New Year’s Resolutions with Kids 2021
The top New Year’s resolutions for 2020 included better financial management and embracing healthy habits. Unfortunately, despite making resolutions that were meant to positively impact an individual’s life, the majority of those resolutions didn’t last the 12-month duration. Still, making a New Year’s resolution can be a means to focus on big and small goals and set the tone for a new beginning.
New Year’s resolutions also aren’t just for adults. Kids can begin to set their own goals and directives as they welcome the New Year. Parents can sit down with children and even set a family resolution! Need some ideas on New Year’s resolutions for the entire family? Here are 10 family-focused New Year’s resolutions that can bring joy and happiness and help the entire family embrace better habits!
1. Resolve to Cut Down Screen Time
Screens have become part of our lives. Phones, tablets, computers and televisions all contribute to our entertainment and our connectivity. Unfortunately, they also don’t encourage physical activity or face-to-face socialization.
Children rely on screens for school, to stay in touch with friends and maybe to stay entertained. Parents stare at those screens for work, social interactions, and entertainment, too. But are those screens wiring their way into family life?
If the family seems to be too preoccupied with staring into the screen, maybe this year’s resolution should focus on limiting screen time or setting limitations. Sit down as a family, discuss the screen use and find ways to limit the screen. This may include no phones at dinner, phone-free time at night or other guidelines.
2. Get Growing
Good health includes healthy foods; this year, begin a garden at home or in the backyard. Grow your own herbs or vegetables and let kids help. The bare shelves in the grocery stores this year took many by surprise, but growing your own vegetables embraces self-sufficiency. Plus, kids may love to try the new foods they grow!
3. Move as a Family!
Kids who are learning virtually may be limited in their physical activity options. If everyone is stuck at home, begin a healthy exercise program…indoors. Try yoga or queue up some exercise videos for kids via YouTube.
Jumping rope or hula hooping also is good exercise. This year, make a resolution to become more physically active. Write down small goals as well as the bigger goals your family hopes to achieve.
4. Try Something New
The same old routine is boring and redundant. When everyone is stuck at home, the New Year can be a great excuse to branch out and try new activities.
‘Something new’ can include trying one new recipe each week or learning a new hobby. Maybe everyone can learn to do origami, knit or paint. Always wanted to learn to play a new instrument? This could be the year! Or the entire family can begin to learn a new language! There are so many activities that can be enjoyed indoors.
5. Organize Your Life
If the home always feels like complete disarray, 2021 is the year to pull it together. If piles of laundry or unkempt rooms are making parents feel overwhelmed, do something about the mess.
Resolve to get organized as a family. Create a chart that outlines chores that need to be completed each day and assign each chore to a family member. Teens can help unload dishes, clean their rooms and take out the trash. Younger kids can pick up toys, sort socks and help out with other easy tasks.
Delegating responsibility means that every chore isn’t on the shoulders of one person. A chart helps everyone understand what their jobs are for each day. The result can turn chaos into cleanliness!
6. Encourage Kindness
This year has been hard for so many families. It’s sometimes all too easy to get stuck in the pit of despair and to focus on everything that’s wrong…instead of what is wonderful and happy.
Make 2021 the year of kindness. As a family, resolve to do one nice act each day. This doesn’t have to be something big. Giving someone a compliment or saying ‘have a nice day’ are both simple acts of kindness.
Sit down and talk about what kindness means to each person and how every family member can embrace kindness. A family kindness journal can help your family understand the positivity everyone has put out into the world.
7. Be Thankful
Filling the world with small kind acts brings positivity to others. However, everyone should count their blessings, too. Again, it’s too easy to feel down during a global pandemic. With many of us staying in our homes, sometimes it’s really difficult to remember the little things that make big impacts on our day.
This year, families can count their blessings each day! Head to the dollar store and buy everyone in the family a notebook. Every day of 2021, write down a list of ‘thankful things.’ Each person should try to list at least five things that made them happy or grateful each day. At night, share your gratitude lists.
