1. Parenting
Send to a Friend via Email

New Year's Resolutions for Families

10 Resolutions Your Family Can Actually Keep

By

New Year's resolutions for families can be even better than your typical resolutions that are usually forgotten by week two of the new year. You can actually keep these resolutions and they enhance your family time together at the same time.

1. Spend More Time Together

A picture of a family spending time together
Photo © Manchan / Getty Images
Today's families are speeding in multiple directions. Before you know it, that first birthday party has turned into a 10th birthday party. Make one of your family's New Year's resolutions to slow down and savor time together. Sure, you have those car rides to the soccer field or your breakfast time before the mad dash to work and school. But there are 10 easy things you can do every day as a family. No matter how busy your family is, every one of you has time for these special activities that will bring all of you closer together.

2. Get Active

A picture of a boy kicking a ball
Photo © Apryl Duncan
One of the perks of New Year's resolutions is that it feels like a clean slate for your family. A brand new day in a brand new year gives you the opportunity to get your family off the couch to get in some good, active fun. Whether you're stuck indoors on a rainy day or you're headed outdoors, keep everyone in your family active and healthy every day of the year.

3. Eat Better

A picture of a family eating tomatoes
Photo © chrissi / stock.xchng
One New Year's resolution your family can stick to is eating. Now work together on a resolution to make the food all of you are eating healthier. This starts with your family meal planning. Avoid having those tempting foods in your pantry that are high in empty calories and fat and offer little to no nutritional value. Keep your kitchen pantry stocked with staples that make sure you're preparing delicious, nutritious meals without having to rely on TV dinners to feed your family in a pinch. From your kids' lunches to their after school snacks, they'll eat better because you are.

4. Go on Big Adventures

A picture of a child on a field trip
Photo © Muriel de Seze / Getty Images
There are days your family is climbing the four walls of your house. Get away from the monotony of your family's days. Make a New Year's resolution to go on big adventures together. Plan your own impromptu field trips for kids of all ages. Load the family into the car and go on a day or weekend trip to change your scenery. Or stay closer to home and enjoy nature activities for families.

5. Learn Something New

A picture of a mother and daughter on the computer
Photo © Nancy Ney / Getty Images
Sometimes we're so focused on the doing that we forget about the learning. Try a New Year's resolution for your family that will help all of you learn something new. Explore world cultures together. Build a website with your kids. Visit educational websites for children that will actually teach your children while entertaining them as well. You can even try fun, safe science experiments for kids that won't blow up your kitchen. There are plenty of learning activities for kids that will teach all of you something you didn't yet know.

6. Help Others

A picture of kids packing up a food  box
Photo © Getty Images
Every family faces its own set of challenges so it's easy to get caught up in our own needs rather than thinking of others throughout the year. But there are plenty of families and individuals who can benefit through your family’s generosity while your children learn valuable lessons in thankfulness and empathy. Choose age-appropriate charity events for children and parents so you and your family can spend time together while helping others. Donate gently-used toys to charities, hospitals, churches and other places that are always looking for toys to distribute to children. When it's time to buy someone a present, purchase one that gives back to a specific charitable cause. Helping others is a family project that will quickly go from being a New Year's resolution to a part of your family's routine.

7. Read Together

A picture of a family reading together
Photo © Paul Burns / Getty Images
With so many gadgets to play with and status updates to type, today's kids are spending more time in front of a screen than they are with the written word. Your family's New Year's resolution can change those techie habits in your house. Gather your whole family and set aside time at least a few times a week, if not every day, that all of you step away from the gadgets, games and computers to read together. Make reading fun for kids so they're always looking forward to the next book you'll read together. For younger readers, mix in some phonics activities so they can get in on the fun as they learn to read and appreciate books too.

8. Take on New Responsibilities

A picture of children doing chores
Photo © Peter Cade / Getty Images
The kids are growing up so fast and will soon turn another year older. As they grow, make it a New Year's resolution to give them new responsibilities. Start with new chores kids should do every day or try something different like showing your family how to go green. The whole family can also tackle the task of getting organized, which covers everything from organizing your bedrooms to organizing your family photos.

9. Enjoy Special Family Activities Every Month

A picture of a mother and daughter gardening
Photo © Leland Bobbe / Getty Images
No matter what time of the year it is, there's always something going on that's special to that month. Pick your month and find fun activities for kids, such as January's National Hobby Month, May's National Bike Month or September's National Courtesy Month. There are so many themed activities to try but there are plenty of seasonal activities for families to enjoy 365 days a year too.

10. Revisit Your Family's Safety Plan

A picture of a girl being approached by a stranger
Photo © Flying Colours Ltd / Getty Images
A new year is the perfect time to revisit your family's safety plan. From home fire safety to Internet safety, weather safety to street safety, use this time as a safety refresher course and revisit it several times throughout the year.
  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Stay-at-Home Moms
  4. Parties and Holidays
  5. New Year's Resolutions for Families

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.