In some ways, January 1st will be just another day. It’s another collection of 24 hours, each a set of 60 minutes, each comprised of 60 seconds. And yet there’s something about the dawn of a new year that gives us fresh fuel to conquer our goals, to shed our bad habits, to launch our ideas, and to run after what we want.
And all of that was true long before 2020 gave us all a year to wish away.
Today, people around the world are jotting down plans to lose weight. To exercise. To spend less. To save more. These are the resolutions made for generations. Goals selected on this first day of the year. And goals too often abandoned by February. So why do we have such trouble keeping our resolutions? Accountability.
Spending less, for example, is easier said than done. It’s easy to think you could cut your dining out budget until your friends want to celebrate a birthday. Or that you could exercise more until your boss moves staff meetings to 8am.
That’s why this year, we’re taking another approach entirely: New Year’s resolutions, family-style. Join forces with the ones you love to make a single set of goals for the whole house. Not only are your resolutions more likely to be kept, but you could build family unity in the process.
Need some ideas? You can have one of ours.
Learn from 2020’s Lessons: It’s Relationships that Matter.
Many resolutions have much to do about self. We might want to lose weight so we can feel better, or save more so we can have more later. But if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that relationships matter more than anything. Sure, we all missed going out to eat or enjoying a screening at a movie theatre. But most of all, we missed each other. This year, make a resolution regarding family time. Perhaps it’s as simple as eating dinner together 4 nights per week, or going to visit the grandparents once it’s safe to do so. Whatever you do, don’t fill your goals with self-centered resolutions alone..
Don’t Spend Less. Spend Smarter.
Few resolutions are more of a buzzkill than “spend less.” The mere idea of forgoing your morning cafe run can make a coffee guzzler shudder. Rather than eradicating all of of your wants, make an effort to eliminate the “oh well” spends. Things like Uber rides after missing the bus, late fees on library books, or the 6th day of fees on that RedBox you watched last weekend. In other words, taxes on irresponsibility. Though the category requires more effort, it won’t steal an ounce of joy from life’s simple pleasures.
Take an Idea to the Next Level
Perhaps you’re one of those families that spends dinner time speculating about grand solutions to little problems. Whether inventing a better salt and pepper shaker, talking about a better app, or making plans to turn your TV room into a tech shop, it’s always easier to talk than take action. This year, make a goal of taking a step toward one of the ideas your family has had percolating. Perhaps your next step is writing a business plan, clearing a patch of land, or cleaning up the garage. Whatever it is, divide your task into pieces and assign one to each family member. Who knows: that salt and pepper shaker could be the next big thing.
Join Forces on a Family Splurge
Every child has a dream that’s been met with a similar response: “That costs too much money.” Perhaps it’s a dog, a trampoline, or a trip to Disney World. We all hate saying no, but it’s often the responsible thing to do. Want to give your child a different answer? Here’s a simple idea: pool your spare change throughout the year in a giant jar. Have a goal in mind and invite the entire family to take part is seeing it actualized. At year end, visit a Coinstar machine and use the proceeds to buy your family’s splurge of choice. One family saved up so much change in a water jug that they’re taking a family vacation using nothing but pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters. A family goal, a family effort, and a family reward.