By Kathryn Trudeau
2022 is surely our year, right? Right?
Start the year off right with one (or all) of these family-friendly New Year’s resolutions.
1. Exercise… Together
Exercise is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but there’s no reason it needs to be limited to grown-ups only. In fact, making exercise a family-oriented resolution can be a great bonding activity一 and a good chance to model healthy habits for your kids.
There are many ways to exercise together:
- Create a “mileage log” and log each mile you walk, run, or bike together as a family
- Resolve to go on a family walk each day (even if it’s just for 10 minutes!)
- Join a YMCA together as a family
- Try to add more active events into your weekends (hiking, nature walks, family bike rides, etc.)
- Use an app and join a virtual race as a family
- Build snowmen (snowballs get heavy!)
- Go sledding 一 and run back up the hill each time!
2. Reading Challenge
Just like the exercise challenge, you can create a year-long reading challenge for the whole family.
- Make a reading log and keep track of how many books each family member reads (both individually as a family)
- If you don’t already read bedtime stories, make that a resolution to read one book each night
- One a week (or once a month), turn off the TV and read out loud as a family instead of watching TV
- Have a family “date” to a bookstore and purchase new books for everyone
- Participate in local reading challenges at your library
3. Get on Track with Chores
While this might not be everyone’s favorite resolution, it can help to divvy up the chores so everyone is participating fairly. Make a chore chart for everyone in the family and divide up the chores according to age. Set clear rules (such as if there is an allowance or not), so no one is surprised later on.
4. Do Good
How can you and your family give back throughout the year? As a family resolution, think about one good deed to focus on for each month. For example, in January, you might donate books to the library. In February, you might send Valentine’s Day cards to a nursing home or children’s hospital. In March, you might donate to a food pantry.
Create a “Do Good” chart, and at the end of 2022, you can look back and see all of the good you and your family did throughout the year.
5. Eat Well
Healthy eating is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, and it works well with family life too.
Here are ways to implement this resolution:
- Make a pact to try one new food a week 一 Lima beans? Squash? This helps diversify your kids’ palettes at a steady pace that’s doable for most picky eaters
- Use a chalkboard to plan your weekly family dinners
- If you eat out a lot, try to replace one takeout meal with a plan-ahead meal (like a slow cooker soup)
6. Get More Sleep
According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Apnea Association, about 70% of adults say they don’t get enough sleep. Make a pact to make 2022 the year your family practices better sleep hygiene.
Good sleep hygiene includes:
- Going to bed at the same time every night
- Sleeping in a cool, dark room
- Avoiding screens (TV, phone, etc) for 1-2 hours before bed
For babies, good sleep hygiene also includes avoiding blankets and pillows. Don’t worry about cold toes 一 Zippy Swaddle will keep your little one’s toes snug and warm.
7. Drink More Water
Water is the beverage of your choice for your body, and it’s essential for nearly every body function from respiration to even thinking clearly. Without enough water, your skin is dry, your brain is foggy, and your mood dips 一 just to name a few things.
Resolve to drink more water as a family.
8. Go Green
Make a list of environmentally friendly habits you can adopt this year. A few examples include:
- Recycling more
- Reusing more (turning that mayo jar into a homemade salad dressing jar)
- Using reusable grocery bags
- Buying washable products instead of one-time-use, when applicable
9. Go on Family Dates
Kids thrive on 1:1 attention, and that’s where family dates come into play. Schedule plenty of 1:1 time with each child throughout the year.
Ideas for this include:
- Go to a painting class
- Go out to eat with your child
- Go to a movie
- Go on a picnic
10. Plan a Vacation
Family is everything, and all too often, the busyness of life takes a toll on how much time we actually get to spend with our family. If possible, make a New Year’s resolution to unplug and get away from the busyness and rekindle your family bonds.
Ideas for family-friendly getaways include:
- Weekend getaways at a B&B to explore the local culture (many B&Bs are listed as child and pet friendly so the whole crew can come)
- All-inclusive indoor water parks (which have something for every member of the family)
- Staycation where you tour the local attractions in your own town
- Urban museum tour -- head to your nearest big city and tour all of the big museums
Start the New Year Off Right!
Which of these family-friendly resolutions will you add to your family’s list?