The New Year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen you and make your life better. When making New Year’s Resolutions, the YMCA of Greater Louisville wants to remind families that resolutions should also include family time.
Here are some simple things families can do at home to improve their health while spending more time together. The following are 5 New Year’s Resolutions the Y recommends for 2013:
- Eat Together. Sitting down together for a meal is a great way for parents and kids to share stories, talk about the school day or share their favorite part of the day. Set aside time for your family to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at least once a week to catch up.
- Volunteer Together. Giving back and supporting neighbors benefits everyone. It teaches children and teens to the value of helping others while meeting new people or discovering new interests. Find an opportunity in your community that the entire family may enjoy, such as distributing food at a local food bank or cleaning your neighborhood park.
- Unplug from Technology. Limit screen time (TV, video games, computer, etc.) and instead set aside an hour to play games, go for a family walk, take a bike ride, or a trip to the park. Make some family memories outdoors!
- Be Physically Active. It’s important for kids to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. And children aren’t the only ones who need activity – 30 minutes a day for adults too. Go swimming during Family Swim at your neighborhood Y or take a family exercise class.
- Put Extras to Good Use. Do you have extra clothes or canned goods that could benefit others in need? Clean out your pantry, closet or attic and donate extra items to homeless shelters or community outreach programs. You can get the entire family involved and demonstrate the value of giving.
What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?
It is happening again, I look up and realize that I do not like some of the choices I am making. I know, the bad choices are so much easier, grab fast food instead of cooking something healthier, plop in front of the TV instead of interacting with the family or walking the dog, watching 15 minutes more TV instead of reading to your child at bedtime. Choices, we have so many of them every day and honestly I am not sure we ever really think about how important the little ones are over time. How many people would agree with the statement “I would love two weeks every year to spend with my kids or spouse” imagine what we could accomplish in those two weeks, how valued they would feel. Well 15 minutes every day adds up to two weeks every year. I can find that two weeks, can you?
Most of us have seen the Cola commercial where the guy asks “and?” after each thing that happens in his life and something even cooler happens. But that commercial misses the most important “and” question he (and we) should be asking. The one we ask of ourselves, “and what can I do for him/her/them?” Instead of waiting for the next cool thing, why not be the next cool thing? It really is just about choices, choosing our attitude, actions and behaviors.
We all get the big choices and how important they are. Getting married, having kids, accepting a job, joining a church, we can list them and we all get that they matter to us, our families and those close to us. But those little choices we face every day, do we really pay attention to what they do, how much they add up to mean. If it is true that “we are what we repeatedly do” then those daily choices become our habits, they make us who we are. Here are some questions about those little choices:
- Did you tell your spouse (significant other, etc….) how much they mean to you before you left this morning?
- When was the last time you hugged your kid this week, just because?
- Have you thanked someone for doing something they should have/would have done anyway, just because it will make them feel appreciated?
- Did you let someone in the traffic line even if you were in a hurry?
- Called your Mom lately? (Not just for Mother’s Day)
- Got a best friend? Told them they are important recently?
- When was the last time you did something to benefit someone who could not help you in any way?
- How did you treat that person at work today, you know the one that really does not fit in, ignore, ostracize or were you pleasant?
- Do you smile at the cashier and say thank you for ringing up your purchase?
Ok, you get the idea. Choices we all make them, every day. Sometimes I even make the right one, how about you?