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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

9 New Year’s Resolutions for the Whole Family

Dec 10, 2012 12:00AM

Tired of committing to New Year’s resolutions that you never keep? This year try a new tactic and make it a family affair. Why not pick a resolution or two that you can take on with your kids. It’s a great way to do something together and your kids will keep you honest. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Get your game on and exercise.

Pick a day and start a regular exercise program. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as a family walk. Set a goal of 3 times a week. Or just get outside and play with your kids, soccer, basketball, baseball; it doesn’t matter what you do. The goal is physical activity and making it a habit for you and your family.

2. Read together.

It doesn’t have to stop once your children can read. Let them pick a book for you to read out loud together. You read a page, and then your child reads a page. Think of the interesting dinner table discussions you can have about your book. Of course, if your kids are small it’s always fun and educational to read to them.

3. Raise compassionate kids by volunteering.

Check with your local food pantry, humane society, or senior center to find out ways your family can help. Collect donations and send care packages to our troops. Help clean up your local park or forest preserve. Volunteer with a local charity walk or run. Ask about opportunities with your kids’ school or with local religious organizations.

4. Start a family savings plan.

It’s never too soon to teach children the value of money and the importance of saving. So make your plan and have every family member contribute, no matter the amount. It doesn’t matter if the money is earned through outside jobs like babysitting or if it is allowance money. The contribution is what’s important. After your money starts to add up make plans to do something fun together. Or purchase something everyone can enjoy. Or better yet, continue saving for that trip to Disney World.

5. Learn something new.

Have you always wanted to try skating? What about scrapbooking, jewelry making, or sewing? Get your kids to try it with you and join in on the fun. Follow up with your local park district or community center to see what they offer.

6. Conquer the clutter and get organized.

A great way to start the New Year is to clean the house of clutter and clear your mind. Have your kids help and go closet by closet and room by room. Have three bags to separate the items you want to get rid of: give away, throw away, or garage sale. Don’t wait; bring your give aways to a local charity, and plan a garage sale for the spring. Now you can relax and enjoy your new peaceful home.

7. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Chances are good your kids are already learning this in school. So why not continue the practice at home. Use reusable sports bottles for water, cloth bags for the grocery store and washable cloth napkins instead of paper. As a project, try making a compost bin. Always recycle whatever you can. See what ideas your kids can come up with.

8. Cook with your kids.

It can be something as simple as cookies or homemade pizza. Or plan a nacho/taco bar or a do it yourself salad bar. Try theme dinners like a Mexican, Italian or Chinese night. Have your kids help with shopping and meal planning. Then let them pick a night to plan the menu and prepare their own favorite foods.

9. Spend more time with family and friends.

Slow down and unplug the TV, video games, and computer. Tame your family’s schedule and enjoy a family game night. Plan a party and invite your friends. Just be sure to put this time on your calendar each week and enjoy each other’s company.

So, why not ring in the New Year with some bold new plans for you and your family? Remember the quote: “Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”

Lisa Nord Seplak is a freelance writer and mom with a lot of plans for her family in the New Year.