DO FAMILIES MAKE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS ANYMORE?
Weight loss has been on the list of most popular resolutions, along with going back to college, getting a better job, and making a difference for someone. Throughout the year we make appointments, set goals and do our best to correct our imperfections. Change is hard and there is something to be said about starting fresh during a new year.
Sometimes our resolutions are not realistic and our thoughts are shortsighted so most resolutions broken by the end of March. Humans are bad at resisting temptation especially if we are busy, tired or stressed. We have to practice grit to have success. And we need to practice gratitude and compassion to help us be patient and persevere.
ONE RESOLUTION THAT MAY BE EASIER TO CONTINUE IS TO SPEND MORE TIME PARENTING
Regular conversations with your children can go a long way to figuring out what they are thinking or curious about. Looking away from electronic devices and sharing a story on the subway ride is time well spent. A little time goes a long way. Adding 5 minutes to what you do now without trying to teach, correct or criticize will help develop a long lasting relationship with your children.
CREATING AND KEEPING RESOLUTIONS CAN BE A FAMILY AFFAIR
Setting and working on goals helps the whole family. We can help keep each other be mindful and accountable to our goals. Starting with reminders of the previous years’ successes and asking, “What are some of the great things you want to do this year? What will help you be healthier and happier?” Be open to the goals that are important to them, even if it includes collecting things that sparkle.
A list of everyone’s goals can be hung in a prominent place as a reminder. Preschool age children can set realistic goals of cleaning up belongings more regularly, brushing teeth longer, being kind to siblings or working on listening and helping skills. Check in with the progress towards the goal, however refrain from using external rewards or the resolution is no longer valid. It takes 6-8 weeks for new habits to be created. Perhaps goal setting will become a new tradition for your family.