New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap on social media these days, mostly because they tend to revolve around weight or self-improvement that can be seen as chasing unreasonable beauty standards, but that doesn’t have to be the case! This list of New Year’s resolution ideas for families will you can focus on what really matters—deepening the connections in your nearest and dearest!
Spend the year with Adventures From Scratch!
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Success starts with proper process!
In order to make your resolutions worthwhile, you need to set the scene and put a few parameters in place. Otherwise, like your new diet, your family resolutions will flop!
Do it together!
Family resolutions should include goals that the whole family (if age appropriate) can rally around. If you, as a parent, impose goals on your children that they have no interest in, you’re just setting up a year-long argument. Instead, set a time. Give everyone a couple of days to brainstorm at least one resolution that they think will benefit the whole family. Come together and talk about the options. Give a few suggestions that you think will help everyone, and then choose a few that everyone is on board for.
Make a plan.
Any goal, without a proper plan, is bound to fail. After you have chosen your goals, work out a plan to achieve each one. There should be daily tasks, a way to track your progress, and maybe even a prize for the end!
Practice what you preach.
You can’t expect the whole family to keep their end of the bargain if you don’t model the behavior. Think hard about your goals, but once you make them, stick to them! Model the behavior you want to see from the rest of your clan. Nagging them won’t work. Goals should be fun and something to aspire to, not something to drag everyone down. If you find that you’re falling behind, just go back to the plan and make it visible to your family that you’re doing the tasks. You can also just ask a simple question at dinner, like “how can we take a step towards our family health goal today?” Let the conversations ensue.
Keep it simple.
Goals and plans should be realistic. That means they fit into your normal daily schedule, aren’t going to break the budget, have daily tasks that don’t take much time or effort, and can easily be monitored and measured. Bust out the chalkboard or peg board, and put your plan in a common area where everyone can remind themselves of the plan. Don’t choose more than three or four goals for your family.
Get everyone involved.
One of the best ways to keep everyone interested in the resolutions is to put each family member in charge of one of the goals. Think of it more as a cheerleader than a hall monitor. Each person makes one of the goals for their baby and thinks of ways to incorporate the plan in a fun and easy way. Taking ownership not only increases cooperation but also greatly magnifies the creativity of the process, as everyone is consistently putting in new ideas.
Family New Year’s Resolution Ideas
This list of resolutions is full of great suggestions, but they might not be perfect for your family. If you have preschoolers, your goals are obviously going to be very different of a family of teenagers. Feel free to tweak the time allotments, frequency, etc. The only parameters are that your goals should be measurable and trackable. For instance, “we are going to read more” is not as easy to track as…
1. We’re Going to Read for 30 Minutes Before Bed
Let’s be real for a second. We could all use a little less screen time, and a little more stimulation of the imagination. Set up a chart in each person’s room where they can check off their nightly goal. For small children, you can use stickers or put ping pong balls in a jar with the date written on them. There are many fun options for tracking your progress. Get creative!
2. We Will Perform One Random Act of Kindness Per Week
Kindness is lacking in many of our families… especially in tween siblings, sheesh! Challenge your family to perform and document one random act of kindness for someone in the household each week.
3. We Will Conserve Water With 5-Minute Showers
One easy way to increase your family’s green factor is to help your city conserve water. Set up a timer, and challenge each family member to make it out in five!
4. We Will Have Game Night Once a Week
Family game night is an institution that sounds daunting at first. However, it’s so easy, and it really does increase your bond. Conversation tends to occur naturally as you play. You have moments to teach challenging concepts like losing with grace, and you’ll laugh a lot.
5. We Will Call a Family Member Once a Week
If your family is anything like most, you probably don’t call grandma nearly enough. Set up a virtual video chat with Aunt Marg, your long-distance friends, or a grandpa each week. Choose a family member. Schedule a time for your call, and enjoy!
6. We Will Get Outside for Twenty Minutes per Day
An easy family goal to incorporate healthy habits in the upcoming year is to get outside. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Plan a garden. Clean up the yard. Get some fresh air! It increases physical activity, helps you clear your mind, and exposes your immune system to seasonal germs in small doses to help keep you healthy.
We know, “outside” is a dirty word for some kids. Take some tips from “The Secret to Getting Kids to Play Outside.”
7. We Will Limit Personal Screen Time to Thirty Minutes
Sure, there are days when you just want your kids to go watch a movie and stop calling your name every five minutes, but kids of all ages are spending too much time in front of the screen, on average. Limiting screen time forces children (and parents) to engage with one another, do something that utilizes creativity, and get outside more.
8. We Will Eat Two Fruits and Three Veggies a Day
Healthy eating is a struggle in America for sure! We are busy, and Chick-Fil-A is fast and yummy. Set a goal to improve your eating habits. Pack your own snacks for games and practices. Keep some fruit lying around for easy grabs, and replace french fries every now and then with a fruit cup! Make it more interesting by trying new foods. You know that weird, spiky, purple thing you’ve contemplated in the produce section, now is your time to try it!
9. We Will Each Do a Daily Chore to Keep the House Tidy
The new year is the perfect time to reorganize your family chore structure. Too many homes have one parent carrying the load, while everyone else heaps on the mess. Spread out the work this year by assigning age-appropriate daily chores. Happy New Year kids… sweep the floor!
If you need some help with this one, take a cue from “11 Ways to Make Chores Fun!”
