If I give you a few moments in this thought of: “What would I like our family to accomplish or do better at this year?” I bet you could come up with a great list.
So go ahead start your mental list.
(Mine usually involves clean rooms, less video games, healthy eating. . .I’m so predictable.)
Like most New Year's resolutions that we make, there is no guarantee that your family will go for these or stick to them. But it's a great exercise to take this opportunity to look at where your family is right now. Think about where you'd like the family to head towards. And see what steps you can take to make these changes.
But what makes Family Resolutions most successful is that they are "FAMILY" Resolutions. This means that they will be thought of together as a family and most importantly, carried out as a family. Everybody can keep everybody accountable.
We all know from experience that mandating and ordering change to our family unit never goes over really well. It can be done, but from my experience, it’s the family discussions that lead to resolutions that make the most difference.
New Year’s is your excuse or motivation to try this.
Here’s a suggestion for how to go about it with your clan.
First start with a prayer.
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, the USCCB, has a wonderful, easy and short, prayer service that can be used with your family on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/prayer-for-the-new-year.cfm
This can easily be said at a mealtime. Discussion about a Family New Year’s Resolution can follow in the living room. (The dishes can wait. . .)
Next, start the conversation with something like, “You know how people make their own New Year’s Resolutions, like they will exercise every day or they will stop texting while driving, etc. I thought that we as a family should come up with 1 or 2 resolutions that we could follow as a family to help us be a better/happier/________(you fill in the blank) family this coming year. What would make our family better or happier? What changes can we make? Let’s brainstorm and somebody write down all of our ideas. No idea will be considered dumb--we’re just brain dumping.”
Of course, make sure some of your own suggestions get in there, but be open to really listening to what your spouse and your kids would like to see change for the better.
Then list all the top ideas and discuss them a little further. Finally, a vote is called.
You might find you are spending the next year saving for a trip to Disney World, or going to confession as a family once a month, or eating cookies every Sunday, or working at the soup kitchen once a week. . .
Depending on the resolution, accountability and actual plans or steps to make it happen will need to be laid out.
But really, friends, how fun is this? I’d love to hear your family resolutions. Drop me a line on Facebook or comment below.