By Karen Rae, Founder of Balanced Life by Karen Rae® and Creator of The Signature Balanced Life Planner®
New Year's resolutions are typically goals or promises we set for ourselves to be arbitrarily better in the upcoming year. Usually, these resolutions are something we hope to do but rarely realize, but what if we transform this new beginning into an opportunity to connect with our friends and family?
So instead of going for the typical 'losing weight,' travel more,' 'running a marathon,' this year you can try something different, something that connects you with those who truly make up the biggest part of your life - your family. Here are a couple of suggestions and tips for family resolutions that matter:
1. Cook A Meal Together
Once a month, or more if you like, make sure to gather the family around, divide the tasks, play some music, and start cooking. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, even simple sandwiches can be an opportunity to bond.
2. Start a New Hobby
No matter if your family is already a sporty bunch or not, find a sport that all family members would participate in and make getting fit an exciting family activity. If exercise is not your family’s favorite thing, there are many other options like learning a new language, crafting together, or trying new cooking recipes.
3. Implement A Tech-Free Day
Choose one day in a week when you will step away from your mobile phones, tablets, and TVs or any other digital temptations that prevent us from building meaningful connections. Family connections are one of the 5 fundamentals we talk about frequently. Spend the time instead having dinner together, starting your new hobby as shared above, sharing what you are grateful for or looking at old photo albums and laughing. Find a spot inside your house where everyone can hide their digital devices together at once so there are no secrets or temptations.
4. Volunteer Together
2020 has been incredibly difficult for a lot of people, so if you can, make sure to help those in need, of course, while taking all necessary precautions. Spend one day with your family distributing goods for the elderly in lockdown (or otherwise), sort clothing at a nearby shelter, serve food at a soup kitchen, or any other group activity that has the common goal of helping others.
Our friends are like another family that we sometimes take for granted. However, as we are leaving a difficult 2020 year behind and looking up to a fresh start, it is time to make some resolutions that will show how grateful and happy we are to have certain people in our lives:
1. Do Something You Both Think Is Hard
Whether it's figuring out how to make some intricate meal or doing taxes, help each other do something that will make your life easier. Friendship is one of the 5 fundamental areas we talk about frequently and it is easily neglected. Let’s make 2021 a year to reconnect with our friends!
2. Take a Mini Adventure Together
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's not advisable to make big travel plans, but a mini adventure is doable. You can take a camping trip, explore some national parks, or visit the next town over. This can be a great way to shake up the routine and spend some time bonding.
3. Check in With Each Other
The new year is the prime time to check-in and make sure you are on the same page with your friends. Just because you are close doesn't mean that your relationship isn't evolving. Check to see if things are going well between you, talk, and get on to a better start.
4. Start A New Tradition
Maybe it's riding a bike every Saturday morning, maybe it's going to a late movie every month, or maybe it's volunteering on a holiday, whatever it is, pick something that you want to do together regularly and start creating new happy memories.
Sharing your resolutions with your loved ones can help you stay motivated to keep them. Plus, it will give you and your friends and family something to do together and connect over.
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