Family “New Year” Resolutions

It’s time once again for Heather Johnson from Family Volley as part of her “Parenting Tips” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words.



What a wonderful time of year. Hopefully your homes have been filled with family, togetherness, and the spirit of the season.

It is also a time of year for renewal and re-commitment. New Years Resolutions aren’t just for us as individuals, they are for families too!

There are lots of approaches for making family resolutions. One that is always fun, is to choose a theme. This could be a key word (such as service, love, kindness, or organization.)

You can also choose a motto, quote, or a saying that represents a focus your family would like to have for the upcoming year.

Or you can choose a weakness that your family would like to make a strength. Let that be your focus for the year, and create a few resolutions focused around that strength.

When you are ready to establish some resolutions, gather the entire family together. It is much more powerful to make the decisions together and have the input of the entire family. Plus, when everyone is involved in the decision making, they will be much more likely to commit and follow through. They will take ownership because they had a say.

Then, start by focusing on all of the things your family did well during the last year. If you have a white board, or even just a piece of paper, write all the strengths down for everyone to see. This is an important step. Remember, you are focusing on the family as a whole. Don’t start pointing out individual weaknesses of family members.

Then, once you have built your family up, start talking about what you would like to focus on and change. A good place to start, have everyone in the family suggest a weakness they see your family has, and/or something they would like to see different or changed, or do more of. 

Take a vote and have everyone weight in and narrow the suggestions down to two or three. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Choosing 20 resolutions for your family is setting yourselves up for failure.

Once you have chosen your 2-3 resolutions, establish the details. It isn’t just about the goals. You also need to establish how you will reach your goals.

The last step during your resolution setting meeting, is to schedule follow up family meetings. Your family should sit down each month and evaluate how the resolutions are going.

If you are not sure what resolutions would be good for your family. Here are three that every family should implement this year, and every year.

1. Commit to eat dinner together at least 5 days a week. I recognize that this may seem like a lofty charge, but eating together has benefits beyond belief. For starters, children who eat dinner together with their families are less likely to get involved in drugs and alcohol. They also get better grades, are more adjusted, and better able to handle stress and disappointment. That alone, is a great reason. On top of that, research shows that around the dinner table is where families used to teach morals and values. But now that families eat together less, where are children learning these skills? They aren’t. They are learning from television. We need to gather our children back around our own tables to reconnect and teach.

If dinner doesn’t work for your family, try breakfast. If 5 times is more than you can do, then do what you can.

2. Plan one family activity each week. It is true, families that play together, stay together. Family activities provide opportunities for families to bond in a non threatening environment. These activities also provide families opportunities to develop adaptation and negation skills. Don’t just talk about it. Put it on the calendar. Schedule it into your life just like your other obligations to ensure that it will happen. Consider it the most important event on your calendar each week.

3. Work together. Family work is vital. It is key to raising moral children. Instead of keeping our children from work, rally together and work together each week. It can be household work, yard work, or a project that you choose specifically for this resolution. Regardless of the task, do it together. You will be amazed at how it strengthens.

Don’t just sit down and plan out your personal resolutions for 2013. Take some time to create resolutions for your family also, and watch 2013 be your families best year EVER!

Does your family set New Year’s Resolutions?

What can you see your family working on this year?

heather johnson

Have a question or just want to say hello.


One word 2012—Clarity

I shared this recently over at Less Cake More Frosting as part of Lara’s one word series. I thought I would share it here with you in case you missed it or did not click over to her site.

I spent a lot of time thinking about words and their respective meanings.  I wanted to find the perfect word that would ring true for me and my thoughts as we transition into a new year.

I am not very good about setting New Years Resolutions because every year I seem to choose similar goals to the year before. Hmm …something about that feels very wrong! Right?  Then I realize another year has come and gone without any real resolution. Can anyone relate? (please say yes?!)

But I like the idea of having a word…one word.  A word that I can reflect on throughout the year…and word that will help me choose to see things as they really are. A word to help me keep my perspective as to the events and everyday moments in my life. The word is have chosen is…


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clarity word 2

Clarity. Clearness. Freedom from ambiguity. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to be able to view a situation in life for what it really is.

Most will never be rescued by a handsome prince.

Most of our kids are not going to be perfect.

Sometimes things get broken.

Sometimes things get misunderstood.

Sometimes people are mean.

Sometimes we may lose a loved one.

Some of our dreams may never come true.

Sometimes we get the short end of the stick.

Let’s face it…sometimes life is messy.

Taylor 2 wm

But I believe that if we choose to see things as they really are, we can be happy with what really matters.

I have chosen the word Clarity because there are a few areas in my life that are of the upmost of importance to me.  I want to be sure that they will not fall to the wayside as I get caught up in all the “other trappings” that compete for my time and attention.  What is important is having the…clarity word

to determine just exactly what they are!

For me…the list is short…

my Religion

my Marriage

my Children

my Health

my Individuality

my Authenticity

I realize that when I am focusing my energy 100% towards my children…I can’t possibly focus on my other equally important roles…and vice versa.  We can’t possibly be 100% in everything all the time.  It just isn’t possible…for anyone!

But…when I get a chance to spend some one on one time with my husband…I can focus on him 100%.  Or when I have a quiet moment with one of my children, I can choose to be be 100% present in that moment.  It may not be possible to have several of these “moments of clarity” in one day.  But as long as we are looking and seeking for these moments of clarity and taking advantage of them while we can…I think I will be on the right track to living a life filled with clarity for the things that matter most.

Strawberry wma

This year I want I to remember to not let my life be muddled with too many extras…extras that can “muddy” up my clarity and ability to determine what is truly important.

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2011–A Year in review

I can NOT believe that we have made it through another year of projects here at The Idea Room.  Time just seems to be flying by doesn’t it?  It is time once again to reflect and review 2011 and all that came along with it.  Personally it was one of my more difficult years…I have had better.  But a person is the sum of the good AND the bad.  And I like to focus on the positives.  Don’t you? 

I thought it would be fun to share with you the most popular posts of 2011 according to the ones that received the most pageviews.  I chose to share the top eleven projects in celebration of the year 2011!  Did you have any favorites?  Here they are…

Top Projects of 2011

#11  Minnie Mouse Oreo Pops


#10  DIY Trumeau Mirror


#9  Be Mine Valentine’s Day Decoration


#8  Soda Bottle Covers


#7  DIY Labeled Bathroom Jars


#6  DIY Pomander Kissing Balls


#5  Soda Can Coasters


#4  Painted Rug


#3  DIY Headboard and Bed Frame


#2  Antiqued Acid Mirror



#1 Tissue Rosette Kissing Balls


Were some of those your favorites too?

This year I also was able to accomplish some of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year.  I am happy to say that I was able to accomplish almost every single one.

Here are some of the posts about those resolutions that I could share.

I shared with you about finishing my first Half Marathon.  {Check}  Finishing off the BasementBuild Shelf for freaking long wall. {Check}  Did some mad reading in the last couple of days to finish reading my Scriptures to reach my goal…I have one section left…I think I can! {almost Check}  And I Learned I had Hypothyroidism…not in the plans but glad to get some answers to some personal issues I had been dealing with.

I have truly enjoyed another year of sharing projects and interacting with all of you.  I am grateful for your kind comments and emails.  I love hearing from you.  And I feel so blessed that I have been able to meet so many amazing people whom I would have otherwise not had the opportunity to interact with.  Here’s to another great year!

Happy New Year!!  Hope everyone has a safe and happy Holiday with their loved ones!  See you next year…haha {couldn’t resist using that juvenile “year book signing” pun…}!


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