10. We Will Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep per Night
Sleep is important… especially if you have teens. Set a bedtime and try to stick to it.
11. We Will Visit Grandparents Once a Month
Life is busy, we get it. However, there’s no replacement for the love and wisdom that grandparents or elder mentors offer your kiddos. Go visit grandma once a month, or invite them over for dinner. It’s easy, and it will become one of your most meaningful family traditions.
Writer’s note: Our family meets every single Friday night for dinner. We go to the same bbq place every week. Then, we have game night at the grandparents’. It’s nothing special, but it’s something we all look forward to each week.
12. We Will Say One Encouraging Thing to a Family Member per Week
Who couldn’t use a little more encouragement this year? Challenging each family member to look for the good in each other and state it verbally is a simple and effective way to improve your family life. It increases gratitude, encourages kindness, and helps mend hurt spots.
13. We Will Save 10% of What We Make
Teach your kiddos (and yourself) some financial responsibility this year! A good goal is to put back 10% of whatever you make. This includes birthday money for grandparents and anything they earn from jobs or chores. Open each child a bank account and teach them to manage it.
14. We Will Do a Family Service Day Each Quarter
Bathe puppies at the animal shelter. Help stock the community food pantry, or serve some soup at a local gathering for the homeless. Serving the less fortunate produces benefits that are hard to achieve any other way, and it’s even better when you do it together.
15. We Will Eat at Home Five Nights per Week
Wondering how you’re going to save 10%? Well, eating at home is a great way to start! You may have to eat early (before practice), or you might need to get a snack and eat after your event. It’s one of the harder goals on the list, but the health benefits are great, and it helps you save some money for other fun stuff.
16. We Will Do a Monthly Craft Day
Create something beautiful together. It could be a simple printable color sheet from Pinterest, or one of the crafts in our Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. Paint a canvas for the living room. Learn a new hobby like knitting. There are so many options out there!
17. We Will Take an Adventure Each Month
Take a hike. Peruse the local thrift stores. Plan a weekend at the lake. Go on a shopping excursion. Whatever it is that your family loves, take some time away to enjoy! Plan it in advance, and don’t let other events take priority over your family time.
18. We Will Have a Date Twice a Month
The key to a happy family often revolves around a healthy relationship between the parents. Make sure you take time to nurture the original relationship at the heart of your family.
19. We Will Donate Old Toys at Least Once This Year
Teach the act of giving by going through old toys this New Year’s Eve. They likely got new ones at Christmas anyway. Find a place to donate nice toys, and involve your kids in every step from choosing toys to delivering.
19. We Will Take a Family Vacation
Use those pennies you save from eating at home to book a week at the beach or in the mountains! Talk about it at mealtime and make plans together. Having something to look forward to makes saving easier.
20. We Will Show Gratitude Once a Week
Sit down at dinner, once a week, and have everyone state something they are thankful for. You can also set up a jar where you can drop in a thankful note when they come across your mind and then read them at dinner. Thankfulness is linked by multiple clinical studies to decreased stress and all-around healthier, happier folks.
21. We Will Eat at the Table Four Nights a Week
Okay, we have discussed eating at home to save money, but another goal is to actually gather your crew at the table to eat together. Each person having cereal in their own bed doesn’t really have quite the bonding effect of everyone sitting at the table together. It’s a time for catching up and conquering some of the other goals on your list. If you really want to get wholesome, consider cooking the meal together!
22. We Will Document Our Year
Choose a way to document your family time this year. It could be a polaroid photo wall, a family journal, where everyone jots down memories or an end-of-the-year photo album.
23. We Will Learn a New Skill Each Month
A fun way to ensure that your kiddos have all the necessary life skills is to set a family goal to learn a new skill each month. This can be balancing a checkbook, using a power tool, or changing a tire. Make a list of 12 life skills, and check one off each month.
24. We Will Build Something Together
An effective family bonding goal is agreeing to construct something together. Brainstorming a plan, shopping for tools and supplies, and enacting your plan provide teaching moments and lots of laughter, and you have a finished product to celebrate your success. You could build a treehouse, a new dog house, or install a fence together.
25. We Will Do One Project This Year to Improve Our Home
This last goal could be combined with the last one. Homes take maintenance. That is a fact. You might as well make it a family affair and give your kiddos some ownership of the home they occupy. Paint a room together. Powerwash the house. Plant new flower gardens, or redo a bathroom. Doing it together gets the kids invested in what goes in their home and gives them a sense of pride in their accomplishments.
Make It Happen
Alright, guys. We hope you found something inspirational on this list. Remember, all suggestions can be easily tweaked to fit your lifestyle, and you can adjust them throughout the year if your original goal is just not achievable like you thought. It’s better to adjust than to give up. Happy New Year everyone, and good luck with your resolutions!
If you have suggestions for us, drop them in the comments!
Dating is one of your goals this year, remember? Get some easy ideas from “30 Date Nights for Parents.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Family resolutions are meant to increase unity. Choose goals like learning a new skill each month, eating at the table four nights a week, or volunteering once a quarter.
Family goals should be agreed upon by the whole family. Sit down and brainstorm together. Choose 3-4 goals for your family, and set up a measurable plan to achieve them.
To get your family moving together, utilize a family fun book from Adventures From Scratch! This scratch-off adventure book is filled with 50 adventures your family will love!