Raise your hand if you had a resolution to make a change last year. Yep. And if you’re like most people, you didn’t get through the month of January before your goals were long forgotten, right? Or maybe you just don’t even bother with making new year resolutions because you never can seem to stick with them long enough to make a difference. Yeah, been-there, done-that too. I’ve found that the only way I’ve been able to keep to my resolutions is by getting my kids involved in the goal making. Let’s talk about why it’s a great idea to make New Year resolutions with kids!
New Years Resolutions with Kids
According to data pulled from Google by iQuanti, these were the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2017:
- Get Healthy
- Get Organized
- Live Life to the Fullest
- Learn New Hobbies
- Spend Less/Save More
- Read More
For each of these categories that were searched, there’s a way to get your kids involved. Creating new goals and resolutions can be one of the best holiday traditions to do as a family. This is flexible goal setting that’s supposed to be fun and interactive for everyone! I’m going to share some tips on how to create and keep your New Year resolutions with kids.
Live Life to the Fullest in the New Year
Start by sitting down with your kids and talking about the things they would like to accomplish in the new year. Even kids as young as four can come up with a few goals (however random and obscure!) When I asked my youngest kids goal, they said, “To spend the night at grandma’s more”. My teenage son would like to improve his athletic health. And my other teen wants to do more art.
We each jotted down our own resolutions and then shared how we can best keep each other on track. Creating a Vision Board is a tangible way to create New Years resolutions with kids. Clip magazine images and paste them on a board that’s displayed in the house. This visual focus is a great idea towards staying on track with goal setting.
Looking forward is a way to teach children how to be grateful and thankful for what they have in the moment. With a focus on positive growth, setting resolutions is a way that kids can encourage their parents and vice versa, keeping the ultimate goal in mind. Here’s how you can tackle each of the top 7 New Years resolutions together as a family.
1. Get Healthy
Good health is more than just hitting the gym. Healthy living isn’t just about losing weight. Getting healthy is a balance of food, exercise, relaxation and well-being that satisfies the whole body. And it’s something that you can get the entire family involved in. If eating healthfully is a goal, then it’s best to get all family members on board with choosing better foods.
My older kids know that I’m choosing not to eat certain foods in my current eating plan (hello, sugar addiction). When my children ask me if something in particular is on my diet, it’s a good reminder to me that they are observing and encouraging me towards my goals! Truly, I need the reminder and if my kid says it, it’s not nagging.
Instead of sitting around watching TV after dinner, encourage family to go for an evening walk. Plan weekend activities that get everyone moving, like ice skating, swimming or even just kicking a ball at the park. We try to go out for a long walk as a family several times a month. It’s a great way for us to get exercise and connect, chatting while we walk.
Don’t forget to work in relaxation and fun, too! Schedule game nights on the weekends. Choose a family-friendly chapter book that you can read aloud to everyone. Get older kids involved in a family Bible study. Work out a crossword puzzle out loud together. Have a dance party in the living room! I know we might be weary of all this “family togetherness” but it’s still really important in regards to bonding with our kids. Try some of these things to do at home with kids.
2. Get Organized
If kids are great at anything, it’s the opposite of organized! But all is not hopeless. There are a few ways you can get kids to help with organizing. Have a conversation about how much easier it is to handle things right away than letting them pile up to deal with later!
If organization is one of your new years resolutions with kids, start by being a good example. Begin with organizing small areas of the home that can be done quickly (like tackling that pile of mail by the front door or in a kitchen drawer). Give each child a daily task that helps with keeping organized, like having one child sort the mail when it comes in the house, recycling the junk right away. Or have an older child help with organizing drawers and using a label maker. Having designated bins for certain toys makes clean up easier.
- These free printable housekeeping checklists are a huge help towards a daily organized and tidy house.
- These tips for toy organization will keep your home from feeling overwhelmed with the kid’s stuff!
3. Live Life to the Fullest
Have an open conversation about what it means to live life to the fullest. For you, that might mean not missing any opportunities. Or it might mean taking chances and not shying away from all the good things in life. If you openly share your thoughts, worries and fears with your older kids, they can help to encourage you in the areas you struggle.
Ask your kids what they think living a full life means. Maybe they’ll come up with some ideas that will spur changes, like volunteering more or attending church. Encouragement from our kids can help guide us towards living a full and meaningful life.
4. Learn New Hobbies
While kids are usually the ones with the new activities, it’s important for parents to learn new things as well. Kids should see their parents trying new things, sometimes succeeding and sometimes with mixed results (Pinterest fail, anyone?) I want my kids to know that I’m never going to stop learning. And if there is something I want to do, I’m open to learning something new!
In 2020, I learned more about gardening. Coming up, learning how to make projects on my new Cricut! What do you want to learn and teach your kids in the new year?
5. Spend Less/Save More
When we’re tightening the budget at home, my older kids are able to understand (through, they aren’t always happy with it!) We’ve been able to explain why we’re spending less and over the years. And our kids in turn have come to understand the reasoning. Even now when shopping with us, they’re able to determine which items are the better value and why we choose to spend our money on certain things and not others.
Before making drastic changes, chat with your older children about ideas on where the budget could be cut. They may be more open to cutting expenses than you’d think and may have some creative ideas. Little kids most definitely need to have a goal. Saving money just to save isn’t enough for them, they need something tangible to look forward to. Finding ways to save money for travel is something all of our kids enjoy.
Start saving change in a clear jar (where kids can watch the money “grow”), with an end goal for where the proceeds will go. Even something like a quart of ice cream is a special treat that little ones would enjoy pitching in for.
6. Plan More Travel
I’m all in for more travel! And I love to travel with my children because the memories are always incredible. My kids traveled “virtually” in 2020 with Atlas Crate!
Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or an extended trip, make it your goal this year to add travel to your life in the new year. While last-moment trips are fun, you’ll get the most out of planning ahead of time. This way you can involve the kids in the travel planning process and hear their input on destinations and possible activities. This is especially important when planning trips to kid-friendly destinations, like Disney World.
Pre-trip purchase travel maps or books about the area. Do your research online with the kids. Buy each child a travel journal in which they can jot down their thoughts during the trip. A camera is another great purchase so kids can capture memories from their point of view.
7. Resolve to Read More
In order to make time for reading, you’ll need to cut the time from something else. Several years ago we dropped cable television. At the time I thought I’d really miss it – but I don’t! Television watching only happens when we’re intentional about a particular show or movie, instead of just being background noise.
With the extra time, we encourage reading. Sometimes I’ll read a family-friendly chapter book aloud to everyone. But usually everyone has their favorite book that they pull out in the evening before bed. Check out this list of 100 best books for kids for reading inspiration.
I haven’t been able to get much into novels lately but I still read. I’ll choose to read the news or my favorite blog posts online during my reading time. Thanks for adding my website to your reading list!
This article was originally published December 29th, 2017 and has been updated and republished.