New Year Resolutions for the Family

This is the time of year when many people make resolutions for the coming year. Unfortunately, this often produces incredibly ambitious goals that don’t survive the month.

Let’s try to make some resolutions that your family can maintain. This will not only achieve the desired results but it will also teach your kids to follow through with their goals.


1. Increase Physical Activity.
Exercise is a passion for some, dreaded by others. If your family is more in the latter camp, just aim for at least 20 minutes of “moderate to vigorous” physical activity during the day. This can include actual exercise or alternatives like sports, dance, gymnastics, walking, biking, or active games. Increasing your kids’ physical activity will not only keep them healthy, it’ll also help encourage improved behavior and learning.


2. Increase Healthy Eating.
Set realistic targets that can be met and made part of your daily lives. For example, set goals to eat more fruits and vegetables, decrease sweets and sugary snacks, or drink more water and less sugary drinks. Setting specific targets (e.g., 2 fruits per day) will help. Similarly, the more you can get your kids involved in your family’s food selection (like menus) and preparation the more likely they’ll participate.


3. Track and Reward. 
Everyone is more likely to participate in their resolutions if you track them and reward for the ones your family succeed at. Feel free to print the chart below to help your kids keep track.

4. Get Adequate Sleep.
Proper sleep is one of the simplest yet most productive steps we can take with kids, benefitting their health, mood, behavior, and learning capacity.


5. Increase Learning in Fun Ways.
The key here is fun. Kids already go to school so how can we help them learn, while making it fun? Think of goals like a monthly family trip to a museum or historical site. Can you set a target for fun (non-school) books per month for your kids to read? What interests your kids and works for your family? And don’t forget about giving them rewards!