Before you nail down empty New Year's resolutions you're likely to break, consider focusing on family resolutions that will put your loved ones first. From carving out family time to nurturing your relationship with your partner, learn seven ways to make your family a priority.
1. Sit down for a meal
When possible, strive to eat dinner together every night as a family at the dinner table.
Turn off the television, ignore phone calls and focus on catching up on the events of your family's day.
2. Family night
Whether it's once a week or once a month, a New Year's resolution to spend quality time together will bring you closer while generating some fun.
From family movie night to game night, focus on fostering some laughs to decrease stress and build memories.
3. Take Day trips
Conquer two birds with one stone when you make a New Year's resolution to travel more and amp up the quality family time. You don't have to travel far -- loading up your brood to explore destinations within an hour or two's drive can be just as adventurous while strengthening your family's bond.
4. Create family rituals
"Rituals create a sense of security and stability," says Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Mindful Living Network
. "They keep us grounded, calm us when stressed or anxious and make us feel safe and resilient."
There are no rules when it comes to creating family rituals, so try establishing fun customs on birthdays, holidays or certain days of every month.
5. Spend one-on-one time with your kids
Long after New Year's Day has come and gone, resolving to spend one-on-one time with each of your kiddos individually can boost their self esteem and bring you closer to your children. "It doesn't have to be a huge chunk of time every time but it does need to be regular," explains Suzy Martyn, parenting expert, speaker and author, MothersFriendSOS.com
. "Even just going on a set of errands together can be time to bond and know your child more deeply."
6. Schedule a date night
Family resolutions do not mean putting your relationship on the backburner, especially when a happy marriage means a happy family.
To ensure your household harmony lasts long into the New Year, stay connected with your partner by making your union a priority and spending time together without your kids.
7. Learn something new together
There's something about fumbling through a new skill that brings people closer together, so take a family vote and pick up a new proficiency in the New Year. You'll not only expand your talents, you'll be placing an emphasis on learning that will stick with your youngsters throughout their lifetime.
Whatever family resolutions you choose to put into motion this New Year's, understand that even these seven ways to make your family a priority can be a work in progress. "Families are busier today than in the past," says Joe Bruzzese, M.A., child development expert. "Carving out together time can be a continued struggle. Start small and dedicate a weekly timeslot for games, a movie or a picnic that brings parents and kids together to enjoy each other's company." Before you know it, your resolutions will be part of your family routine!
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