New year’s resolutions don’t have to be an individual endeavour, writes life coach Nadia Scrooby. You can also create resolutions as a family.

We’ll only just have finished singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” when my personal most wonderful time of the year will dawn: New Year. And part and parcel of New Year is the practice of making New Year’s resolutions.

This can be a wonderful bonding exercise for the family, so here’s a New Year’s resolution guide for the whole family.
The golden rule is to co-create resolutions that suit your family’s own unique wishes and wants – don’t worry about what anybody else is doing. Here are some creative tips and ideas.


2019 – The Year of “Where have you been?”

From weekly markets to monthly road trips, decide together how often you want to spend time out and about. Going to the mall or an outdoor market are both popular pastimes, but staying at home is just as important.

Be mindful of the modern tendency to over-schedule that is now being challenged by millennial parents. The need of each family member can be taken into account to decide how often you need to be out on the town, or out on the lawn.

The same goes for the holidays. Destination vacation or stay-cation? What does your family really need? Make a resolution to spend time together, being away and also being at home.

Millennial parents show a strong tendency to support merchants who have kids’ facilities, whether at a restaurant, retail store or relaxing spa. The availability of child minders at these facilities also plays an important role. Public spaces that are dedicated to the family’s needs also include breastfeeding rooms and family parking bays. These family-friendly facilities make family outings less stressful, so resolve to support the supporters of family environments.


2019 – The Year of Going Green

Caring for the environment and living in a healthy environment have both become priorities for many families. Decide if you want to get involved in volunteering at environmental organisations or if you want to start making compost from your household waste.

Another trend is upcycling and kids love transforming tubs (like yoghurt or feta cheese tubs) into storage containers for crayons, puzzles, Lego blocks, etc. The possibilities are endless: reduce, reuse, recycle. Make a resolution to be kind to the earth.

Green movements in your specific city are also a great opportunity for getting involved. Volunteering at a local zoo or aquarium, supporting a campaign to sustain endangered species, or sponsoring an animal at such an institution are tangible ways of making a difference. Resolve to support larger nature institutions: even a small contribution makes a big difference.


2019 – The Year of Living Clean

Clean eating refers to eating food from the earth in its least processed form. The aim is to prepare dishes that are made from scratch, and you can include the whole family.
Cooking and baking with whole foods and fresh ingredients gets the whole family involved in the kitchen, so this is a great way of teaching and learning between generations.
Another benefit is being more aware of food choices and healthy eating habits. Make a resolution to experiment with healthier recipes and unprocessed food choices.
Growing your own vegetables may resonate with your family, or it may feel like a challenge. Although a herb garden can grow into a shrub garden, the truth is that it is quite simple. If you love gardening, get some veggies growing, and if you don’t have green fingers, join a class.

Growing organic herbs, fruit and vegetables in your own garden, and harvesting your own food, can contribute to using water efficiently, creating pollination areas for bees, a healthy soil eco-system and exposing kids to healthy bacteria from the earth.


2019 – The Year of Being Seen

Social media has created a platform where we can share our experiences, from visiting the zoo to visiting Zanzibar. But where do you want to help when nobody is watching? Volunteer at organisations or a charity you are interested in. In giving, you will receive so much more.

The best advice in volunteering and supporting charities is to do what you care about. That is where your involvement will make an impact. Make a resolution to make a difference when no one is watching.

The greatest social phenomenon of our time, I believe, is that you are not alone. Help is a phone call or an internet forum away. Join a parent support group if you need subjective support; join a Parkrun event to get active in the outdoors; join a healthy lifestyle rewards programme to keep you motivated; join a craft class or practise your hobby with friends. You are not an island and your family is not a series of islands. Make a resolution to seek support and also reach out.


2019 – The Year of Not Being Mean

Tenderness will move the world, and the current focus on anti-bullying and the development of emotional intelligence is showing that the world is in need of tenderness.
Create opportunities, at the dinner table, for example, to talk about each family member’s concerns. Identify possible issues at school, between siblings and within the family and help each other to create solutions.

Then teach each other to go out and look further than the family circle to do the same for others. Support anti-bullying campaigns at school and on social media. Make a resolution to be part of the bullying solution.

The other buzzword of our time, that creates more heartache than happy hearts, is achievement. Learn to compete against yourself and not against others. The motivation behind achievement should not be to trample on others, but to triumph over your own challenges.

Celebrate your victories with a special family tradition, like cooking a family secret recipe for a celebration dinner, or drinking hot chocolate under the stars, or playing board games in the garden. Make a resolution to celebrate your achievements without boasting to impress others.


2019 – The Year of the Machine

Whether you love it or not, we are dependent on technology to get us through each day, whether it’s browsing the internet or breaking the stock markets in cryptocurrency. We rely on apps to communicate, create schedules and complete work. However, the constant use of tech can cause social and sensory damage.

Create screen-free times for your family and screen-free areas in your home. Make a resolution to unplug and disconnect to recharge the old fashioned way.

Finally, saving money has changed completely from the use of the piggy bank to the use of online banking.

Saving has become easy for all ages. The use of banking apps gives us all access to age-appropriate saving. Setting up a savings account for each member of the family has become cost-effective and user-friendly.

Determine the needs of your family and start saving today. Make a resolution to set up savings accounts and save for short, medium and long term goals.

Did you know that a whopping 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February? According to US News, the odds are against us, but odds are made to be beaten.

My wish for you and your family is the fulfilment of your New Year’s resolutions for 2019!

t +27 11 465 8955 / f 086 5373629
Fourways Office Park, Block 3, Corner Roos
Street & Fourways Blvd, Fourways, 2191
PO Box 3000, Fourways, 2055