Top 25 New Years Resolutions for 2011

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    1: Focus on the little moments

    Focus on the little momentsWe all try to plan grand adventures and momentous events, but we really have no way of knowing what will stick with our kids. More than the vacations to Disney World and trips to the zoo, your kid’s fondest memory might be baking chocolate chip cookies with Dad.

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    2: Let your kids be bored

    Let your kids be boredThere’s something to be said for unplugging technology and encouraging your kids to entertain themselves with their imaginations, even for only 30 minutes. And with iPads, Facebook accounts and new Wii games, it’s more important — and challenging — than ever.

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    3: Finally get your family to eat healthier

    Finally get your family to eat healthierWe know it’s on your list every year, but this time you have our help: Find 9 ways to encourage healthy attitudes about food and 3 healthy family recipes to get you started.

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    4: Go for the "momance"

    Go for the The nervous butterflies, awkward introductions, impatiently waiting by the phone; finding the right mom friends is a lot like looking for love, and it all starts by putting yourself out there.

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    5: Start a book club — with your kids

    Start a book club — with your kidsStruggling to instill a love of literature in your kids? Take a cue from one mom who started a mother-daughter book club with her neighbors to read and socialize. Take a look at some of our favorite children’s books to add to your book club list.

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    6: Find more creative activities

    Find more creative activitiesThere’s a happy medium between kids zoning out to electronics and whining from boredom, and we have some great things for kids to do right here.

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    7: Save the planet

    Save the planetOr at least do your part. Find 10 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint, most of which will also save money, energy, resources and, ultimately, the earth.

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    8: Find more time for your kids

    Find more time for your kidsWe know how utterly exhausted you can feel at the end (or beginning or middle) of the day, so try one of these brilliant mom-invented games to play without ever sitting up.

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    9: Trust yourself

    Trust-yourselfIf you obsess over the contradictory parenting information out there, you’ll be spending many sleepless nights worrying about the irreversible damage sleep training, non-organic milk and disposable diapers might cause. This year, trust your instinctive abilities to raise a happy, healthy child, despite the raging mommy wars. And along the same lines, do your best not to judge other people’s parenting decisions.

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    10: Get the family moving

    Get the family movingWe know it’s not always feasible to cut out cable and ban video games, so here are three ways to slip fitness into your kid’s everyday life. Want to set a positive example? Try these quick, easy ways for moms to get back in shape.

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    11: Toss some toys

    Toss some toysNow that your kids have shiny new holiday gifts, this is the perfect time to weed out the broken, half-missing, insanely annoying toys around the house. Whether you secretly break out the oversized garbage bag or go through the toy bins as a family, those headless Barbies and dried-out markers need to go. Donate new-condition toys to one of these children charities.

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    12: Start a family game night

    Start a family game nightWho doesn’t love a good board game? While the kids might be reluctant to retreat from their rooms, see how fast the family congregates with these family game night recipes, kid-friendly movies and classic games like Pictionary.

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    13: Create a mantra

    Create a mantraStruggling to make it through a day of play dates, meal planning, bill paying and work? Discouraged by the lack of appreciation and praise? We love this mom’s advice on creating a personal mantra to encourage and inspire you to be the “mighty dragon” that you are.

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    12: Give back

    Give BackTimes are tough for many of us, but it’s not just money that can make a difference. Check out these 50 charities dedicated to babies and children, providing everything from diapers to breast milk. Reading through these at-need organizations and all the good work they do, you’ll be inspired to lend a hand.

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    11: Let your kids play with fire

    Let your kids play with fireWhile this resolution won’t be for everyone, there’s been a lot of talk this year about the effects that coddling and over-protecting our children might have in the future. Leaving your kids home alone might lead to self-reliance, fighting in front of the kids can teach conflict resolution and playing with fire just might be a needed life lesson.

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    10: Finally get the house organized…

    Finally get the house organized…You tripped over one too many toys in 2010; this is the year of organization. Read practical household tips from 9 By Design's Courtney and Bob Novogratz, and then check out our favorite toy boxes and storage bins to keep things tidy..

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    9: …But let the kids be messy

    …But let the kids be messyIs imagination and magic found in mess? This mom thinks so.

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    8: Expand your kid-friendly recipe repertoire

    Expand your kid-friendly recipe repertoireLooking for new recipes that your kids will actually eat? We rounded up the 50 best kid-friendly recipes for picky, allergic and/or skeptical kids. Still having trouble? Then pull a fast one on them with these your-kids-will-never-know healthy recipes. Also check out our favorite vegetable recipes that no kid will refuse — seriously.

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    7: Let your kids help in the kitchen…and don’t forget the video camera

    Let your kids help in the kitchen…and don’t forget the video cameraIf your little one has yet to help in the kitchen, these hilarious kids in the kitchen videos might convince you to make some precious memories of your own — all while teaching practical life skills. Check out our round-ups of the best kids cooking tools and the cutest kid-size aprons.

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    6: Reconnect with your partner

    Reconnect with your partnerSometimes all it takes is a television, remote and comfy couch for a happy couple. Read our 9 simple, honest ways to spice up your marriage — no Cosmo sex positions or “make him hot” bologna, promise.

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    5: Start recording your advice

    Start recording your adviceYou know all of those practical bits of wisdom you’ve collected throughout the years? Start writing them down. For inspiration (and a really good read), check out this mom’s life lessons for her daughter.

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    4: Step back and learn from your kids

    Step back and learn from your kidsWhen you break it down to basics, your preschooler can teach you all there is to know about life.

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    3: Understand and accept your children as individuals

    Understand and accept your children as individualsWe all have hopes and aspirations for our children, wanting them to behave a certain way, to be well liked and sociable. Yet parenting isn’t about following guidelines and making sure our kids conform to every norm. Instead, we have to understand that some kids fall at certain extremes — whether they’re introverted, emotionally sensitive or physically different — and it’s our job to parent the individual, not just the six-year-old. And you know what? The weird kids turn out just fine.

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    2: Put down the Blackberry

    Put down the BlackberryWhile technology can certainly help today’s modern mom, there’s a time and a place. As this little boy said of his mom’s Blackberry habit, “You look at that thing more than you look at my face.” This year, work on separating your mom time from your work time — otherwise you won’t do either well.

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    1: Remind yourself how much happiness your kids really bring

    Remind yourself how much happiness your kids really bringStudies show that having children will almost always lead to stress, marital problems and overall unhappiness, which you might fleetingly agree with after a few sleepless nights and heated arguments. But for a reminder on why parenting is so rewarding — why the tumultuous experience is absolutely worth having — read this.

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