As the new year begins, it’s time to think about the direction your family wants to take in the new year. Setting goals that you want to achieve throughout the year as a family is a great start. These aren’t new year’s resolutions (some of them you may not be able to do anything about until the summer months or after spending Christmas together), these are goals that you want to make for next Christmas.
But going about this as a family can be challenging, and working out a method that’s best for you, and that works for your family is part of the process.
Sitting in a cafe in Mallorca this summer, a family with 3 children, similar in age to ours, sat down with their parents at a table near us. As they sat there it became obvious that they were having a family meeting; talking about what they enjoyed over the weeks of the holiday and that specific weekend, and what they wanted to take away from the holiday and continue at home.
I loved this idea of sitting down together as a family, and talking about what you liked and didn’t like, and as Christmas comes to a close with the family we will sit down, and enjoy a meal together, and work out what bits we want to continue as a tradition, and which ones we didn’t enjoy as much and will change or ditch completely. Just because it’s something that we’ve done for a while doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.
What type of goals your family sets is up to you. Are you happy with the amount of time that you spend together as a family? Do you want to go somewhere special this year? Are screens taking over your lives and it’s time to take them back? Each family is different, and also each person is too. Just because you think that screens are taking over your family’s life doesn’t necessarily mean that your partner holds the same view, and if that is one of the areas that you want to make a goal for the new year then you can bet your socks that your children won’t hold the same view. As we sit down as a family, these are areas that we will be focusing on. Maybe they’ll provide inspiration for your own family to set goals for the new year.
Ideas for Family Goals
My children don’t have a lot of screen time but I’m aware of how much this influences their daily lives. The more TV they watch, the more it comes into their play. Instead of playing freely, they reenact the TV shows. Temper tantrums occur when a tablet or phone is taken away or not given when demanded. So cutting back on screen time for the kids is important, and also for us, as they aren’t alone with the screens taking over their lives. I work on Rainy Day Mum as well as other sites, and do tech support and design work for other bloggers. My husband works in IT, and yet when we’re at home we often sit and type, read, play and watch TV instead of spending time together and with the family.
My kids have an early bedtime. They are early risers, and truth be told, I like my evenings with my husband and me – it’s when I work and relax without the children around. That means meal times are earlier than other families’, and so that they can digest the food before sleep, they eat early before my husband gets home. And as the two of us like to sit together to eat our meal, this means that weekdays I end up cooking two different meals. A goal this year for us is to adjust this so that we cook once – I eat with the kids sometimes and we make sure that weekends we all sit and eat as a family. However, last year we set the goal to eat as a family everyday, and we have achieved it – we sit down to breakfast together and talk about the day coming.
Getting out and about helps your health, your children’s health and makes you feel better, whether it’s going for a 15 minute walk around to look at the changes of the season, switching off the car and walking to do the school run, playing football in the garden when school finishes or even going puddle jumping. Just a short time spent outside together can improve your moods and make you feel better. Remember there’s no such thing as bad weather – just unsuitable clothing. Wrap up warm and spend 15 minutes outside in the winter days. Put on a sun-hat and take a 15 minute evening walk in the summer. Kick leaves in the park in autumn, and collect flowers for your home in spring. We started this year, and were doing really well until we got ill, and then it went down hill.
Last year, many memories were made on our vacation to Mallorca. It was 14 days spent together as a family with none of the distractions of life at home. We are lucky that my husband’s work and mine allows us to enjoy times like this. Your family situation maybe different but spending time on a vacation whether away on a trip of a lifetime or a stay at home vacation. Make it a goal, and make it possible this year – book the time off. See what you can budget, and if it’s at home, then make it like you are visiting your home area as a tourist.
After Christmas, is your house overflowing with toys, clothes, books that the kids are growing out of? Do you plan to move in the next year, and getting organized and decluttering will help? Does you garage look like a storage box filled to the rafters with boxes and things that you and the kids aren’t using any more? Is your attic the same? How about the box room? Well, if so, you’re like us, and we’re making a goal this year to organize and declutter. We started last year but haven’t made enough progress, so we will continue to do it this year as well as the organizing, decorating and gardening work that needs to be done. It’s not just us adults – the kids are involved as well.
Family Goal Setting
Once we’ve sat down I’ll come back and update you on our family goals for the new year, and I’ll check back in regularly to let you know how we’re progressing.
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