Families across the United States are ringing in the new year with the time-honored tradition of making resolutions. The hardest part, however, is sticking to those resolutions. Sometimes it's easier said than done to lose weight or start a diet, both of which are amongst the most popular New Year's resolutions. Making resolutions together can increase the chances of success, and making commitments like these can build strong character traits for children as they grow and mature. This list compiles some of the most common resolutions, for both parents and kids alike, and offers some helpful tips that will help you and your family meet these new goals.

Resolutions for Parents

  1. Saving Money: Looking for some money-saving tips? Then look no further!
    • Whenever you go shopping, make a list of what you plan to buy and stick to it. This will hopefully deter any temptations to buy something extra.
    • Reduce the number of times you dine out during the week. This will also encourage healthier eating habits when you cook at home.
    • Turn off the lights in a room you are leaving. It's a small thing that can make a big difference over time.
    • Limit your credit card use. Only making purchases with cash or a debit card will slow down any spending sprees.
    • Buy used instead of new. CDs and DVDs are often much cheaper when they have been used. Moreover, used doesn't necessarily mean they have to be bad quality.
  2. Learning a New Skill
    • Learn a new language: In today's globalized society, knowing a second language puts you at a huge advantage over your professional peers. Of course, the hard work to actually learn a second language is another matter altogether. Fortunately, there are a variety of different approaches you can take to acquiring this useful skill. Try the Duolingo mobile app, which helps you set goals and offers detailed lesson plans. You can also purchase or rent a book to help self-guide your new langaguge acquisition. You can also take a class at a local or online university to get valuable one-on-one assistance. Lastly, try watching TV shows with the audio set to the language you are trying to learn. Turn on the English captions so that you can associate what you hear with the words that you see.
    • Learn to play an instrument: You can also apply those same approaches to learning a new instrument. Depending on what instrument you choose to play, it might be better to start taking lessons from the very beginning. Of course, there are plenty of books and online resources that can act as a wonderful tutor.
    • No matter what you choose to do, remember to develop a practice schedule and stick to it. Set realistic goals for yourself that you can strive to achieve.
  3. Eating Healthier: Trying to practice healthier eating habits? Try these tips!
    • Avoid foods high in calories.
    • Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
    • Eat out less and cook at home more. You can easily monitor what you eat when you cook at home. It also allows you the freedom to incorporate healthier ingredients.

Resolutions for Kids

  1. Reading More: Encourage your kids to read more with these helpful tips!
    • Go to the library and encourage your kids to pick out something that looks interesting to them, even if this means a comic book or graphic novel. Sometimes readers need to start off with something easy before progressing to more challenging texts.
    • Incorporate fun and educational activities as a supplement to the reading. You can find plenty of examples of these activities online.
    • Watch the film version of the book your child chose if there is one available. Follow this up with discussions about the differences between the film and book versions of the story.
  2. Join a Sports Team: There are so many benefits for your child when they join a local sports league.
    • They will make so many new friends
    • It provides a healthy means of exercise
    • It will alleviate boredom at home
  3. Learning something new: Kids are more likely to pick up a language at an earlier age, which makes childhood the perfect time to acquire this invaluable skill. Of course, you can also teach them a variety of other useful skills like learning how to play an instrument. Learning these new skills together makes it easier and offers a great bonding experience.

However you choose to spend the new year, we hope you and your family enjoy a great holiday season and start 2019 off right. Happy New Year!