The new year has arrived and most of us made a few resolutions once again. It’s become routine to make self-improvement plans at the start of each year, but why not set goals for the whole family? Here are five resolutions to set for the whole family.

Improve Communication

No matter how sharp your communication skills are, there is always an opportunity for growth. In a group setting different communication styles are at play, making it tricky to settle on one solid method that fits each family member. Some people prefer concise written communication (i.e. text messages or notes), while others prefer in-depth face-to-face verbal discussions. Consequently, it may be best to try a mixture of everyone’s communication styles. Ask each person what they like and dislike about the current level and type of communication. Listen to suggestions on what should stay and what can be improved, then make the necessary changes. Each family member should remember that to accommodate the group, compromise is necessary. With time, everyone will learn to personalize communication based on who they are communicating with. Each person’s individual communication skills will broaden as he/she has more chances to practice different communication styles. You can create extra opportunities to exercise these skills at weekly family meetings.

Make Shared Time Count

Quality time is the glue that binds families together. Some families have tons of time to devote to creating memories while others struggle to find a spare moment, but no matter how much time you have, it’s how you spend it that counts. This year, commit to creating experiences that will live in your memories for eternity. Instead of sitting on the couch and watching TV while precious moments tick away, find an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Start traditions, go on vacations, laugh together, be silly – have fun! Remember, quality is more important than quantity.

Be Kind

Relationships are comprised of people with different personalities, perspectives and beliefs. Those differences can sometimes cause division, but when it comes to family, those divisions must be bridged. Resolve to be kind during the good times and the bad. Extend forgiveness even when you’re hurt. Be grateful. Families offer support, company, protection and joy – make sure to thank the people who add those elements to your life.

Do Something New

Get the whole team together to (collectively) try your hand at something new. Working through a challenge as a family unit will help bring you closer together while also teaching you a new skill. Consider each person’s strengths and weaknesses and find a project that will keep everyone engaged. Here are some options for fun family activities:

-Learn a language together
-Take a class at your local community center
-Build something
-Play a sport
-Start a band
-Choreograph a dance
-Pick a new game to play
-Visit a new place

Creating family resolutions at the start of each year is a tradition worth fostering. It’s never too late to improve your relationships and commit to appreciating each other more. Start by setting these four goals and holding each other accountable to see them through.

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