A Brand New Year

It’s a new year already. And with that, a renewed sense of starting over, a clean slate, fresh freedom to explore the possibilities! It seems that a lot of us are greatly looking forward to 2017 as well. This last year was a hard one for many families, mine included. And if I’m being honest, just because the calendar went from December 31 to January 1 doesn’t mean that the hard times are necessarily over for us. BUT that feeling of standing atop the New Year and looking out over the vast expanse of all the days, weeks and months before you brings immense hope.

I don’t quite like to set New Year resolutions, mostly because I never keep them. But I am beginning to really like the idea of hope. Sometimes, the word hope can get a bad rap probably because it’s not punchy enough when you’re talking about setting resolutions or goals. But did you know goal is a synonym of hope? So is achievement, ambition, aspiration and faith. Hope as a verb means to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. Isn’t that what a resolution is? Or rather, what it should be?

I do believe in the value of setting goals, reaching them and striving for more. I think it’s incredibly important for ourselves, our children and our families to learn goal-setting and experience it together. It’s more fun and scientifically proven for better achievement when you work to achieve goals together. I mean, who wants to go to the gym alone, right?

This is the first year my eldest two children can understand the concept of setting goals so we are beginning to talk about what we are looking forward to in 2017 and coming up with a few family goals, or should I say hopes, to work towards this year.

If you’re planning on doing some New Year family resolutions or goals, here are a few things you can try to get the conversation rolling and to stay on track through the year:

  1. Talk about what worked and what didn’t work in the last year - each family member has a turn to say something they are proud of and something they could improve on for the new year.

  2. Name something you want to continue doing and one change that would make you feel better - sometimes resolutions don’t have to be about a total change or shake-up. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it...so if one family member is doing really well with their manners or exercise routine, that would be a great thing to continue.

  3. Name one change that would benefit the family as a whole - remember...you’re in this together! But everyone should be involved in making the decision or the goal will be hard to stick to.

  4. Keep it simple and short - the list should be achievable and meaningful for everyone. If it’s too long or too cumbersome, you’ll lose everyone in the first couple of months.

  5. Hang your master list in a public spot - on a bulletin board, chalkboard or wherever your family congregates. This way you’re often reminded of what you’re working towards!

  6. Celebrate the successes - throughout the year, take time to acknowledge the successes and achievements towards your goals. People loved to be praised and will be more apt to continue their good work if their being recognized.

And finally, don’t forget that with everything in motherhood, you’re the role model. So if you set a goal to eat healthier then you should lead by example.

We haven’t quite finalized our family goals, but the consensus was to spend more time together outside. My personal goals this year are to say yes to my kids more, move my body more and adventure more. Which is odd, because I’m in a season of my life where all I want is less - less clutter, less busy, less stuff, less stress. But perhaps it isn’t so odd, because having less of all that means I can can make more room for all of the above.

Happy New Year, #mothers!


How do you celebrate the New Year? Do you set resolutions with your family? If so, what are they this year?