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How to make new year's resolutions work for your family

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

With just eight more days to February, how are your new year's resolutions working for you? The truth is, it is often not easy to stick to what we have planned for ourselves and our family. Most of the new year's resolutions fail. Not because we are incapable of keeping in, but because it's so hard to keep it.

That's why resolutions are not something we write on the paper and hope it will miraculously happen. Resolutions involve planning and support. To achieve something, we have to start from baby steps, breaking down BIG resolution into SMALL goals. When we break BIG goals into small achievable goals, it is easier to accomplish what we have set for ourselves.

If you're finding it difficult in making these resolutions come true, below are some tips to get you started and help get you through 2021.

1. Don't be too hard on yourself

Accomplishing parenting resolutions doesn't mean you have to be on-the-go 24/7, making sure everything works out and be perfect. Parenting resolutions is not about being a perfectionist, nor is it about you feeling guilty for not achieving enough. Don't be too hard on yourself. Parenting resolutions are how you regulate yourself well to make sure you're on the right path in reaching your goals. Remember, you can't pour from an empty jar. You have to fill your own needs before you can provide to your kids.

For instance, if you plan to slow down this year, your first step might be cutting down the daily chores you have to do in a day. Slowing down takes mindful effort and planning. So write down the things you would like to do each day and allocate some time (10-15 mins) for yourself to take a breather (listen to calming music, read a book, enjoy a cup of tea alone). When you stick to a reasonable daily plan, you make your day easier and happier.

2. Take one step at a time

So you have set five different resolutions for yourself this year. You want to slow down, be a good listener, stop yelling at kids, connect more, and have more self-care time. But, in reality, you can't do all five at once. We're not superhuman. It's better to pick one doable resolution as your first step. From the five goals, self-care can be a good start for you. Because when you're relaxed and recharged, you are better able to commit yourself to the other four goals more effectively.

Make yourself a weekly self-care plan. Write down a step-by-step plan to help you navigate this goal better. You can review it again every month to see how you have done and how you can improve.

3. Be consistent with your routine

It takes rain and sunshine for flowers to bloom. Same goes to resolutions. Sometimes it can be a success, sometimes can be a failure. But that's progress. Don't let failure stop you. Take it as a learning point and turn it into a positive lesson.

Forming new habits is not something that can be achieved in a day. It takes up to 30 days to 3 months for our brain to rewire and get used to new routines. So if you fail, does not mean you're not good enough. It's just our brain needs more time and space to be accustomed to this new habit. Check-in your progress now and then to see how you can change and improve. Ask yourself these reflective questions, "how can I change this to make it work better?", "why is this not working? How do I make it work?"

4. Let your family know about your resolutions

It is important to have enough support from family members to make resolutions work. So tell them about your plan and let them know how they can help you on this journey. Listen to their feedbacks and check-in with them to see how you have progressed. Remember, every success and failure is part of the progress. So don't give up!

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