Wikipedia defines a New Year’s resolution as a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior or to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life. Common New Year’s resolutions include quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape or to save more money. We make our resolutions with the intent of making a real change and usually do well….for a while. Soon most of us fall back into our old habits.
But what if this year we put a different spin on the tradition of making a New Year’s resolution. Instead of a personal resolution, we make a family resolution. Instead of making a personal goal to improve our personal life, we make a family goal to improve our family life. In theory, it should increase the odds of being successful, after all, have you ever tried to renege on something you told one of your kids? But what one thing could we do as a family that would meet the definition of a resolution for every family member?
Eating dinner with your family at least 5 times a week is a perfect New Year’s family resolution that can benefit every member. Eating dinner regularly with your family has been shown to reduce the rates of kids using tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Academic success has been linked to family dinners as well as lower rates of obesity, lower stress and happier family relationships. Top that off with the money saved by eating at home and it is the perfect family New Year’s resolution.
By Robin Hatch
Robin Hatch is a certified prevention specialist and the Prevention Coordinator for the Northeastern District. She has worked in the mental health and substance abuse field for over 20 years and worked substance abuse prevention for the last 10 years. She was awarded the 2014 Excellence Through Community Action-Rural award in 2014, and the Merlin F. Goode Prevention Award in 2015.