The start of a new year typically means setting new intentions as we reflect on our past and look to the future. After the frenzy of the December holidays, most of us are physically and emotionally spent, and not quite ready to take on new habits or routines. We all want to make improvements in 2023, but rather than filling your mind with “should” statements, try some of these steps instead:
Quick Tips for Positive Change in 2023
1. Goodbye to Family Dinner Stress
Instead of: “We ‘should’ eat dinner together as a family.”
Consider this: The pressure to eat meals together every day can be unrealistic. Dinnertime together as a family can quickly fall by the wayside when demands of work, sports, and extracurriculars swallow up schedules. Remember that some bonding time is better than none at all, so think quality, not quantity. Aim for one family meal per week when everyone can be present and engaged. Optimize this time further by removing all devices and incorporating conversation starters.
2. Make it Fun
Instead of: “We ‘should’ be more active.”
Consider this: Most New Year’s Resolutions are related to health and fitness. Many parents believe they and/or their children could do a better job of maintaining physical health. Make time spent together about exploring and adventure seeking, with movement as the added bonus. Learning to rock climb or mapping out local trails while learning to use a compass will engage family members in ways that don’t focus primarily on fitness and athleticism. In other words, make it fun!
3. Savor the Small Steps
Instead of: “We ‘should’ be seeing improvements by now.”
Consider this: When we set out with an end-goal in mind, we can sometimes skip over the small steps of progress that deserve our attention. Whether goals are aimed at finances, academics, fitness, or mental health, be sure to stop and savor the small victories. This will not only help with validating and acknowledging the progress made, but will encourage and motivate further progress.
Here’s to your Well Being!
Natalie Edelhauser, LCSW