Making New Year’s Resolutions as a Family

January has long been heralded as a month of renewal and a time to set goals for the coming year. We make resolutions concerning all kinds of things. Maybe you want to get a better grasp on your finances or pay off the loan on a car. Or perhaps it’s more spiritual sounding like developing a deeper prayer life. 
Regardless of the goal, don’t make your resolutions a solitary event. Take some time this month (if you haven’t already) and sit down with your family to discuss goals for the coming year and the motivation behind the goals.
As Christians, all goals should ultimatly honor God and draw us closer to him.  But more than that,  Christ provides the power to help us enact our resolutions: “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing” (John 15:5).

Seek God’s guidance on setting goals for the coming year. This might include a few individual goals for each person or corporate goals for the family. Don’t discount your children from the goal setting. Making resolutions is not just for adults.
An online article for Parents Magazine suggests that children between 7–12 are at the ideal stage for learning to make resolutions. They’ve gotten to the stage where they can easily make conscious New Year’s resolutions on their own,  and they are often open to parents’ help and guidance in a way that older teens may not be.
If you’re struggling to come up with some goals, prayerfully consider some of these ideas:
  • Choose a health related goal for yourself, have your kids choose one, or decide upon something as a family. (The American Academy of Pediatrics lists several health related goal suggestions for children making resolutions.) 
  • Resolve to learn or study something new in a topic that appeals to you.
  • Choose a specific Bible passage (or book) to memorize.
  • Reach out to at least one unbeliever each week with the gospel message.

Sarah is the author of Bathsheba’s Responsibility in Light of Narrative Analysis, contributor to Vindicating the Vixens, and contributing editor for The Evangelism Study Bible. Some of her previous ministry experiences have included teaching and mentoring of adults and children in a wide variety of settings. Her small claim to fame is that she has worked with children of every age range from birth through high school over the past 20 years. She and her husband Ben reside in Richardson, Texas with their four children.