Mother and father with their daughter holding 2018 numbers on a beach

Children & Family, Family

New Year resolutions to benefit the whole family

For a healthy and happy 2018, start the New Year with resolutions that will benefit all the family

The New Year is the perfect time to start good habits that can benefit the whole family and it doesn’t have to be daunting. It is a window of opportunity and possibility, focus on what is important to you and your family, and what will have the greatest impact on your year ahead.

With an estimated 80% of people making and breaking New Year resolutions before February – new year’s resolutions don’t need to involve big changes or challenges, small changes are easier to stick to, and can often have a big impact on your health and happiness.

1. Play Time

Family riding bikes through the countryside

Exercise more is the most common new year’s resolution and something most of us know we should do. However, in a busy family household, it can often be the first thing to slip.

Make a promise to your family to keep active together and keep your hearts healthy by having regular playtime. A family walk, swim or bike ride are all great ways to enjoy time together and benefit from exercise that will help to keep the whole family fit and healthy.

For an added element of commitment and focus, sign up the whole family to a class or indoor sport that can still be enjoyed on rainy days – martial arts, yoga or squash are great for all ages! By contacting your local gym or fitness club you’ll be able to find classes to suit the whole family.

Set an achievable goal with your family – try to make sure you don’t set the bar too high to begin with – one active family session a week might be a good place to start so it can fit with work and school commitments.

2. Volunteer together

Young people serving food at homeless shelter

Research shows that helping others can have a positive effect on your own mental health, wellbeing and stress levels. Whether it is volunteering, mentoring or random acts of kindness, doing good does you good too!

Why not make 2018 the year for helping others and get the family involved too? There are different ways to help others – it could be ad hoc support like collecting donations around a particular cause or if you want to help on a regular basis, cooking at a local homeless shelter or gardening at a city farm are really positive ways to make a difference.

3. Cook together

Young girl helping to prepare vegetables in the kitchen with her mum

We all get stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking, so why not start the New Year with a refreshed outlook towards food, with the aim of trying a new recipe each week for you and your family to enjoy.

Getting children involved in cooking is a great way to become more aware of healthy eating as a family, whether it’s having an input into recipe selection or prepping in the kitchen, having a family approach to cooking will make it more enjoyable as well as teaching new skills along the way!

Eating well has a positive impact on your health, and there are a whole host of healthy recipes to try. Immune boosting vegetables such as carrots are great for helping to keep common colds at bay, whilst low salt diets have a positive impact on helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure, so think about salt swaps when preparing food too.

So, whether you choose to spend more time playing with your family, opt to help others or try to improve your family’s nutrition, it only takes 21 days for a small change to become a habit meaning by the end of January, you’ll have embraced your healthy new lifestyle together.