Now that the excitement of Christmas is over and January is on the way, I’ve started thinking about some New Years resolutions.
I’m never very good at sticking to these kinds of things, but I feel like starting something new is easier when you’ve got company. Being “in it together” gives you more purpose. You can look out for each other, encourage each other and also monitor each other - which keeps you on the straight and narrow!
Kids are always quick to point out when their parents are doing something “naughty”, like swearing (which of course, I never do… ehem) so they’re often the perfect policemen of the family when it comes to monitoring New Year's resolutions! Also, our family is the most important thing in our lives so we figured, why not pick a resolution we can all get involved with? Something that will benefit all our lives. So, this year, we’re taking on a resolution together - kids too!
Like the idea? Here’s some inspiration for New Year resolutions you could take on with your family.
Reducing screen time
Because both myself and my husband work, we do try and spend as little time as possible on our phones and laptops when we’re at home. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to slip back into habits like checking your phone at the table, or whilst watching TV. Even if we think the kids don’t notice, I’m sure it’s something they do pick up on no matter how sneaky we are about it.
Our children are too young to have phones, but they do have a tablet that they sometimes use to play games and watch kids TV programmes. We don’t like them using it too much but if they’re being grumpy or we need them to be quiet for a little while, it’s very tempting to just hand it over.
Making a resolution to reduce screen time, for us, means saying no to phones or devices at the dinner table (or whenever we’re eating together as a family). If it’s the weekend, we won’t use our phones in the day unless someone calls that we have plans with, or if it’s a family member.
Of course, we all have different demands in our life, but for us, reducing screen time to certain periods of the day when we’re at work or the kids aren’t around will significantly improve our time together as a family.
Spending more time outdoors
This is a great goal for all the family and there are loads of ways it can be done. Spending time in nature has been proven to have a positive impact on our mental health and overall feeling of wellbeing. It also helps you stay fit and healthy! Essential when you have small children to run after. It can be a lovely way to spend time together and it helps to burn off all the excess energy that kids have!
Even if you’re living in the city there are ways you can try to spend more time outdoors. Going to the park, going on weekend trips to the coast, visiting the local woods, playing in the garden… it might help you stick to your resolution if you set yourself a goal of spending a certain amount of time outside per week. That way, if you need to, you can plan it into your diary to make sure you stick to your resolution!
Children have a natural abundance of energy but as you get older, you need to work to maintain those energy reserves. There are so many fun and family-friendly activities that will help you and your family stay fit, many of them free. From walking and spending time outdoors to indoor friendly activities like yoga or aerobics (follow a free class on YouTube) or simply doing some gentle stretching with the kids every morning and evening before they go to bed.
Learn something new
We thought it could be a great idea to get everyone in the family to commit to learning something new once a month. At the start of the month, we all say what skill we’d like to learn and at the end of the month, we share what we learned with each other.
When you’re a child, you are curious about the world around you. Hungry to learn, children love asking a million questions a day. When we get older, we become more knowledgeable, but we can also lose our natural curiosity about things we don’t know.
Learning something new can be achieved by reading a book, practising something, visiting a museum or simply asking a question to the right person. The point may not really have to be about what you’ve learned, but about awakening a natural curiosity and the fun of learning something new. The means, not the ends.
Do you and your family have any New Year resolutions?