As another year begins, many individuals use January to set the stage for what’s to come — setting goals, identifying changes, and envisioning new experiences. While personal goals, like hitting the gym more frequently or cutting sugar from our diets, tend to be top of mind, you can involve your family in setting meaningful resolutions that you can work toward together to be more intentional, deepen relationships, and build lasting memories. Brainstorming resolutions can be a fun and exciting activity that you do together, so below are six suggestions to get you started.
New Year Resolutions for Families
1. Give Back to Your Community
Introducing your children to the many and varied challenges facing others can be tricky but critical in raising conscious and caring community members. Volunteering with local organizations is a hands-on way to introduce your family to other types of people and their unique challenges. When determining where your family will volunteer, involve the whole family! This creates an opportunity for conversations around the non-profit’s mission and services and how all members of your family can support the community.
2. Get Active Together
Exercise is a common inclusion on New Year resolutions lists, and getting active with your loved ones makes it even more fun to get moving. Schedule family hikes on some of the many hiking trails throughout New York State and use the time spent exploring to work up a sweat, talk as a family, and learn about nature. Bring back souvenirs, like rocks and leaves, to make a scrapbook or memory box together and remember your adventure.
Consider combining this resolution with the first by participating in our Fostering Hope Virtual 5k/10K Walk/Run (details coming in January). Train as a family and prepare to walk or run together in your favorite spot — be it a hike, a park, or your neighborhood — to support Berkshire Farm Center. If you’re unsure where to start, search the smartphone app store for Couch to 5K programs or use a printable tracker like the one linked here.
3. Ditch the Screens
From tablets to phones to video games to laptops, it seems that devices are all around us!
Spend screen-free time together as a family to reconnect and encourage your children to rely less on technology to bust their boredom.
When encouraging your kiddos to put down their devices, explain to them why it is important — for example, “we’re going to all put our phones in this basket during dinner so that we have time to talk about our days” — and hold all family members accountable — adults included. Prepare your kids ahead of time so that they aren’t surprised when asked to part with their beloved tech, and soon it will become habitual.
4. Read More Books
Reading is not only a great way to spend screen-free time but can also ignite conversations and encourage curiosity and creativity. Carve out time to read together — perhaps before bed or during an after-school snack — and track your progress with a book tracker or reading log. Encourage your kiddos to get involved in selecting the book by providing a selection of age-appropriate options and consider offering children’s chapter books that provide story progression that will keep them excited to come back for more regularly.
5. Practice Gratitude & Thankfulness
Help your children cultivate a thankful mindset by keeping a family gratitude journal.
This doesn’t have to be a traditional journal — it could be a jar into which your family adds a slip of paper daily or if the kids are older, a shared note that you access from your phones or tablets.
This type of reflection will create awareness and ignite exciting and insightful conversations.
6. Reconsider Routines
Take a step back and reconsider each of your routines. Something as simple as reconsidering bedtime can make a massive difference in your day-to-day. Ask, is my kiddo getting enough sleep?
Sleep is so crucial in ensuring that a child or teen is fully functioning during their awake time. If you've noticed that you've been more lenient with bedtime around the holiday season, fret not! January is the perfect time to reevaluate and reset!
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year from your friends at Berkshire!