New Year is a special time, providing opportunities to change, clean the slate and open the door to endless possibilities. It’s that time when we reflect on the past 12 months and make our resolutions for the coming year ahead.
The problem of course is that those resolutions tend to be the same ones as we made last year, and the year before that! Sadly, our lives don’t get any easier come January and certainly as parents we don’t suddenly have more time to fulfil our personal goals and objectives. The free time we do manage to salvage from work is then invariably given to our families who will of course always continue to take priority. There’s always next year, right?
So, what if we were to change the perspective when creating these resolutions, setting objectives that are focused on enhancing the time we spend together as a family and the quality of activities and experiences we share? Our busy lives also mean we often feel guilt throughout the year by not doing more as a family and perhaps not engaging enough when all under the same roof. 2020 is the perfect opportunity to sit down and agree together your Family Resolutions for the year – a sort of family planner where you each can hold one another accountable to ensure the Family Resolutions are upheld (as you all have to agree to them!).
Here are a few to get you started…
- After the indulgences of Christmas, many people vow to hit the gym in the new year, only to find that the goal of working out 3 times a week doesn’t fit well into your busy world of work and family time. However, that doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. Rather than committing to a gym membership, why not pledge to a family walk twice a week, swimming together at the weekends or even dusting off the Wii Fit for a few games at home? Walking with the family also gives you a chance to connect and talk about your day, something you will find more difficult on the treadmill!
- George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying “the biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place” which I’m sure many families can relate to. We think we have discussed our day or listened to those problems at school, however this is often whilst a million other things are going on at home so none of the family are truly paying attention. Promising to ‘unplug’ (including removing the tablets from the children!) for an hour a day or perhaps a whole evening a week will allow for real communication. To keep everyone engaged why not use the time for a board game or a quiz?
- Reading together can bring so many wonderful experiences and yet sharing a book is often seen as a chore. Younger children love to have the same book read to them over and over (and over) again, which to an adult can be laborious and monotonous. However, the learning that comes from this repetition is often overlooked. Understanding the rhythm and pattern of words is essential for the development of language and its comprehension later on. Older children will enjoy reading to you or sharing a book which you can both enjoy. Make a promise to find 15 minutes everyday to share a book together. This is one resolution you won’t regret making.
- As adults, many of us strive to learn new skills and keep our professional development up to date, but how about learning a new skill as a family? Perhaps learn a new language together, you will be amazed at how quickly your little superstar picks it up! How about a sport or activity you can all enjoy? Learning to ski at places like Tamworth Snowdome or practice yoga together at home.
- The most important resolution of all….spend time together. If there is only one resolution that you make this year, make it your presence with your family. Whatever, however, whenever, be together as a family as much as you can. Chat, laugh, share, enjoy and just be.
To make it a little easier, we have put together this basic worksheet so you can plan your Family Resolutions together, feel free to change it as you see fit!