Want to Put Family First in the New Year? Mark Your Calendar

January 16, 2019 Updated: January 16, 2019

Happy New Year!

Another holiday season has passed and another new year has begun. It’s time for setting goals, making resolutions, and getting back into the swing of things.

Before that new calendar gets filled with obligations, appointments, and other people’s priorities, now is a great time to schedule what’s most important to you and your family.

Life can get busy fast. If you’re not intentionally making time for what’s most important, you may find yourself wondering what you did all year by the time holidays roll around again. It’s all too easy to overcommit or simply waste time with distractions.

What’s more, if priorities are not in your calendar, it’s all too easy to push them off to a “someday” that never comes. Every parent knows how fast childhood passes. Carpe diem!

This January, identify your family’s priorities and put some stakes in the ground, ensuring that you anchor 2019 with what matters most.

Set Your Priorities

Before adding anything to the calendar, of course, you need to identify what those priorities are.

Perhaps you want to expose your children to new places this year or spend time visiting far away relatives. Perhaps you want to devote more time to your spiritual beliefs. Maybe you want to engage in more educational activities or get involved in your local community with your family. Or perhaps you’d simply prefer more downtime together at home.

Every family is different and every stage of childhood has its own characteristics. To help determine your priorities, try asking yourself and your spouse questions like, “What values do we want to instill in our family? What do we want to teach our children? How can we exemplify our highest values as a family? What ways can our family improve? What are the most meaningful ways our family can spend our time? What do we want our children to remember most about their childhood?

Translate Into Action

Once you’ve identified your family’s priorities, you can come up with feasible actions.

For example, if you want your family to devote more time to spirituality, add to your calendar the dates of local religious services or find meditation classes to participate in together.

If you want to expose your children to new places this year, plan getaways within your budget and scatter them throughout the year. Make the reservations and enjoy having special times to look forward to all year.

If you want to engage in more educational activities, schedule trips to the library, museums, historical sites, and zoos. Seek out educational resources for your home and enjoy documentaries as a family. Get projects, movie nights, and day trips on the calendar.

Even if what your family needs is more downtime, schedule that too. Designate certain days as off-limits, as competing events are sure to pop up throughout the year. Sometimes, a night in with a board game and a pizza can become one of the fondest family memories of all.

Commit to Your Calendar

Once you’ve spread prioritized family time across the span of the year, make sure that each family member has bought into the importance of these events. You’ve now set up your year to be in line with what matters most.

I wish you and your family the very best in the year ahead!

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza