Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Resolutions for a Better Family

Resolutions have gotten a bad rap. Many of my friends have abandoned them all together, saying they never keep them anyway. I think that's because they're taking an all-or-nothing approach to resolutions.

The New Year is the perfect time to reflect upon our lives. It's a natural pause after the holidays and before the daily grind continues to audit what's working and what's not in your life. The problem is, too many people make resolutions without a plan and then expect to wake up magically transformed - or blessed with an abundance of willpower - on New Year's Day. They keep their resolutions for a few days and then if they fail, they give up - certain that change is impossible.

Instead of viewing your resolution as a succeed/fail proposition, view the resolution as setting your intentions for the year - the whole year. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you could outline a plan for doing so and give it your best. If you hate it, don't abandon the goal - abandon the plan and find a new one. But stay dedicated to finding a way to accomplish your goal.

It's also helpful if you set quarterly evaluations. My birthday falls in late spring, so I usually naturally renew my resolutions then. And our anniversary is in late summer, so that's another natural time for us to review our goals for the year.

One of my resolutions for the coming year is to create rituals for my own family. I hope to have some that include extended family and friends - perhaps a game night or something of that order - but mostly I want to focus on our little family of four, (counting Miss Priss the Dog, of course).

While holiday traditions are important, I think it's even more significant to have random and weekly rituals. We could also be more focused about adding a few reliable, daily routines - reading a story before bedtime as a family, eating dinner together or going for a family walk, for instance.I also want us to become more active as a family. Hmmm....I'm starting to see the beginning of a weekly ritual that unites both goals.

On a website called Family Education, they recommend you keep a monthly diary of family goals. One way to do this is to use you camcorder and record each family member talking about the resolutions. Check in every month with an update and then review what you said the month before. This would be great for those trying to lose weight, since they could actually see the transformation over the course of the year.

Or you can check in here each month. To stay focused, I'll be blogging regularly about our family's goals in the coming year.

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Blogger Ed said...

Here are mine. I realize none of them are family resolutions, but I'm on board with those already. BTW, to keep track of goals, I'd like to mention that 43 Things and Joe's Goals are two great sites for documenting your commitment and progress.

12:42 PM  

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