Hello January! It’s the month of goal setting. Are you keeping your New Year’s Resolutions? Have you and your family found yourself slipping back to old habits already and not following through? Don’t feel bad, you are not alone! 80% of adults fail at their New Year’s resolutions by February. Changing habits is hard to do! If you feel yourself falling off the band wagon, here are some helpful tips to get you and your family back into the swing of things. Making goals to create a positive change in your family or community is such an important lesson for children. It is worth the extra effort to reevaluate and figure out how you can keep being persistent and show them that good things are worth working hard for, and can even be fun!

Did your family resolve to be less rushed and spend more quality time together?

Do you feel this goal slipping as kids are back in school from the winter break and life is getting busy with extra curricular activities? This is a wonderful resolution for families to have, and even more important to show children that spending time with them is worth it! Perhaps a family calendar would do the trick. Schedule in your family game night, or weekend hike just like you do their soccer games. Put the calendar where everyone can see it. This will also hold each family member accountable to keep that time open and available.

Make it a habit to spend a moment on each hello and goodbye. Even if you are rushed (let’s be realistic, you WILL have these days) instead of yelling over your shoulder “Bye!” take a moment to give a hug and say, “Have a wonderful day, I love you.” Even on those rushed mornings, you can still show your children that nothing is more important than taking a moment to tell them how important they are to you.

Did you or your family resolve to be healthier this new year?

Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds, cook at home more, or exercise, this is fantastic and popular resolution. This resolution is easier to keep when you can measure your progress, Keep it realistic and specific. Use this resolution to spend more quality time with your family. Create a family cooking night where you get your kids involved with grocery shopping and helping in the kitchen. Go for a weekly bike ride with the whole family. Think about how you can combine resolutions. Shoot for 3-5 days of exercise,and put it in the calendar. If one or two of those exercise days can also mark off your families quality time for the week, then think about how much easier it will be to really keep your resolutions!

For all resolutions remember to be realistic and plan ahead. Make a public declaration, let your family help you by keeping you accountable. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again! This is an important one. Even those who do keep their resolutions for the year, they too make mistakes in the first month (and throughout the year). Success is due to persistence. If your kids see you make a mistake, that’s ok! Don’t let them see you give up. Try again, and use this to teach that important life lesson.

Now for the fun part… Reward yourself! Did you make your goal to cook healthy more often? Get that fancy kitchen gadget you have been eyeing, or take a fun cooking class. Did your family make the goal of spending more time together? Start planning a fun family weekend getaway! This can be an amazing incentive.

Plan to do a monthly check in with your family to repeat and remember what goals have been made. Remember to talk about why they chose the resolutions they did. Congratulate any positive changes towards that goal, no matter how small.  Talk about any mistakes and road blocks that have presented themselves. Plan for future mistakes so everyone is prepared to deal with them when they are sure to arise.

This is a chance to make positive changes for yourself and for your family. New Year’s Resolutions are not about the destination; they are about the journey. Spend time uplifting each other, learning from mistakes and working hard. Have fun and keep your eye on the prize… a happier you!

Family Hike-Photo Credit: www.mbsf.org