Mindful Parenting Round-Up: Re-Thinking Resolutions

Does your family make New Year’s resolutions? Historically ours has not because 1) there’s a lot of pressure to keep a New Year’s resolution once committed; 2) these resolutions require personal introspection I generally prefer to avoid; and 3) my kids do not need me nagging them about one more thing they are supposed to be doing or not doing. Accountability has yet to be mastered in our home. Oh, also, has anyone in the history of the world kept a New Year’s Resolution? C’mon, nobody really  wants to stop eating chocolate.

Even though my husband knows I am not fond of resolutions, most January’s he mentions them anyway. We talk casually for a little while about the past year and maybe an idea or two for our future. It’s actually not that terrible. We sometimes even have fun talking about where we might want to travel or projects we want to do in the house.

Maybe looking towards the future doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many different ways for us to look at 2019 with gratitude and intention. This month’s Round-Up is focused on family-friendly alternatives to the standard New Year’s resolution. I hope you find something here that helps you think about resolutions in a fresh way this year.

Iowa city moms blog has a great post about alternatives to traditional resolutions. Examples include: keeping a gratitude journal, thinking about Reverse Resolutions — the idea of making a commitment to someone other than yourself and focusing outwards — or choosing a “word of the year” that summarizes how you want 2019 to feel.

Harvard Health Publishing offers “relatively” easy New Year’s resolutions for the whole family. Highlights include eating as a family one more time per week, finding one more way each week to be active together and building in unscheduled time each week for every member of the family to simply play.

ODYSSEY offers ideas to express gratitude this year instead of a list of ways to keep resolutions. These are 22 small, completely accessible ways show our gratitude through acts of kindness, like giving someone a quick call, leaving quarters at a vending machine or simply giving a compliment.

If traditional resolutions appeal to you, but you and your family just have a hard time sticking to them, check out this compelling piece on micro resolutions from CNN.  The author chose one unhealthy habit to focus on each month and says he felt healthier and more connected to others at the end of the year. Next year, he wants to practice healthier habits each month (meditation, nature, sleep, gratitude) instead of trying to eliminate or reduce unhealthy habits. I like that idea a lot.

Here’s to a healthy 2019 where we can practice gratitude, make healthy choices, love others, challenge ourselves and eat some chocolate too!

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