Photo courtesy of Mommy Nearest
Every year, my family has taken part in the time old classic of reinventing ourselves for the new year ahead. I’ve tried many successful (and unsuccessful) new resolutions myself over the years, undertaken many new activities, and even participated in a few friendly competitions while doing so. When my husband and I had our first child, and became a young family, my New Year’s resolutions took on a more holistic theme, incorporating my baby and husband. As our family grew, our resolutions morphed into fun activities, adventures, and growth opportunities. Last year, my family even started a weekly family game night!
This year, my family would like to try a few new resolutions to brighten our days and grow as a family. I’d like to share them with you. I’d also like to share a few past resolutions that I’ve tried, ones that I sometimes struggled with and tips on how I plan to make them work this year.
Before going on though, I want to add a little cautionary note to this article: not every resolution works (shocking, I know)! But I’ve always found that even the ones that don’t still gave me and my family fond memories and happiness, even if just for a short time. So never get discouraged! New Year’s resolutions are for fun after all!
Get Outside More
Historically, this has been a New Year’s tradition for me. I’ve called it different things (running more, exercising, going on adventures), but it’s generally a well-known New Year’s resolution in many households. It typically starts strong in the first month or two of the year then peters out when the weather gets really cold. No matter how long my family keeps it up for though, we always enjoy it!
This year, I’m giving myself a tip (and you too) to help keep the adventure alive: telling my kids when the weather is nice, frosty comes out to play.
My kids really do keep me young at heart, and also keep me from going back on my word! When I’ve told them we are going to do something fun, they always make me keep my word. And I know it’s important I do to help them build honesty and trust. So I told them frosty likes warm weather. Whenever the sun is shining, he comes out to play. And they remind me whenever the sun starts peeking through the window! It’s been a great method in keeping the energy up and getting the fresh air we need outside! Being held up in the house with many former activities now out of reach, the army of snowmen we’ve created outside really has been a great morale booster too!
Keeping Pen Pals
As a kid, I often tried to write letters to my friends and keep regular correspondence with family too. This was just something not meant to be though. Once I got my first phone, I wrote only to my Great Aunt, who lives in Scotland. As the distance is so great, the letters took a great deal of time to reach either of us so the general pen pal feeling was lost after some time. I did try to gain new pen pals as I left my college years and started a family, but having a vehicle to bring me to my family members took the fun out of it once more as I often saw them in person before they received their letters!
This year, with the new normal still strong, my family and I have rekindled this long lost art. We seldom see any of our old friends anymore so have started crafting some letters. The kids have been having a blast doing so too, using their new Christmas gift (art supplies) to build their own letters! I love how inspired they are and the new skills they are gaining too. It will surely do them well when they start attending school.
But how do I plan to keep this going throughout the year? By enlisting my honest little prompters again! Funny enough, my older son knows what a ‘year’ is by knowing the sequence of holidays in the year. As soon as one holiday ends, he begins preparation for the next holiday (just like his Mom). We have hours of fun making crafty decorations or planning the tasty treats to enjoy the day of. But this year, we will also be sending cards to all of our families and friends! He has already made eleven cards for his cousins and brother. I hope to continue this tradition (and building new skills) throughout the year on other holidays!
Keeping a Record of Fond Memories
In past years, when I had more time on my hands, I really liked making photo albums. I made digitized ones and had them printed by photobook companies. It made for great collages of my finest memories.
It’s been a few years since I’ve made one, so this year, I’m going to make one for each of my children. How will I inspire myself to make this resolution a reality? I’ve been showing my children past ones I’ve made and made a promise to each of them I will make them one before the year is out.
I’m really looking forward to completing this task as it will not only be a fun activity to do together as a family but will also be a cherished record of my kids during their young lives they will have forever.
If you like this idea, you can also get in on the memory record-keeping game with old-fashioned photo albums, artistic collages for your walls, and making albums within social media platforms! They all work to keep your memories alive!
Practice a Positive Cognitive Skill
Lastly, this year, my family and I are planning on doing something new around the house on a daily basis that will help boost morale and show our appreciation for one another. It’s not exactly something we don’t normally do, but this year we plan to make it a resolution to try to be more cognisant of. We plan on showing gratitude whenever an opportunity presents itself.
In our busy day-to-day lives, sometimes we forget the struggles of our other family members. Sometimes we don’t notice the hard work that is being completed right before our eyes. We grow so used to the qualities that make our individual family members so amazing that we pass it by, forgetting to show gratitude. But the little things, like saying thank-you, really do make all the difference.
Therefore, my husband and I plan to make a conscious note to keep showing our gratitude towards each other and our children whenever possible! To show our appreciation has really benefitted our relationships with each other, and taught our kids the importance of gratitude by leading by example too.
How do we do it? A couple easy steps to start you off are to listen to one another during a conversation, make eye contact when listening or speaking, giving compliments for big and small things, and show appreciation for the efforts taken by others. These small gestures make home life very happy. So how do we plan to keep it up?
Try this! Whenever someone shows you gratitude, make a mental note to return the appreciation when possible. Even though it’s tough to explain this to a young child, by doing this, they catch on pretty quick! Compliment them, listen to them (and even say “I’m listening to you”) while making eye-contact, and say thank you. They will eventually start to mimic you and the mimicked actions will eventually turn into real feelings. It’s pretty amazing when your child starts thanking you for reading them their bedtime stories!
Did you have a chance to come up with your own New Year’s resolutions this year? Any ideas you’d like to share? Please reach out to me because I’d love to hear about them! Also, if you liked any of my resolution ideas and are hoping to give them a go with your family, tell me about it! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!