I don’t love the term New Year’s Resolution. There is too much pressure. I even wrote about it here a couple of years ago. I always feel like we go into the holidays already talking about what we will do different or resolve in the new year. It becomes something that consumes me and makes me dread the end of the holiday season because of this expectation to have some BIG things planned for the next year. This has gone on for many years in my head. So guess what I did….I changed the narrative in my head and began to talk about it with my family. We’ve moved away from these things we have to accomplish and into a space of setting family goals of places we’d like to see, things we’d like to do together and areas in our lives that we want to work on together so that we are better together.
I know there are some of you thinking as you are reading….Beth, those are still “resolutions”. And maybe you are right, but when I invited my family to be a part of my goals for the next year, it took some pressure off of me and allowed me to hear from them to and it became more than setting big expectations on myself and focusing so much on me.
On New Year’s Eve Eve, we try to get all dolled up and go out to dinner as a family of 4. We spend our evening discussing what we loved about the year behind us, what we wish had gone differently, what we learned and how we have grown. Part of this is us just taking time as a family to come together and take a breath after the whirlwind of the holidays, but more importantly, it’s a time to really hear from each other. Our lives are busy and honestly with our girls both being involved and my husband’s job taking him out of town quite a bit, we don’t have very many nights during the week that we get to sit down as a family of 4. So we do try to make some intentional plans for being together to stay caught up on each others’ lives.
I say that to also encourage these, “family date nights” if you will, for several times a year. I would love to see us start to do these on a monthly or quarterly basis to reevaluate what we are focused on.
Some of the specific areas that we try to focus on are personal, family, to do/go, work/academic and spiritual. We go into these conversations talking about why we set goals or even why we talk about it. We also talk about what it means to plan and execute but also how to adjust. Life will hand us curve balls (insert the year of 2020) and we have to hold our goals loosely in the sense of knowing we can’t control all the things. While we do want and expect hard work, we also want our girls to understand grace and passion and the unexpected that can make us need to adjust a bit.
During these dinners together we’ve made some really fun decisions as a family, we’ve revealed some exciting news as a family, we’ve talked about some hard lessons we had to learn, mom may have cried some in these dinners, we encourage each other, we challenge each other, we ask tough questions and set out to be better no as just individuals, but as a team, as Team Bills.
Do you have young kids and feel like this would be hard to do? Get creative and make it a fun game of choices with them. Or maybe now is the time while they are younger and might not really understand this, for you as parents to start it just the two of you with the intentions to add them to the conversation as they get a little bit older.
We also have enjoyed having a Dream Board as a family. We take some of these things we discuss as our dinner and we make a visual for us to look at throughout the year. Maybe it’s just a list on your phone and that’s just fine too. Make it work for you and your family. That’s the beauty of this whole idea… make it fun and intentional for you and yours.