New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Parents – New Year, New Parent
We can all agree that supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child is no easy task.
The fact is, parenting can be the toughest job you’ll ever have.
…it can also be the most rewarding.
New Year, New Parent: New Year’s Resolutions
As we transition to a new year, take some time to reflect on 2019. The new year can be something that you either look forward to or not. You life can be stressed, over-worked and completely out of order.
While you may be accustomed to examining your health and well being, set aside fitness and diet-related resolutions for the coming year.
The New Year is also a great time to think about parenting practices and set parenting goals. So, why not take the remaining few weeks of the year to plan out how you will attack the upcoming year!
Parenting Tips to Consider
Before you set New Year’s resolutions & goals, consider these parenting tips from our experts:
- Don’t be too critical.
While you’ll likely recollect things you would like to have done differently, don’t dwell on your mistakes.
Remember, you’ve done a lot of great things too. For each thing you’d like to improve upon, list something that went well. That will help you build on what is working.
- Set realistic, specific resolutions and write them down.
Rather than “I won’t get upset.” consider “I will take a deep breath when I become frustrated.”
- Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back when you follow through on your goals.
Below are other New Years Eve resolutions for parents.
Whatever your family’s needs are, be sure to reflect during the end of this season on all you did right & the areas you can improve.
…you can never spend too much family time together!
New Year’s Resolution Ideas:
Talk, Read & Play Every Day with Your Kids
This is probably our favorite New Year’s resolution.
Children are born ready to learn, but they need practice.
The best thing you can do to put your child on a path to success is to provide a stimulating environment with lots of different activities that offer a variety of ways to learn.
You are your child’s first teacher.
Make time to provide them with enriching experiences by talking, reading and playing with them every day. Learn more about encouraging literacy & language development in your children with these tips from parenting experts at The Family Conservancy.
Remain Calm, Cool, & Collected
New Year’s resolutions can be hard to stick by, but this one is worth it.
It can be easier to yell or snap when your children spill an entire bag of flour on the carpet (I should know). But, take a breath.
It will be a funny story weeks later.
Your kids learn behavior from you, so teach them how to manage tough situations well. Deep breathing in a quiet setting for 5 minutes can actually do wonders…
Establish Screen Time Boundaries
Today’s children are growing up surrounded by immersive, entertaining technology that is everywhere.
While technology is the present, and likely the future, the skills young children gain from frequent interaction with devices are far inferior to the brain-building interactions like talking, reading and playing they may replace.
Even educational websites and app that teach numbers and letters, don’t compare.
It’s important for parents to establish and enforce screen time rules. Screen time limits for kids can be hard to gauge, but we’ve got you covered!
The average 2-4 year old spends nearly 3 hours in front of a screen, but the recommended amount is about an hour – maybe more depending on the age of the child.
Create a Family Emergency Plan
This is a unique New Year’s goal.
“It will never happen to us” – You’ve probably thought it, and hopefully it’s true.
The reality is, disasters are unpredictable and can happen to anyone at any time. Creating an emergency plan can help your family stay safe and reconnect if a crisis occurs.
Although an emergency preparedness plan may not seem like an important goal for the new year, this could save your family’s life.
Clean & Organize Your Home
A lot of people do their annual deep cleaning in spring, but what about all the stuff that gets accumulated during the summer and fall? New school clothes, summer camp and family vacation souvenirs have filled your home and now it’s time to break out the winter coats and make room for all the upcoming holidays, birthdays and new family pictures!
Doing a deep clean in the winter not only makes your spring cleaning easier but it will get you ready for a fresh start in the New Year.
Along with cleaning, organizing your house takes away so much stress! You can what you have too much of, need more of and it gets your new year started off in an organized way instead of total chaos!
Organize your life (easier said than done)
One thing people forget to do outside their home, is to organize their life! Weather it’s setting up a bill paying schedule, a family menu or even planning a family calendar. Organize all those small things in your life to keep it as organized as possible.
Finish Looming Projects
Another thing that goes along with cleaning and organizing, finishing projects! Take a week or weekend to finish up all your Pinterest projects!
Set new goals for yourself
This speaks for itself! Create a brand new bucket list, weight loss/gain plan or whatever task you have been putting off. Make a plan to get it done before the new year or if it’s a really big one, set a date in the new year and start a countdown.
Get rid of negativity
This can be people, a job or habit. Get rid of it! If someone in your life is always negative, a lot of times it’s necessary to remove them. Job causing unnecessary stress or negativity in your life, look for a new one or change your career path. Have a bad habit? Use the remaining time of this year to get ready and kick it. Don’t go into the new year with a habit that causes you stress, creates negative emotions or so on in your life.
