Miss A Columnist

Stephanie Graham is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. After she earned her degree in English-Writing at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she married her college sweetheart and settled down in Southwest Michigan. She is now blessed to stay home with her 14-month-old son Silas.

Setting Family Goals For The New Year

Someone once said: “If the family were a boat, it would be a canoe that makes no progress unless everyone paddles.”

Perhaps the same concept holds true when setting goals for the new year. What if you decided not to go solo in your new habits this year and involve the entire family instead? While families consist of a wide range of age groups and interests, you can find something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some ideas for healthy, helpful and fun family goals to help start 2012 with purpose.

Photo Credit: www.americanhealthandbeauty.com

Get healthier:

Bikes, roller blades, wagons and strollers: there is something for every age to get out and get moving. But if you are knee deep in snow, a weekly visit to the YMCA could be just as beneficial.

One new healthy recipe per week could go a long way. Maybe you could take turns picking a meal, or a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before. Along with this, keeping your relationships strong can come in such small steps as sharing a meal. Plan at least four to five times a week to eat at the table; even if it has to be breakfast or lunch, just spend some time eating and talking together.

Serve:

Is there a homeless shelter in your area? Why not unofficially adopt one for the year? Nursing homes, animal shelters, food pantries – many of these places see increased help around the holidays, but once January hits, it’s slower than molasses in…well, you get the picture.

In this case, you could also think smaller. Do you know one family or person who is struggling financially, physically, or otherwise? I bet there is someone you know who would benefit not just from your resources, but your time as well.

Learn:

For those of you who are feeling really inspired, you could learn a language as a family. Languages are much easier to learn when you have someone to practice with (think high school and the “you can only speak Spanish once you walk through class doors” rule). Decide on a language that is practical; maybe you could use it at your jobs or schools. And hey, if you stick with it, maybe planning a trip to your language’s native country could be next year’s adventure!

Of course, there are other things to learn as well; a challenging game like chess, hobbies like star gazing or pottery – the options are virtually endless.

The key to getting started is to keep this upbeat and exciting. Gather the troops and brainstorm, then set a date – the sooner the better – to begin. Of course, you can set more than one goal, but be sure to keep it simple; one goal accomplished is far better than five good intentions failed.

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