Many people make resolutions at the beginning of the New Year, but it’s very difficult to stick to your plans if you don’t have constant support. That’s why making resolutions you can stick to as a family is such an important part of creating lasting changes.

Many people make resolutions at the beginning of the New Year, but it’s very difficult to stick to your plans if you don’t have constant support. That’s why making resolutions you can stick to as a family is such an important part of creating lasting changes. You can support each other while everyone works toward becoming a happier, healthier, more united family unit.

1. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Sometimes having a family breakfast isn’t possible because of conflicting schedules and other commitments, but it should be everyone’s goal to eat a healthy meal every morning. Whether you drink a fresh fruit smoothie or sit down with a bowl of oatmeal, make sure that every member of the family eats something sustaining before leaving the house. Eating before you leave eliminates the temptation to stop at a fast food restaurant or grab a doughnut and coffee before work. Resolve to keep healthy foods and fruit stocked in the kitchen and readily accessible for the mornings to help the entire family stick to this goal.

2. Wash Your Hands
Most people wash their hands after going to the bathroom, but making a point to wash your hands before eating is a great way to get rid of germs and cut down on the number of illnesses each member of your family has to endure each year. There are germs on almost every surface your body comes into contact with and making a concerted, long-term effort to wash your hands helps to keep the germs out of the house.

3. Exercise Together
Spending time with your kids seems like a great excuse for skipping a workout, but you can have quality time and workout at the same time. Playing basketball with your kids, going on a family hike, or racing around a track are great ways to get in your exercise while bonding as a family and enjoying nature. If the weather stops you from exercising outside, try window shopping while walking around the mall or going to an open gym at a local school or a community center.

4. Drink Water or Milk Instead of Soda
Soda is convenient and tastes good, but it adds empty calories and sugar to your diet with zero nutritional value. Water is by far the most natural drink for your family, as your bodies are made of mostly water and it hydrates you without the extra calories. Milk is also an important drink, especially for the children in your home. Their bodies need all the calcium they can get to build strong bones.

5. Relax Together Without Electronics
Most people spend hours in front of screens each day. Many of these hours are spent behind computer screens at work or school. Everyone in the family should give their minds a break from the screen for at least an hour each day. Some families choose story time where members take turns reading from a book or telling a story. Other families have instituted game night where the entire family gathers to play board games one night per week. It’s a good idea to make sure that every member of the family gets an equal opportunity to choose a book or game so that nobody feels left out.

6. Eat Healthy Snacks
It’s easy to reach for a bag of chips or a box of cookies when you’re looking for an afternoon snack, but eating fruits and vegetables for snacks is much better for your body and brain. Washing and slicing vegetables and fruits as soon as you get home from the store is a great way to make them more convenient snacks. This way all you have to do is reach into the refrigerator and pull out a bag of carrot sticks or apple slices that is just as convenient as a bag of chips.

7. Volunteer Together
Almost everyone becomes a happier person when they help other people, and being happier reduces the level of stress in your body. This makes you healthier as well as happier. You can volunteer in any way that makes sense for your family, from collecting donations for your favorite charity to serving the homeless at a local soup kitchen.

8. Take More Steps
Buying each member of your family a pedometer can make getting more exercise a fun family challenge. Buy a small prize for the member of the family who takes the most steps each week, or set a goal to take a certain number of steps as a family and do something fun if you meet the goal.

9. Go to Bed Earlier
One of the biggest health issues that many families face is not getting enough sleep. You can’t force yourself to sleep, but having a set routine at bedtime and going to bed earlier is a great way to encourage your body to rest. Getting enough sleep makes every member of the family more alert and ready to take on the new day.

10. Try New Recipes Together
Even very small members of your family can do something to help out in the kitchen, and kids who pick ingredients and help their parents prepare meals are more likely to try new foods. Cooking dinner together can be an adventure, especially if you make an effort to use exotic ingredients and find new ways to cook your favorite dishes.
Creating common goals can help families bond and really challenge each other. Tackle the New Year as a family and reap the rewards of built-in teamwork.

(article courtesy of sparkpe.org)