Start a vacation fund
Saving for a whole year can really pay off! So why not start a vacation fund and take a winter vacation or visit distant family.
Pick up a new hobby
Unless it is a true passion, drop the old and pick up a new hobby! There are so many things out there that you could experience why only stick to one?!
Start a journal
This is something that I love to do! Journaling is very freeing and relaxing! Having a journal where you can pour all of your emotions, thoughts and goals into is a great feeling. Try challenging yourself by writing in it every day for the year and see how you have changed at the end!
Create a vision board
This is my favorite! I am a pretty artsy person so vision boards are definitely one way I can get myself focused on starting off on the right foot. You can make one about anything or as many as you want! Keep it somewhere where you will have to see it every day!
7 New Year’s Resolutions for Tech
The beginning of a new year is ripe for resolutions: We make goal lists for our bodies, our lives, our hopes, our dreams… why not our tech? As we get ready for a new year I’ve been thinking about some tech resolutions that you can use to help you have a year free from technology problems. Whether you want to become more secure online, maintain a better life balance with your tech or just make a good new habit, I’ve put together a few small ideas that can make a big difference; and some tips to make them stick for real. Check out my tech resolutions and be your best tech self in 2018.
#1 Make sure you’re Cyber Secure
There are a number of things you can do to avoid opening yourself up to cyber criminals:
- Change your online passwords.
- Use password managers to sync your passwords across multiple devices – stop reusing passwords!
- Use secure Wi-Fi networks and , never, ever conduct banking or make online purchases over a public Wi-Fi network.
- Educate yourself about the latest phone and computer scams that are going around.
#2 Get rid of your unused gadgets
If you have gadgets lying around your office or house, then now is the time to start clearing them out. Whether it is a stereo system you received a replacement for over Christmas, or an old handset, then get it on eBay, take it to a charity shop or see if a recycling site that will take it.
# 3 Update all your computers and smart devices and get the last Operating System Software.
Updates, whether Android, iOS, Blackberry or Windows don’t just appear for the fun of it .An update will normally bring a fix for a bug, or make your device run faster, sometimes it will even introduce new features so they are worth doing, and staying on top of – don’t ignore them.
#4 Back up your devices to a cloud backup service
Backing up your computer or smart-device is something you don’t always think to do until you lose everything. There no excuse not to back up your information to the Cloud. Services like Carbonite, Google Drive and Google Photos are perfect for saving your documents, photos and videos.
#5 Disconnect before bed
The blue light from your laptop, phone or tablet can mess with your sleep patterns making sleep shorter and less restful. Experts recommend powering down half an hour before bed.
#6 Manage your phone contacts
A year is a long time, and people change jobs and numbers so it’s worth going through, checking for duplicates, and making sure you have everyone you need saved. Save your contacts to the cloud in case you lose your phone.
#7 Check your Online Identity
In today’s digital age, it’s easy to think interactions with websites like Facebook, Google and other web communities are private, but in fact, it’s easy for anyone (particularly cyber criminals) to gather information about you just by doing a few quick internet searches. Google yourself to find out what information is out there about you. Also, go to www.haveibeenpwned.com to see if your email address has been part of the many data breaches of recent months. If it has, change your online account passwords immediately.
Apps for your Personal New Year’s Resolutions
Ready or not, the new year’s here! The beginning of a new year always presents new challenges and adventures for all of us. Many of us want to be better than we were the year before. Thanks to technology, there are hundreds of apps that are designed to make our lives easy and help us achieve our goals. To help you get off to a great 2018, here are 9 apps I recommend to help you improve your life and rock your new year’s resolutions.
One best New Year’s resolution all of us needs to make is to protect your digital information. LastPass allows you to create complex, multi-character passwords for all of your online accounts and not even have to remember them. It syncs between all of your devices so you can store your login information, credit card numbers, personal identity information, and more.
#2 Credit Karma
Credit Karma allows you to look at your credit scores for free. It gives you weekly updates and gives you access to daily credit monitoring. It will also give you tips on how you can improve your credit score and tools to help you keep track of all of your accounts.
Coach.me is a coach that goes everywhere with you, helping you achieve any goal, form any habit, or build any expertise. Whatever your goals for 2018 are, Coach.me will help you stay on track with some encouragement. It sets you up with a one-on-one pro for whatever area you’re interested in and they will then help you devise a plan of action and check in with you to see how things are going and motivate you along the way.
BrightNest helps you tackle important tasks around your house with home tips, a personal scheduler and helpful reminders. From simple cleaning tricks to interior design ideas, this app will help you with everything you need to shape up your home and simplify your life.
This app helps you learn new stuff a few minutes a day. You can watch hand-picked videos on five fascinating topics or look at infographics to learn something new in seconds.
