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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

New Year Resolutions as First Time Parents

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Hubs & I have always sat down & discussed our New Year's resolutions, but this year it was different than any year before. It was more serious this year: this was our first New Years Day as a family of three. We knew our resolutions for 2017 would be considerably different now that we have a tiny human that we so strongly influence and have to help guide through life on a daily basis.

So we got to work.

It really is so important to brainstorm resolutions as a family. You get to sit and talk in an intellectual manner that concludes with figuring out the most important things to your family at that point in your life. It gives you a chance to remove the clutter from the previous year that may have clouded your vision & sheds light on the significant plans you have for your future. I am always amazed by how much you can learn about your family dynamic from the resolutions you choose.

For us, it is important that we are living lives that we would be proud of our children for living. That we understand everything we do is interpreted by our children as a learning moment, whether we realize it or not. That we show various displays of love and affection that permeate the five love languages, so our children can learn both how to receive & how to give love. That communication is open, honest, and frequent.

So, using that as our foundation, we decided we would write down five resolutions for 2017. A realistic number of things we can achieve without overwhelming ourselves. We started with the main resolution points & then came back to discuss and elaborate. At that point we broke down the resolutions a step further with "movements" we can put in to place. These sub resolutions, if you will, help keep our focus on successfully accomplishing our resolutions.

Family Resolutions for 2017

  1. Implement family traditions (holidays, family nights, volunteering)
    1. Create a full year calendar of non-negotiable items. i.e. vacations, holiday travels, anniversary celebrations, birthdays, etc.
    2. Complete a monthly calendar to include family nights, date nights, etc. by the last weekend of the prior month.
  2. Allot 30+ minutes a day for quality communication (no unnecessary distractions allowed)
    1. No TV, cell phones, laptops, etc
    2. Don't go to bed until it's done! Just that simple.
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle (food, exercise, continuous learning, social engagement)
    1. Plan meals & workouts on a weekly basis
    2. Read & discuss one or two books together a month
    3. Host one "get together" with friends a month.
  4. Don't put life on hold due to discomfort (traveling with baby, self-conscious, etc.)
    1. At least one family outing a month. i.e. out to dinner, park, shopping, etc
    2. Take advantage of invitations from friends, no excuses!
  5. Hubs & Wife alone time (bi-weekly minimum)
    1. Maintain weekly date nights, wine included at least once a month.
    2. Be creative, don't get stuck in a date rut.

Next, we took things a step further and decided to write down what we consider to be our core family principles; the five standards we want to keep constant in our life. The principles we need as a family in order to keep us focused and help us work towards achieving our resolutions this year. Our foundation to help ensure we can look back and know we had an accomplished 2017.

Core Family Principles

  1. Focus on the positives
    What did they do right? What can we learn from "failing"?
  2. Always have a loving & compassionate mindset
    What do you appreciate? What are you grateful for?
  3. Stay disciplined
    Have long a term vision. Practice actions that will help reach goals.
  4. Practice Forgiveness
    Deny the Ego. The golden rule.
  5. Live in the Present
    Work at work & family time at home. "Be" fully where ever you are.

With these principles & resolutions, 2017 is gearing up to be our best year yet! I know that we have given ourself the tools we need to have a meaningful and consequential first "full year" as a family of three! It will be so encouraging to sit down on December 31, 2017 and reflect on the past year. To appreciate how these resolutions influenced our life and to begin brain storming for 2018.

What are some of your family resolutions? Haven't made them yet? Don't worry, it is not too late! Set aside an hour for a family discussion and you will have your own family resolution & principles ironed out before you know it. Here's to the best year yet!

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