10 Family Resolutions to Start the New Year

Last updated: January 11, 2021, at 2:46 p.m. PT

Originally published: January 11, 2021, at 1:49 p.m. PT

Mon with son on her back and daughter at her side smiling in windy weather
  1. Get Outside More
    If you think back to your childhood, it’s highly likely that some of your best memories were made outdoors. This year, make a commitment to get outside as a family! Hiking and biking were made for the great Pacific Northwest, but you can explore your backyard or neighborhood together, too.
  2. Unplug Devices
    A great way to help everyone decompress from a stressful day and wind down toward bedtime is to create “unplugged” time, or time where electronic devices are shut off and everyone can read or relax in a way that doesn’t include electronics. Set a goal of spending at least one day a month (if not per week) without your gadgets, and instead, enjoy the outdoors or have a board game marathon.
  3. Read Together
    If your resolution is to read more often—do it as a family! Make it a family routine to check out books from the library and create an electronics-free space to dive into an amazing book. Make a concerted effort this year to read to, with, and around your children. If your kids aren’t interested in story time before bed anymore, try diving into a chapter book and pique curiosity in some longer reading adventures. During meals or other times when your family is together, discuss what you’re reading and share what you’ve learned. Find recommended reading for kids of all ages (https://www.familyeducation.com/entertainment-activities/book-lists, and encourage kids to keep a reading chart or book diary to rate and summarize their readings.
  4. Family Game Night
    Starting a family game night is a great way to strengthen your family bond. Playing board games has tons of amazing benefits including:
    - Brings people closer and strengthens relationships
    - Increases brain function
    - Teaches you how to set goals and be patient
    - Reduces stress and encourages laughter
    - Creates more happiness
    - Enhances creativity and self-confidence

    For help finding the perfect games for your family, check out some top recommendations from NY Magazine.
  5. Eat & Make Healthier Food Together
    This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of healthy eating. Parents have the opportunity to instill healthy eating habits and to introduce new or healthier foods, and one of the best ways to do this is by eating together. If possible, you should eat breakfast and dinner together with your partner and children. Not only will you get to enjoy good food (especially if you cook together), but this is also a great way to create time for daily connection as a family. Check out some of these great recipes to make together
  6. Ask a Question of the Day
    Come up with a list of fun questions to generate conversation and whether at the breakfast or dinner table, cozied on the couch, or getting ready for bedtime, have all family members answer the question of the day! Here’s some fun questions to get you started.
  7. Exercise as a Family
    The whole family can enjoy the benefits of exercise, which are almost endless. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, exercising also helps to lower stress and lift your mood. While you may not be able to bring everyone to the gym, going for walks together, playing catch, shooting hoops, or doing any of our on-demand videos together are great ways to get moving!
  8. Switch Out the Soda
    Your body (and wallet) will thank you, if you stop stocking your home with your soda of choice. If you like carbonated drinks, try switching out your favorite soda with flavored carbonated water instead. Not only will this prevent overconsumption of sugar, but it will teach your kids to make healthier choices as well. Here’s some fun soda alternatives to try. 
  9. Be Good to Others
    Could your family use a little more kindness? Has staying at home led to lots of bickering, refusing to share, and forgetting to use the magic words? Keep in mind that kids learn how to be kind by watching their parents' actions, so try to compliment your partner and be compassionate during disagreements. Also, consider being helpful to others through community service. During these challenging times, many organizations can really use volunteers to carry out their mission.
  10. Get More Sleep
    Sleep can be a challenging for a variety of reasons in many households. The fact is, you all need at least eight hours of sleep to stay healthy and productive. Try using this bedtime routine checklist to help your child settle into a better sleep schedule, and talk with your teen about his nightly routine. Make sure to unplug electronics at least one hour before bedtime to help ease into a better slumber and try some of these great strategies to promote a better night of sleep