Mint.com is another fan favorite when it comes to money managing apps. It helps you manage your spending, saving, budget, and earnings, and can even sync to all your accounts, from your 401(k) to IRA to savings accounts.
#7 Map My Fitness
When you first start a fitness routine, you always want to keep track of your progress. Thanks to Map My Fitness, tracking your distance is a breeze. This app keeps track of how far you’ve traveled, and how many calories you’ve burned during your routine. You can also connect your smart shoes and fitness bands which allows you to keep track of your workout routine in one place.
This app has a search feature that looks through food blogs to find healthy food choices. You can create shopping lists for each recipe and access or organize them on any device. Yummly will also find recipes that fit your nutritional goals and help you avoid you are allergic to.
If you’re looking to read more books this year, Libby will give you access to hundreds of ebooks and audio books that are in your local library. Now there’s no excuse not to keep up with your favorite books.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Ask your parent friends for New Year’s resolution ideas. What are they working on in their own lives?
Work together with others to become better.
No matter how much you love your child and enjoy being a parent, there may come a time when you feel overwhelmed.
Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with friends and family, or share your thoughts in the Kansas City Parents Community Group.
A How to Guide for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution List
We’re all guilty of the same thing around this time of year. We have a motivating start to January with a plan to attack our New Year’s resolution list with the very best of intentions. We tell ourselves that this is the year we will keep our resolutions…and we get super into it. If your resolution is to eat healthy, you buy all the produce the grocery store carries, you pin all the healthy recipes and you plan your meal prep day. Things go really well for about a month and then suddenly– you’re over it.
If your resolution was to be more patient with your children, you start reading all the Love and Logic books and articles, you remind yourself to breathe everytime one of your children cries because you can’t control the weather or they can’t have the 18th snack they’ve asked for that day. And then you lose it. It’s too much, you can’t take it and your newfound patience is gone. Sounds all too familiar, right? Happens to me every year! This year will be different. Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of your New Year’s Resolution list this year.
#1 Create Measurable Goals
First things first. Make a resolution that is measurable and specific. Instead of “I will be healthier this year” try “I will workout 3 times a week and lose 15 pounds by the end of the year.” The more specific the better. Instead of “I will be more patient with my kids” try something like “I will count to ten before I react when my kids are upsetting me.”
#2 Have Benchmarks Throughout the Year
Have benchmarks that keep you on track throughout the year. Let’s say your goal is to run a half marathon before the end of the year, try setting monthly distance goals, so that you are staying on track to make it to half marathon distance. If you are trying to be more involved at your kids school, start by attending monthly PTA meetings or emailing your child’s teacher about volunteer opportunities. Or, if you’re aiming to lose 20 pounds, set a monthly goal of 2 pounds. Weigh in weekly to keep yourself on track. That way you’re not trying to lose 20 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years.
#3 Make a Visual
Make yourself a visual. Whether it just be a post it note on your desk at work, or a calendar where you put a checkmark on everyday you made it to the gym, or a jar containing a marble for every pound you want to lose, with an empty jar to place the pounds lost marbles in. Whatever will serve as a reminder everyday of what you are working toward.
#4 Reward Yourself
Treat yourself for sticking to the plan. Maybe if you make it to 5 pounds lost or 7 miles run, you buy yourself a new pair of workout pants or a fun new top or water bottle. If you remain patient with your kids for a couple months, you treat yourself to a manicure or a bottle of wine. Whatever motivates you. Change is hard and you need a reason to keep it up besides some tired promise you made to yourself at the beginning of the year.
#5 Find an Accountability Buddy
Enlist an accountability buddy. Another mom friend who is more patient than you, or maybe less patient to make you feel better, whatever works. A friend at the gym who will shoot you a text if you miss a class. A friend who already volunteers at school and can tell you about opportunities for you to do the same.
#6 Adjust When You Need To
Adjust your goals if you need to. Sometimes a goal is harder than we thought it was going to be, or in the case of fitness goals, our body just doesn’t want to cooperate. Like me, if your knee won’t allow you to run that half marathon distance, adjust your goal to a 10k. If being patient with your kids all the time is just not happening, make a goal of not raising your voice at least 3 days a week. When you are doing everything right but the scale is just not cooperating, change the way you measure your success and either start measuring inches or judging by the way your clothes fit instead.
Keep in mind that no one is perfect. There is no reason to completely quit on your resolution just because of a little bump in the road. As Jillian Michaels says “Sometimes we miss a workout or eat something that isn’t ideal, but if you had a flat tire on your car, would you puncture the other three? Of course not! If you slip, just shake it off and do better the next day.”
Happy Resolution Getting! We’ve got this!
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From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.