Did you set Realistic Family Goals for 2019?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the mass popularity of resolution-setting at the start of each year. With everyone setting broad aspirations for themselves in all areas of their lives, it can be difficult to decide what areas of your own life should be your focus for positive growth and development. When these feelings of confusion and indecisiveness set in, it’s sometimes helpful to bring your attention to the thing that means the most to you in this world: your family. Making your family the central focus of your goals for the New Year can help you to decide what your priorities are and how, specifically, you want to improve life for yourself and for the people you care about most. I know we are two months into the New Year but it is never too last to set those goals….better yet, what if you set goals each month? March is just around the corner, let’s set the following goals for the first of March; and let’s officially REBOOT the Family Goals for 2019!!
Pick Up a New Hobby Together
Have your kids expressed interest in playing a sport, taking dance lessons, or learning an instrument? Encourage their curiosity, and find a way to support them in starting their new activity! Take them to the park to kick around a soccer ball, or show them the basics of an instrument you might already know how to play.
Better yet, seek out new activities that you and your child can do for the first time together! Enroll in a community art class, or take an afternoon to learn how to go geocaching. Pursue opportunities that will help you both to learn a fun new skill while maximizing the amount of quality time you get to spend with each other.
Introduce the Kids to Something You Once Loved
What games did you love to play when you were growing up? What music did you listen to? Did you have any unusual (or decade-specific) hobbies or interests?
Give the kids a better sense of who you were as a child and what made you into the person you are today. Show them some of the things you loved when you were their age, and teach them something about the way the world used to be. Get them away from their screens for a while, and prove to them that fun can still be had while being present in the non-virtual world.
Plan a Mini-Vacation
Can’t swing a week-long trip to Disney this year? Take a weekend to go on a road trip instead! Whether it’s to a nearby lake, the next state over, or the town you grew up in, spending a couple of days of light travel with the kids can make for an incredible bonding opportunity. If you can manage it, make it a tech-free weekend for everyone so you can properly enjoy each other’s company. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive– if the focus is placed on the time you’re spending together and the experiences you’re sharing, mini-vacations can be some of the most meaningful experiences of your children’s young lives.
Tackle Your Finances
Make this the year you take full control of your financial life. Spend some time learning how to properly budget your personal expenses. Treat deposits to your savings like a regularly scheduled bill payment, and get on a consistent schedule of building up your account. If your kids are at an age where they’re starting to be able to understand money, open up a candid dialogue with them about the family’s finances. If you’re still working on paying off college debt, explore the possibility of refinancing your student loans to lower the monthly cost. Get to work on your taxes well in advance to avoid due date stress. When you’re able to accurately keep track of where your money is going and how it’s being allocated, you’ll find that you’ll have a greater capacity for devoting your attention to the things that are most important to you.
Pursue New Experiences, Not New Items
It might be tempting to spend your extra cash on a cute date night outfit, new exercise equipment, or the latest XBox for the kids, but why not instead put that money toward making memories with the people you love? Material possessions are ultimately temporary, and while they might bring you happiness in the short term, they aren’t the things that will bring your life greater meaning. On the other hand, going to new places and trying out new activities with your family will bring you shared joy, renewed closeness, and broadened perspectives on the world that will last you a lifetime.
Happy March 2019! Let’s make it a great one!