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2018 Resolutions! Ring in the New Year

Posted by Sarah on December 22, 2017

 2018 Resolutions

Bestselling Author Melody Beattie said, "The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals."

With 2018 just around the corner, you may be considering your New Year's Resolutions. It's no surprise that the top resolutions for most people include working out more, eating heathier and losing weight. Yours may be along the same lines, but since your family is growing, you may be considering different resolutions for 2018, too. We have some fun ideas to get you started and tips to help you make resolutions that you can stick to.

Choose Your Resolution.

Most people choose a resolution for themselves, but consider adding in a family resolution, too. By choosing a goal you can work together on, you build in extra accountability and increase your chances of success!

• Create a family bucket list. Your resolution is to complete everything on the list in 2018. Let everyone participate and add their items. Examples include taking a family vacation, going out for ice cream or having a water balloon fight.
• Stay active together. Choose some enjoyable activities everyone can participate in. Making healthy choices is so much better when everyone in the house participates!
• Connect more. Reach out to fellow parents and plan playdates. Have a lunch with an old friend. Plan a big family dinner. Life can get so busy and it's easy to let our relationships go – especially in the age of social media.
• Read every day. When you read to your kids, you're giving them a gift that will last a lifetime. Plus, it's a fantastic way to spend focused time learning with your little ones.
• Be a better listener. By making this a family resolution, you're committing to be truly engaged with one another. Plus, you're helping to build a foundation for your children's future by showing them that their thoughts and questions are valued.

Make Your Resolution SMART.

Did you know that some surveys have reported as much as 80% of people have given up on their New Year's Resolution by February? We want you to be in that top 20% of people who are changing their lives for the better long-term.

The first step to keeping your resolution is making sure your pick something SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Sound overwhelming? It's really not! These five considerations are the difference between a short-term resolution and a long-term change. Here's why these five things are so important when making a resolution:

1. Specific – If you make a resolution to "eat healthier" in 2018, there's too much room for negotiation. Instead, define what eating healthier means to you. Decide to get all of your daily servings of vegetables and fruits, or to cut out sugary foods. By making a specific resolution, you can more easily focus on your goal without making excuses and getting off track.
2. Measurable – If you can't measure your success, then how will you know when you've reached your goal? You can make any goal more attainable by adding measurements. If you want to lose weight, specify how much weight you want to lose and by when. Take your resolution one step further by deciding how you will achieve your goal. Working out three times per week and cutting out soda are two examples.
3. Attainable – While it's great to dream big, don't set goals that are too far out of reach. If you want to pay down debt, choose a dollar amount that allows some wiggle room in your budget. Then, if you have extra money you can always put more toward your goal.
4. Realistic – If your resolution is to travel more, be realistic about what you can afford. You may not make it to London or Paris, but pick somewhere within driving distance and mark it off of your list. Or, make your resolution to save money toward your dream trip and plan if for further in the future.
5. Time-Bound – Set an end-date for your goal. It doesn't mean you have to stop once you reach that date, but it gives you something to work toward. Then, once you reach the "finish line" for your goal, you can pat yourself on the back and keep on making improvements. Maybe you can even celebrate by challenging yourself to a tougher resolution!

And one last tip – write down your goals and keep them where you can see them every day. You are more likely to stick with your goals if you write them down. Here's a cheat-sheet to get you started:

My resolution for 2018 is to (goal goes here) by (date). I will achieve this goal by (steps). This goal is important to me because (reason).