity, or family chores may need to be divided more equally. Once breathing room has been established, the family will have time to spend together.
One way to connect is by eating dinner together. The food doesn’t have to be complicated. The commitment will be to talking and listening to each other (turn off any electronic gadgets). Regular communication will be a huge boost to keeping your relationships strong.
Being active is always a challenge for a busy family. Pick a time (like every Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon) and head out to the local park with a Frisbee or soccer ball, or go ice-skating or sledding in the winter. Or simply get moving by biking to the local market for groceries or by walking around the museum as you check out the dinosaurs.
One-on-one time is also important. You can commit to special activities, or “dates,” with each child that are geared toward their interests. Mom and dad also need to find time for themselves. This sets an example for the kids of how to keep a relationship strong.
These changes don’t have to be intimidating—a few hours on the weekend and a special monthly outing can help a family to build bonds that last into adulthood. And the mental and physical break from daily stresses will contribute to the good health needed to fully participate in family life.