20 Guilt-Free Resolutions

If you’re anything like us, you’ve finally crossed off your remaining New Year’s resolution from last year – because you admit you’ll never do it. This year, don’t reach for the impossible, try our 20 guilt-free resolutions!

But don’t get overly ambitious. Pick only a few, or just one. After all, the goal is not to check off resolutions, but to enrich and enliven your family life.

  1. Put notes of encouragement in your children’s school bags.
  2. Schedule a regular family walk around the estate (you can even try it backwards).
  3. Camp overnight in your living room. Have a pillow fight.
  4. Have a “Family Memory Night.” Everyone gets to share his or her funniest memories and best family moments.
  5. Once a week, leave an “I love you” note in a family member’s shoe.
  6. Make it a point to ask your kids daily before school, “What is one thing you’re looking forward to today?” and after school, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?”
  7. When your child is talking to you, stop what you’re doing, look him in the eyes and listen.
  8. Say “I love you” to your spouse at the start of each day. To keep it fresh, learn to say it in different languages.
  9. Get to know your children’s friends. Have a “Friends’ Dinner” once a month. Let each child invite a guest.
  10. Have a different family member call Grandma every week.
  11. Keep a running list of things your family is thankful for. Post it on the refrigerator door.
  12. Plan family “Read and Feed” nights. Take turns to read out loud to each other. Provide favorite snacks, pillows and blankets.
  13. Be intentional in noticing the positive things about your spouse and children. Write them down and compile them into a list. Share the list with them weekly.
  14. Create a family “Quote Board.” Whenever someone says something funny or strange, post it on the board for everyone to see.
  15. Pick a night of the week to be “No-Screen Night.” Turn off all computers, televisions and mobile phones to do something fun as a family.
  16. Write a love letter to your spouse. Sign it off with your nickname.
  17. Before you plan your week’s schedule, sit down with your spouse and children and pencil in some quality family time.
  18. Once a month, invite another family over for dinner on the spur of the moment. The house will be messy, the food will be delivered, and the evening will be fantastic!
  19. Celebrate everything, even the little stuff. Make a badge for shoe-tying experts or celebrate losing a tooth by serving ice-cream.
  20. Resolve not to make any more New Year’s resolutions! 

Extracted from 50 Guilt-Free Resolutions, January/February 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine. © 2011 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.





Q&A: Moving back in with empty nesters

Just as we were looking forward to the freedom of an “empty nest,” our adult daughter decided that she needs to come back and “get her life together” before “moving on to the next step.” But we don’t know exactly what this means, and we have no idea how long she’s planning to stay. Do you have any advice?

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