New Year’s resolutions are a great way to make positive changes, not just for the individual but also for families. No matter the age of your children, setting resolutions as a family is a great way to teach your kids about goals and the pleasure of reaching a goal. The kind of resolution you set is very important. Choose resolutions for your family that incorporate your shared needs and values – such as saving up for a family trip – and make it a fun activity for your children to enjoy and look forward to. It’s also important that your resolutions are realistic and achievable for your family.
Be sure your family resolutions involve everyone so no one feels left out. Designate responsibilities to each family member to make each person an active part of reaching your goals. You can also use Skype, FaceTime, texts, or emails to incorporate family members who don’t live with you or who will be out of town.
By setting more realistic resolutions this year, we can put ourselves on track for success. Be honest with yourself and make the commitment to work toward your goals; however, understand there may be a few obstacles along the way. The most important thing is to enjoy the time growing with your family, even if you don’t reach your goal.
Dr. David Gutterman is a clinical psychologist at LeBauer Behavioral Medicine and a member of the Cone Health medical staff. He completed undergraduate studies at Tulane University and earned a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Houston. Dr. Gutterman earned his Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology from Northwestern University.