The new year is nearly upon us, and many of us use this time to reflect on the past twelve months, and set goals for the future. When you’re thinking about the new year, why not set some family goals as well as personal ones? Here are five ideas for family goals you can set this new year:
1) Have dinner together at the table. Many families have busy work and social schedules that can make it difficult to eat dinner together. However, try setting a goal to eat together as a family more often – distraction-free.
2) Plan a regular movie night. Pop some popcorn, put away the smartphones and devices, and settle in for a cozy family movie night at home.
3) Spend more time outdoors. This can be as simple as going for a walk around the block after dinner, or a game of soccer in the backyard. Families with older children may also enjoy more involved outdoor activities such as a hike through the woods.
4) Eat healthier. Try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your family meals, or replace sugary sodas with water and milk. Small changes are easier to stick with than big ones. You can ask your toddler or preschooler to help you by mixing ingredients in the kitchen, or choosing the best apples in the grocery store.
5) Practice better communication. All families can improve their communication skills, even toddlers and preschoolers. As a family, practice calmly discussing issues and feelings, ensuring that a respectful two-way conversation takes place.
Tips for setting family goals
Setting family goals for the new year is best done together, so everyone can share ideas and expectations. Preschoolers and toddlers can be involved in this process, too. Younger children may have more broad goals, such as spending more time with mommy or daddy. You can then take these simple goals and create a more detailed plan that incorporates what your child wants.
Setting an action plan is crucial to helping you meet your family goals. For example, if a regular movie night is one of your goals, you’ll need to decide when you will start, how often the movie night will occur, who will choose the movie, what snacks you will prepare, and what time of day it will take place.
Throughout the year, check in with your family to ensure the goals are proceeding according to plan, and that everyone is happy with the way things are going. Before long, you may see that your family goals for the new year are becoming a family routine.