At the end of the year, every family member will have thousands of reasons to be thankful for 2021. You will always be able to look back at your journal and remember the good things. Remembering life’s little positives can be one of the greatest gifts.
8. Start a Savings Account
Families may have a savings account for emergencies. But kids can start their own account at home (or at a bank). To help children visualize saving, the ‘account’ may even be a simple glass jar.
When children get birthday money or have loose change, have them put a little bit of money into their savings account…or jar. Parents can do the same, even if they have a formal savings account at the bank.
Saving a little bit of pocket change each week adds up over time. At the end of the year, everyone can count their savings and make plans for that surplus!
9. Spend More Time Together
Life is busy, and sometimes families don’t have much time to spend together. However, in 2021, try to make a ‘family plan.’ This means finding a way to carve out extra time together as a family. This can mean watching a movie together, sharing the day’s events at dinner…anything that creates an environment of family conversation.
Parents and children can agree on family times that will be designated as interruption-free. This means no phones, no friends and no outside distractions! If kids are involved in many extracurricular activities, parents may have to plan different family times each day. You can find a few minutes each day!
10. Read Every Day
More than one out of four Americans haven’t read a book in the past year. Reading is free entertainment, and a good book can transport us into different lands, introduce us to new friends and help us grow our minds. Open a book every day in 2021, and encourage kids to do the same.
Reading 15-20 minutes each day is standard homework for many schools. Unfortunately, many parents stop doing this vital homework. Read to kids, read with kids, or read alongside kids during a family reading session in the living room.
Some children may avoid reading, perhaps because they dislike reading or because they are having trouble reading. If children are struggling to read, use a reading app like Readability to help them increase their proficiency. Parents can try Readability for free for seven days to better understand if it is a good fit for their child’s reading needs.
Keeping Your Resolve
While many individuals won’t keep or stick to their New Year’s resolutions, that doesn’t mean your family will fail with their goals. Keep resolutions simple and work together to keep them. If you miss a day or feel like you fell behind, don’t give up. Pick up where you left off.
The beauty of resolutions is that they are about embracing change…in a positive way. Don’t let negativity cloud the hope of making those changes. When creating your resolution, create an action plan. Find a time where you meet each day about the family resolution. This can help keep everyone accountable.
Also, try not to set unattainable goals. Making a resolution to walk five miles a day is fine if your family is already active…and has access to safe hiking areas. But if your family is fairly sedentary, maybe resolve to walk for a certain amount of time each day. Or embrace a new exercise program at home.
Rewarding the Resolution?
Should resolutions—and keeping them—be rewarded? Should parents give their children some type of incentive to make a resolution? The point of making a New Year’s resolution is to make positive and impactful changes that better your life. The resolution is the reward. The goal is the goal.
Giving gifts or money for kids to participate in a family resolution may motivate them, but will that motivation be long-term? And what does needing a reward for positive change teach them? We should do acts of kindness because those acts make us and others feel good. We should grow a garden to have access to healthy foods. And document our happiness because it makes us happy. The reward and the resolution are really the same.
No matter what your family wishes to change or improve upon this year, don’t be afraid to make a resolution to help encourage positive changes and behaviors. When your family rings in 2021, sit down and talk about how to begin the New Year with positive changes. Have each family member create a list of resolutions and then vote as a family for the resolution that you all will embrace throughout 2021.
My latest project is truly where my happy place is, helping children. I’m a mom to two amazing souls who are my inspiration to be better, do better and strive for more. As a technology entrepreneur, I’ve had the privilege to contribute to the advancement of humanity through tech.
My passion has always been to ensure the end user of our products enjoys huge benefits. We are taking the world of education by storm with industry first reading and comprehension learning technology that levels the playing field for all kids. With over 20 years of tech experience and an army of child development professionals, reading specialists, and experts in education, I created Readability.