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New Year's Resolutions, Family-Style

New Year's Resolutions, Family-Style

Lose weight. Exercise more. Spend less. Save more. These are the resolutions heard all around the world. Goals made by Americans in droves. And goals too often abandoned by February. Among the challenges to keeping resolutions? Nothing happens in a vacuum.

Spending less, for example, is easier said than done. It’s easy to think you could cut your dining out budget until your friends want to celebrate a birthday. Or that you could exercise more until your boss moves staff meetings to 8am.

That’s why this year, we’re taking another approach entirely: New Year’s resolutions, family-style. Join forces with the ones you love to make a single set of goals for the whole house. Not only are your resolutions more likely to be kept, but you could build family unity in the process.

Need some ideas? You can have one of ours.

Don’t Spend Less. Spend Smarter.

Few resolutions are more of a buzzkill than “spend less.” The mere idea of forgoing your morning cafe run can make a coffee guzzler shudder. Rather than eradicating all of of your wants, make an effort to eliminate the “oh well” spends. Things like Uber rides after missing the bus, late fees on library books, or the 6th day of fees on that RedBox you watched last weekend. In other words, taxes on irresponsibility. Though the category requires more effort, it won’t steal an ounce of joy from life’s simple pleasures.

Take an Idea to the Next Level

Perhaps you’re one of those families that spends dinner time speculating about grand solutions to little problems. Whether inventing a better salt and pepper shaker, talking about a better app, or making plans to turn your TV room into a tech shop, it’s always easier to talk than take action. This year, make a goal of taking a step toward one of the ideas your family has had percolating. Perhaps your next step is writing a business plan, clearing a patch of land, or cleaning up the garage. Whatever it is, divide your task into pieces and assign one to each family member. Who knows: that salt and pepper shaker could be the next big thing.

Join Forces on a Family Splurge

Every child has a dream that’s been met with a similar response: “That costs too much money.” Perhaps it’s a dog, a trampoline, or a trip to Disney World. We all hate saying no, but it’s often the responsible thing to do. Want to give your child a different answer? Here’s a simple idea: pool your spare change throughout the year in a giant jar. Have a goal in mind and invite the entire family to take part is seeing it actualized. At year end, visit a Coinstar machine and use the proceeds to buy your family’s splurge of choice. One family saved up so much change in a water jug that they’re taking a family vacation using nothing but pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters. A family goal, a family effort, and a family reward.

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