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7 New Year’s Resolutions For the Whole Family

My brother works two jobs: one at a brewpub and one at an organic produce market. “It’s amazing,” he told me over the phone today. “Right now, the bar’s packed. But after New Year’s Eve, the bar will be empty and the grocery store crowded, as everyone starts trying to eat healthier.”

That’s right — it’s resolution time again, people! Hang up a new calendar and start making promises to be a better, kinder, healthier, more productive, less stressed person.

I’ve never been a big resolution maker. Set your expectations low, I used to think. Why start the year off worrying about hitting the mark? I’m fine the way I am!

Kidding. Actually, I often wonder how I can be a better Brian. And so I’ve begun using the New Year as an opportunity for self-reflection, making a short list of goals for the coming year. This year, the whole family is getting in on it, with the goal of making 2014 the best one yet! It looks like it’s going to be a big year: Felix will be turning five, my book When I First Held You comes out in May, and my wife hopes to continue holding onto her sanity as she lives with two big personality guys who both want her full attention.

Here are 7 resolutions our family is making for 2014.

  • I hereby resolve… 1 of 8
    resolutions

    Click on for resolutions that the whole family can make for a better 2014!

  • Get Outside More! 2 of 8
    outside

    Afternoons, Felix and I talk about going outside, but we don't always do it. There's chores to finish or games to play, and of course there's the whining — always the whining — about putting on jacket and gloves, or where are we going to go, and when is mommy going to be home? But when we get outside, either just the two of us, or as a whole family, we have a fantastic time. Fresh air does the spirit good! And so in 2014, we resolve to go outside more often.

  • No Over-Reacting 3 of 8
    overreact

    If there's a last-minute change of plans, Felix is sure to get upset, which is likely to make me or my wife angry, and next thing you know we're all yelling, whining, crying, gnashing our teeth, or banging our heads against the wall — or each other! In 2014, we resolve to take it down a notch and not over-react quite so much. Instead, we'll take a deep breath and try to talk out our problems.

  • Less Social Media, More Socializing 4 of 8
    social

    My son is on Twitter all the time! And half the time he's tweeting about the cute things that I say. Wait a minute, that's me. Alright, so I admit, I'm the only one in the family with this problem. In 2014, I resolve to cut back on my facebook time, in favor of more face time. (And no, I don't mean the Apple app.) Also, I would like to try calling people on the phone instead of just sending them texts or writing on their wall, especially on birthdays and the like. I rely on the Internet for too much communicating, and would rather rely more on my actual voice.

  • Be Nicer to One Another 5 of 8
    nice

    Felix received a letter from Santa asking that he treat his parents, teachers, and friends with more compassion. Well, the same goes for my wife and me. We want to treat one another with kindness — no snapping or snarky remarks, no allowing our frustrations to get in the way of our relationship. Instead...

  • Talk It Out 6 of 8
    talk

    Say what you're feeling in a clear, direct way. "My feelings are hurt." "I feel angry." "I'm nervous." "I would rather not do that..." etc. Too frequently, we bite our lips and hold our tongues and fail to share what's on our mind. And next thing you know, someone is freaking out, rolling around on the floor kicking and screaming! I'm talking about Felix, here, not me. Though believe me, sometimes I get pretty close to tantrum.

  • Less Screens, More Books 7 of 8
    books

    It's so easy to put the television on for an hour so that I can get some work done around the house or on the computer, but really, Felix could be doing any number of things instead of watching a screen. First and foremost: paging through a book. After dinner, at night, I could be doing the same. I usually watch about thirty to sixty minutes of television a day, which is time I could be using to read, or catch up with people.  

  • Be More Active! 8 of 8
    active

    Bike ride, run, kick a ball around, do yoga, dance we all want to get more energy out and use our bodies more often! It helps all of us sleep better, and relate better. Sometimes, we just get too pent up, and have to move, *he types while reclining on the couch.* Seriously, in 2014 we are going to get back into the ole' swing of things when it comes to exercise.

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