All The Best For 2013 !!!

The holidays are here and the year 2012 is coming to a close.  With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, many of us are beginning to look toward 2013 and deciding what changes, or “resolutions”, we want to make and (hopefully) follow through with.  New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back, reflecting on both the good and not so good, and most importantly, anticipating the year ahead.  This time of introspection often paves the way for positive change and hopes of a fresh start, and who couldn’t benefit from that? 

A New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit (  Coming up with goals to make our lives happier, healthier, and more fulfilling is the easy part.  It’s keeping up with these changes and new habits that is the challenge we all face.  It takes perseverance, motivation, commitment and sometimes the support of others to make change happen.  But no matter how difficult it may be to stick with our resolutions, the idea behind making them is a great message to send our kids.  Setting personal and family goals is a great way to teach about self-discipline and commitment, and can result in feelings of accomplishment and great sense of self. 

Setting New Year’s resolutions (or any goal) should be thought out, realistic and age-appropriate.  So gather the family to reflect on the past, discuss what changes each member would like to make to create a happier self and improved household, and then have a plan.  If your 10 year old proclaims that her resolution is to keep her room cleaner in 2013, have a clear plan to help support this goal.  It could be as simple as setting aside one hour every Monday for her to clean up her desk and personal belongings in her room.  Having a goal that is doable will keep the positive change alive.    

We are all familiar with the goals typically on the top of most New Year’s resolution lists, including losing weight, exercising more, kicking a bad habit, and getting organized.  The list of self-improvement is plentiful.  But some of my favorite resolutions are ones that the entire family can get involved in and are included on the website as part of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2012.  Hope they make it to 2013. 

1.      (#6) Learn Something New and Exciting:  Instead of just improving on something you already do, why not focus on expanding your horizons and pursue a new activity or talent.  Learn a new language or musical instrument, try out for a team you’ve never joined before, or audition for the school or community play.  Kids at camp do this every summer.  They take on adventures and challenges they never thought possible, and they walk away with the rewards of a new skill and improved self-confidence.   
2.     (#10) Spend More Time with Family:  Schedules are filled to the max and sometimes weeks can go by without really seeing our family members.  Scheduling time together is important and can be as simple as having family game night, reading together before bedtime, or planning a weekly sit down meal, free of electronics or outside distractions.  Catching up on the week will help everyone feel closer and more connected.  Last year, my father asked my sister and I to free up Sunday mornings so that we could all have family time together over breakfast, grandkids and all.  I can’t say we never missed a breakfast, but knowing the time was allotted made it easier to schedule the rest of the weekend, and we did our best to be there.  It was time well spent and so important for the three generations to share that time together. 

3.     (#8) Help Others:  Volunteering could be the resolution that keeps on giving – to yourself and others.  Committing your time and energy for the benefit of others is a fulfilling and gratifying experience.  It’s easy to get caught up in what we can do to improve our own lives in the New Year, but bettering the lives of others can bring even bigger rewards.  Helping others can take the form of becoming a mentor, being a part of building community homes, or volunteering at a nursing home.  The opportunities to help are endless. 

4.     (#4) Enjoy Life to the Fullest:  This last one is a bit vague, but it deserves to be mentioned.  With so much stress and pressure on both children and adults in today’s families, it’s a good reminder to stop breathe, laugh, and enjoy life.  Whatever you decide to do to make life more enjoyable, be safe, be responsible and be happy. 

We wish you all a very Happy Holiday season and all the best for a peaceful and joyful New Year.  See you in 2013!