This is the time of year tradition has us look back at the year past and resolve to do better. Making New Year’s resolutions is useless unless you have a plan. Making long lists of promises you will never keep accomplishes nothing. However, starting the new year with a few achievable goals is a good thing. Take these last few days of winter break to strategize with your kids about some family goals.
Family Goal planning
Discuss the things you want to do or improve on as a family next year and the years to come. Make a list of everything each family member feels is important. It could be as simple as keeping all unnecessary lights off or feeding the family pet everyday without being asked or something bigger such as saving money for a family vacation . No idea should be left off the list. Then take a marker and draw a line through all the ridiculous and grandiose resolutions. Take the remaining ideas and rewrite your list. Any ideas that are similar or duplicates can be combined. For example, getting better grades and studying harder could be restated as doing better in school. Spending more time with the kids or visiting grandparents more often might be combined as more quality family time.
A list is just a list without action
Once you have reduced your list, discuss steps to achieve them.
Doing better in school might require less TV time for the student. Or success may only be had through parents spending extra time helping their children study or providing tutors.
Saving for Family Vacation
Strategies for saving money for a family vacation might consist of fewer family dinners out and adding that money to the vacation account. The money saved from fewer video games and movie tickets can add up toward getting you to your vacation destination. Kids might look for ways to earn money toward paying their portion of passes and other expenses. Saving together toward common goals helps keep everyone on task.
Better eating habits and weight loss goals are always more successful if they are done as a family. Create menus together, decide on what program you want to follow, and have everyone participate in making it a success. Even small children can place healthy snacks in ziplock bags. Older children can help with the cooking. There are websites that help the health conscious stay on track. Enlist your computer savvy child to record all the successes.
If joining a gym doesn’t fit your budget try walking, riding bikes or DVD exercise programs. Doing these activities together keeps everyone accountable.
Keeping the house in order
In the 21st century housework is no longer the role of mother and her girls. Rather it is all household members doing their share. Discuss the daily chores and who will do which ones. A chore chart might be helpful with chores rotated weekly.
Whatever your family New Year’s resolutions are, get your strategy on paper. Set time tables and activities that will help reach your goals. Hold one another accountable. If you reevaluate your success on a monthly basis you can make adjustments to keep your game plan on course.