We are at the end of 2019 and there an absolutely fresh new year waiting for us in just a few days. New years are like fresh pages or fresh canvases that can be painted as we wish. It’s a good time to start making something new and make all those changes that you have been meaning to. (Of course, we also believe that any day is good for a new beginning if you wish, but the start of a new year is just got a nice ring to it) So what are your family goals this year?
What are family goals?
Family goals are guiding lights so we can get to where we want in our parenting and individual goals. Do you want all your family to be fit? Eating healthy could be a goal, but of course you will still need to consider individual needs. Karela juice may be great for grandma's diabetes, but not suitable for a 5 year old. So maybe not eating junk food could be a guideline for this goal. While it does not mean that everyone has to do everything together all the time, we do recommend having some goals that require the family to be together as well.
Individual resolutions may not work at times when family goals might. So how is that you ask? Well, losing weight (the number one resolution) may be stressful and may mean making big changes for just one person, but ensuring that the whole family eats better is actually an easier change to make.
What sort of resolutions can we make as a family?
Those that bring us closer - Family resolutions help bring everyone closer together. Even simple ones like reading time together every week must be a family pact. They can read their book and you can read yours in a quiet room with no TV.
Those that make us stronger individuals – Be it physical strength by eating healthy and exercising or mental and emotional strength, we must all attempt to reach those goals together and support each other be strong individuals.
Those that make us more compassionate toward the world. Everyone we know is doing something to make life better. From the domestic help to the nurse at the hospital to the cab driver and the teacher at school, everyone needs compassion, generosity and kindness. A family resolution may be to try and plant more trees or donate to a good cause.
Those that we can keep without too much stress. Becoming champion tennis players may not be the best goal, even if you are looking to become a fit family that plays tennis. Instead just plan to play tennis and become better as you enjoy the family together time and gain some fitness too.
What are simple resolutions we can make for this year?
Exercise together. While it is not always possible with younger kids to have them exercise with you, you can pick a couple of days when you exercise with kids. Enroll for yoga, start a group in your locality that walks with their kids.
Start a weekly ritual that is the family’s own. It can be going out to the farmer’s market or having a family game night. It could even be a date night for parents, so they can have time just for themselves. (Family goals need to take everyone into account) We do play with little children all the time, but it often is just as needed and may have just one family member with the child. Here the family has a set time when everything else waits as we play together. Extended families are welcome.
Be kind and loving to each other. Notice how we are most likely to argue and fight with those we love and those who love us? Our families deserve compassion and politeness. If there are differences of opinion, solve them with conversations rather than fights.
Volunteer as a family. Volunteering together can be making the world and ourselves better together at the same time. The youngest of kids can volunteer. For instance, they can volunteer to give away toys that they do not play with anymore to a local orphanage. They can even make playdates with the less fortunate and move on to more complex activities as they grow older.
Eat more heathy. We can all resolve to be healthier by eating better. While it may be a challenge to have everyone eats healthy, look for new ways to eat healthier. Instead of Spinach soup add a little spinach in the pesto past. You may get away with it easier.
Put. Down. Devices. We cannot emphasize this enough. Family time will certainly take a beating if everyone is buried deep in their devices. From young kids to grandparents, there should be designated times when no one can touch their devices. Look people in the eye and talk to each other. It is a great way to bond and come together even if it seems difficult at first.
Try eco-friendly. The world needs eco- friendly and we can make it happen with our efforts. Even switching off devices is a way to be eco- friendly. It is a family goal that will help the next gen lead a better life.
Hold family meetings. Let everyone have a voice. Give everyone in the family—including the kids—an opportunity to be heard. Catch up one what may be happening in school, office or family. We all lead such busy lives it is not always easy to talk about difficult topics. When you start providing a safe space right at the start kids will learn to confide and discuss difficult issues that they may face when older. Provide the safe space for family members to voice their feelings in a setting that models respectful communication and conflict resolution.
Laugh, a lot. The best goal a family can have - Laughter fills up the home with good vibes making the family more strong and tiding us over not so good times. If we make laughter a goal, we will do better in most circumstances.
Try and lean something new. A language, an instrument, a skill or an art. We must encourage everyone to take up something new. We may like it or not, but without exploring it, we will never know. Let us keep our hearts and minds open to adventure.
Practice some self-care. Parents often focus on children, but everyone in the family must also focus on themselves. We must take good care of ourselves as we set the example for our kids to follow.
The goals for the new year need not be set in stone. Being rigid sometimes defeats the purpose itself and leads to failure. In the new year, let us all be more tolerant of slipping up, being less perfectionist, and loving and laughing a lot more. We wish you a wonderful new year adventure in 2020. Happy new year.