It’s 2017: a new year and a fresh start. It’s that time of year where we reflect on the past and make goals for self-improvement. We have a tendency to make this an independent process. Individually setting and maintaining goals can be difficult, especially when we lack inspiration and motivation. Instead, consider making your New Year’s resolutions with your family instead.  Not only do we benefit from the goals we set together, but our children learn self-discipline and the value of setting goals and seeing them through.


Sustainable Transportation: Start by evaluating your School Travel Plans. If this is new to your family, start off slowly by getting your children to actively commute to school once a week. With time, you can adjust your schedule to make active transportation a daily part of your children’s commute to school. Get in touch with your child’s school or parent council to see the options you have for getting your children to school actively and safely. If your child’s school or community doesn’t have School Travel Plans in place, consider taking the lead on starting up a plan. We have many resources on our website that can help you do this, or you can contact us directly for more information. Don’t forget about your own commuting plans for work! Consider walking, biking, using transit, or carpooling to work. Not only does this help cut down on environmental costs, it also makes you a role model for your children!

Healthy Diet: Work together as a family to incorporate healthy food into your meal planning. Start off by making meal plans with your children. Get them to suggest ideas and look for recipes together. There is usually an alternative healthy recipe to every meal idea! It’s also important to have your children cook meals with you. Not only does this provide them with basic cooking skills for their future, but children are more often willing to eat foods they’ve made themselves. Incorporate as many local, organic, and in season foods into your meals as you can. Take children shopping with you so they can learn about where the food they eat comes from. Don’t forget to compost all of your food scraps!

Active Lifestyle: If you want to incorporate a more active lifestyle as a family, getting outdoors is a great place to start. Many people face barriers when it comes to spending time outdoors once the weather gets cold, but don’t let winter scare you away! Winter offers many activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family like skating, tobogganing, skiing, and snowshoeing. Once you have the equipment, these activities are free of charge, which is a good alternative to costly gym memberships.

New Hobby: Start thrifting and DIY crafting as your new family hobby. Before buying something new, keep in mind the four r’s: rethink, reduce, reuse, and recycle. When you are in need of buying something, try looking for it at your local thrift store, on websites like Kijiji, or talk to your family or friends. You can even try making some of the things you need! For example, There are many great alternatives to health and cleaning products that can be made with household items. Making these items can be very simple, save you money, and be a lot of fun!

PBS Parents offers advice when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions as a family.