What are unique New Year’s resolutions for kids and parents? Here are 7 effective and creative ways for family goal setting to spark positive changes in the new year–in fun ways that bring about real accomplishments and improvements (without resolution failures!).
What are New Year resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions are goals traditionally set on the first day of a new year every year. They are things that someone wants to change or accomplish in the upcoming new year. Resolutions are Western Hemisphere traditions more than Eastern Hemisphere.
Why do people set New Year’s resolutions?
So, why do we make resolutions at New Year? According to History.com, ancient Babylonians started the tradition around 4,000 years ago! However, they did not start on January 1st. Instead, their new year calendar started in what we would know as March and focused around the time of their planting season. Julius Caesar and the Romans also participated in the tradition of making resolutions starting in Janus, or on January 1st each year. Today, we carry forth the tradition as a way to change things about ourselves or encourage meeting new goals for a new year.
What are popular top 10 New Year resolutions?
You’re probably familiar with the traditional list of New Year’s resolutions, right?
New Year’s Resolutions Top 10:
- Lose weight, exercise more, eat better (including other health goals like drink less alcohol and quit smoking).
- Pay off debt and improve finances.
- Manage time better.
- Reduce stress.
- Change careers or get a better job.
- Volunteer more / give to charities.
- Declutter and become more organized.
- Live a more balanced life.
- Become more environmentally responsible.
- Start or improve education.
How do you stick to New Year’s resolutions?
- Make a series of smaller, measurable goals that work toward a larger success.
- Write down your goals!
- Work together as a family to complete each step of your goals and keep each other accountable.
- Celebrate your successes!
What percentage of New Year’s resolutions are kept?
So, how long do most New Year’s resolutions last and what is the success rate?
According to Forbes.com:
“The statistics on how many people actually follow through and accomplish their New Year’s resolutions are rather grim. Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.”
Are New Year resolutions good?
Probably not as good as people think. Because resolutions are often a tradition attached to a New Year’s Eve countdown clock and set with no thought or achievable goal in mind, they often fail. So, instead of “resolutions,” your family should get together and brainstorm what could make you better than you were last year, what you would like to collectively accomplish, and how to give back.
(That is what it’s all about, after all, right?)
But, you really don’t have to worry about all that because the New Year resolutions you make are going to be way better for your entire family!
Here are some alternatives to New Year’s resolutions ideas and New Year’s resolutions for kids and adults alike!
7 EFFECTIVE Things To Do Instead Of New Year’s Resolutions
1. Get inspired for the new year!
One of the coolest New Year’s things I’ve done with my daughter is to make an empowerment word poster.
This allows you to look back over the past year and assess how you see yourself and the goals that you accomplished.
And, it was eye-opening to do with my kid and sparked a lot of meaningful discussion.
So, start the new year with each member of the family creating one of these posters and then display them in a place where you can all be reminded all year long.
I recommended either one of these kits:
2. Commit to being healthier and more active together.
Quick, what do you think when you hear New Year’s Resolutions?
Chances are, it’s something about diet and exercise, right?
Those kinds of resolutions are so 2019 … and a fail almost immediately. (All that pressure, yo.)
So instead of creating a diet and exercise plan, just plan on making healthier food choices and getting more active in fun ways as a family:
- Learn why cooking with kids is important in helping them make better decisions.
- Make a commitment to go on an after dinner walk or play at the party every day.
- Go on nature hikes (even if you’re a beginner!).
- Spend some time camping … even if you’ve never been before!
3. Support your area by becoming a tourist in your town.
Make a New Year’s resolutions list of places your family has always wanted to visit in your area or state.
(Everyone gets to give their input!)
Write the names of the places on strips of paper and place them in a jar.
Once per week or weekend or month (whatever your family decides), draw a place out of the jar and then visit them.
Not only will you be spending more time together and learning more about your area, but you’ll also be supporting tourism and small business for your state or area!
4. Increase family face-to-face time.
This one might hurt, but you need to spend more time interacting (we all do!).
So, if you can’t do dinner together every night (and many of us can’t for many different reasons), then create intentional face-to-face time like:
- Monthly family pitch-in night where everyone cooks and eats together at least one night each month.
- Have a tech-free board game night.
- Schedule a regular s’mores and bonfire night and tell “ghost” stories.
- Have a regular family arts and crafts night.
5. Commit to reading more … even as a family.
Reading is a great way to create family time and
If you have kids who don’t like read, there are ways you can make it more fun for them:
- Pick a book to read aloud as a family.
- Introduce them to graphic novels.
- Have a reading contest with prizes at different milestones.
- Create a reading tree on your wall where you add a leaf for each book read by the family during the year. (Write the book title and author and who read it on the book!)
- Don’t forget about audiobooks!
6. Work on savings, finances, and other life skills.
Make it a goal this year to work on more life skills with your kids, which are things that will carry them throughout their lives no matter what they decide to do.
- Regularly talk about (and model) saving and spending with your kids. (Try the Financial Peace Junior Kit)
- Teach your kids to cook (or learn together!).
- Work on doing laundry and other chores together. (Assign a chore chart!)
- Work on coping skills like anger, anxiety, stress and more.
- Talk about the importance of giving back to others and your community. Regularly volunteer together.
7. Spend more time doing … nothing.
Yes, I’m actually telling you to set a new year goal of doing nothing.
We live in a culture of go-go-go and doing more is better, but teaching our kids to fill every waking moment of every day (and doing that to ourselves) is not a good thing.
Doing nothing is not wasting time (contrary to popular belief).
- Increase creativity.
- Improve executive functioning skills.
- Facilitate motivation.
- Boost confidence and control.
- Strengthen autonomy.
- Provide challenges.
- Improve concentration.
And, all those things can only help your children throughout life!