2022 is here and the “New Year, New Me” sayings are hitting social media feeds. The New Year is a reset, bringing fresh energy and motivation to do better, to try new things, and to leave unwanted habits in the past.
No surprise, the most common New Year’s resolutions involve losing weight and getting in shape — gym membership directors love it. Saving money ranks high as well. If you’ve set goals in these areas, congratulations and go you!
We at The Bougainvilla House are also big fans of New Year’s resolutions related to strong family relationships and mental well-being. If you’ve been thinking about these areas of your life, consider how you can make this your focus as well!
Parents spend a lot of time with family all year, but so much of it inevitably involves the logistics of life – meals, running errands, taxi service to practices and lessons, cleaning — not to mention work and school demands. It’s all too easy for the days to fly by despite best efforts to focus on sustaining strong, dynamic, and healthy family relationships.
The new year offers an exciting opportunity to refocus. Here are a few ideas and suggestions for setting, enjoying, and keeping family resolutions!
How to set family New Year resolutions
Every family has different values and beliefs about what matters to them, so come up with resolutions that work for you. The new year is a great opportunity to sit down together and talk about what you want to accomplish, both as individuals and as a family. This also sets you up to work together to keep those resolutions all year long.
Your goals can be big and small-scale, serious and fun, creative or mundane – and above all, unique —just like your family.
Family Resolutions that work for everyone.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas that may be good starting points for families looking to improve their quality time together.
1. Less screen time– You may already be doing this, but if you aren’t monitoring your family’s screen time (including your own), now is a good time to start.
Technology is the ultimate easy children’s entertainment and Facebook does an excellent job at keeping you on the app, but it’s stealing your kids’ time and your own. On average, an 8- to 12-year-old in the United States now use screens for entertainment for 4 hours, 44 minutes a day, and 13- to 18-year-olds are on screens for 7 hours, 22 minutes each day, as reported in 2018 by the nonprofit organization Common Sense Media. When you add it up, that’s a lot of hours your family could spend together without screens!
If you find this resolution too challenging for your kids, try setting their devices to a max screen time per day. This way, the device will automatically enforce your agreed-upon screen-time limits. Set an example yourself too! You’ll be surprised at the amount of free time you have. Learn how to set limited screen time here.
2. Family exercise – If your goal is to exercise more often, take advantage of our beautiful Florida winters to plan walks or bike rides on a trail or around the neighborhood. Plan a day and time to go (and maybe a Plan B) to help you set and maintain a routine.
If you don’t have a lot of time, start small. Even a 10 – 20-minute walk is more than enough to get started. Remember that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. Don’t be intimidated by these numbers –habits take time. It’s worth it!
3. Schedule family activities – Family time is important, so schedule it just like soccer practice, piano lessons, and date nights with your partner.
Family time can be anything you all want it to be — playing board games, visiting a park, watching a movie, cooking together, or taking a weekend getaway. There are so many ways your family can bond and make memories that will last your lifetime and your children’s. Have fun thinking about the kinds of things you love to do together!
4. One on One time – As much as family time is important, so is one-on-one time with each of your family members. Regular ‘dates’ with each child become fun, much-anticipated events and great opportunities to connect with each child. Plan a lunch at their favorite restaurant, go bowling, or just enjoy an ice cream date. If they like playing video games, join them in the game.
As you enjoy time together, it’s also a great chance to check in with your child and to just enjoy them as they grow.
We hope these ideas spark more than a few of your own – but don’t overdo it! Start off with one or two and add more later in the year once you’ve made progress on the ones you consider to be most important.
It’s okay to take a break!
We understand that new habits are challenging to maintain. If you’re feeling discouraged, or if things pop up at the last minute (and they will), don’t stress. It’s okay to take a break. The point is to set goals as a family, keep trying to meet them, and enjoy the journey together along the way!
Need More Help?
If you or your family are struggling with mental health issues, look for a safe person and space in which to talk. The Bougainvilla House is here for you, with an understanding and welcoming environment for you and your family. Take that critical first step and ask for help to overcome anxiety and depression and reconnect to the life you want to live (or that you want for someone you love).
Call now to find support that works for you and your family: (954) 764-7337.