How to Set New Year’s Resolutions With the Whole Family

The New Year is a time for renewal and rebirth. It's a time to shed what doesn't serve you and set goals and intentions for what you want to draw into your life. Better than having personal goals is setting family intentions, things that you can work toward as a group. Not only does this help to bring the family closer, it’s the best way to hold each other accountable and ensure success with your goals.

This year, gather your family and create your resolutions together. The best part is that you get to start the year on a positive note, by bonding with your loved ones.

1. Write a Mission Statement

Have each family member write a list of things that matter to them most. This can include ideals and morals, lifestyle behaviors, or food choices. Compile the list and create sentences that everyone agrees on. For example, “Our family practices conscious communication.” Under that you can add bullet points to further explain what that means:

  • We pay attention to what has heart and meaning
  • We speak our truth
  • We offer words of good intent

Another example might be, “We practice a healthy lifestyle.” And the bullet points might say:

  • We choose to eat organic foods
  • We exercise regularly
  • We meditate every day

Don’t forget to include one mission statement that is meant to serve others. What will your family's mark be on the planet? What's your mission in life and for the greater good of humankind?

These are not strict rules. They are guidelines that keep everyone on the same page. Everyone slips up sometimes, but mission statements can act as that haloed angel whispering in your ear to help keep you all on track.

When the family is following a righteous path and practicing trustworthiness, it sets a good example for the children. They learn how to listen to their own inner guide and make good decisions. This helps their consciousness expand and grow as they become more mindful of their actions and create a stronger connection to their higher self.

2. Create a Vision Board

Dig up old magazines and copies of photos for a cut-and-paste crafting fiesta. Vision boards are great tools for setting intentions and creating the life of your dreams. You can have a giant board that everyone pitches in on or everyone can make their own. Chose images that cultivate warm feelings and spark creativity and passion.

Some of the images you can stick on your board might capture your dream home, a country you want to travel to, images of your family, and even words, phrases, or quotes that have meaning to you. As in life, there are infinite possibilities with vision boards.

3. Set Goals and Celebrate Success

Be sure to celebrate your accomplishments. You should celebrate life every day anyway so this is a good excuse. Get a giant calendar or simply keep a goal chart for each family member. When a goal is complete, check it off. Complete 10 goals and it's party time. Goals can be as simple as thoroughly cleaning the house or finishing an art project. Or they can be something more noteworthy like writing a book or meditating every morning together for 21 days straight. You can celebrate with an indoor dance party to loud music or with a family outing to a children’s museum or park. It can be anything just as long as you’re together.

4. Everyone Gets to Choose

Every member in your family, even the teeny tiny ones should have a voice. Include everyone, because we all deserve to feel important. Let each person write their own goals and then pick one or two goals for the family. Consider things like meditating together every morning or saying what you’re all grateful for every night. Your goals could also be things like writing a song together and singing it on video, or attending a weekly family yoga class. And yes, coloring together and playing dress-up are both legitimate suggestions.

5. Keep it Simple

New Year’s resolutions are often made with enthusiasm and carry a lot of steam coming out of the gate. But by the time Valentines’ day hits, the motivation is gone. Even if you have your own New Year’s resolution, keep the family goals separate and super fun. This exercise should not be a burden, and the goals should not be stressful. Set intentions that everyone can look forward, so that they have a better chance of sticking for the whole year … and maybe even beyond.

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About the Author

Bess O'Connor

Ayurvedic Massage Therapist
Bess O'Connor has been in the Holistic Health field for over a decade and worked as a healing arts practitioner and lead Ayurvedic massage therapist at the Chopra Center since 2006. She is a mother of four children, and is passionate about natural forms of healing, fitness, yoga, homeschooling, healthy living, meditation, and sun-, moon-, and star-gazing. Learn more about Bess and read her blog at makesnaturalsense.com .Read more