Image above designed by Pressfoto, Freepik
I love making New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it’s because I’m a self-acclaimed self-improvement junkie or maybe it’s because there’s something so hopeful about a fresh start, but making resolutions gives us all the time to evaluate what’s working and what’s not in our lives. And that’s a good thing.
But the rest of my family? New Year’s resolutions aren’t their jam. After all, they tell me that it’s hard to improve upon perfection. (Riiiiggght.) But in my book, there’s always room for fostering a happier, more fulfilling family life. I see opportunities to practice more togetherness, more generosity, more gratitude, more self-sufficiency. So, this year, we’re adopting a family resolution. Trust me, they will be thrilled (wink, wink). Joking aside, setting a family resolution is a fun proposition that everyone can get behind. And you know that no one holds you accountable like your own family!
Think your family could benefit from setting a family resolution this year? Here are a few ideas to consider.
Have dinner together at least once a week. Seems simple enough, right? But work, school, sports and other extra-curricular activities can cut into this oh-so-important family time. Vow to break bread together—at the family dinner table (no electronics allowed)—so you can catch up on what’s going on with each other.
Become nature nerds. Once a month, plan an outdoor adventure. Go on a hike, spend an afternoon fishing at the lake, spend a snowy morning snowshoeing. Spending time in nature is proven to be therapeutic for both the body and soul. Allow each family member to dream up at least one activity and put it in your calendar. Like now.
Hand down important life skills. Teach your kids how to master one must-know life skill each month. Depending on their age, it could be how to wash and fold a load laundry, how to change a flat tire, how to make scrambled eggs or how to sew a button on a shirt or mend a tear. In this age of automation and outsourcing, equipping your kids with life skills like these create more self-sufficient human beings.
Become the give-back gang. My kids live a good life and want for little, But I sense that sometimes they are ungrateful for and naive to the blessings and resources they have. They don’t know what it feels like to be hungry or to not have a roof over their heads, as they live safe in their suburban bubble. So this year, our family resolution is to find volunteer opportunities that we can participate in together. Serving food at a soup kitchen, handing out supplies at the homeless shelter—something that puts them on the front lines of service.
Schedule a good old-fashioned family game night. Make it every third Sunday of the month or some other time that works in your schedule but resolve to put it on your calendar (and keep it there). Splurge on a new game each month or dust off some old favorites. Plan a family-friendly themed menu like a taco bar or make-your-own meatball subs. Get an old trophy from a thrift store—the family game night champ wins it, and bragging rights, all month long.
Be a tourist in your own town. Explore what’s outside your own back door. From that funky food truck downtown to that wooded bike trail you’ve been wanting to try, plan a new adventure every month. Maybe it’s a pancake breakfast at the firehouse, an outdoor movie at the library or a play at the local community theater. There’s so much to do and who better to do it with than your nearest and dearest.
© Rachael Liska, happyhearthappyhome.com