by Megan Mora Fuentes
At the end of a year that presented a lot of challenges and difficulty for many, it can be easy to want to write it off, forget about it, and leap into the new year. New goals, new opportunities, new projects–it’s easy sometimes to find purpose in those things and misdirect our focus. These five creative ways to welcome the new year will give you some ideas of ways to set healthy family goals, appreciate and treasure the past, and keep your focus on what is truly important.
As you move into the new year, help your family recognize and reflect on the blessings they’ve received through the last year. For a creative family project, have family members collect pictures from the past year. Go through everyone’s camera rolls and find pictures of family and friends, events you participated in, and activities you enjoyed. Look for pictures of new friends, accomplishments, special gifts, and more. You can even have younger children go through the house and take pictures of things they are grateful for and blessings from the past year. Then check out these photo collage ideas and spend some time together creating a collage of your family’s blessings from the past year.
New Year Creative Ideas
Pay it forward and spend some time as a family thinking of and planning some random acts of kindness you can perform this year. Create a list of ideas together–check out this list of ideas for inspiration. Then you can get creative with your method of choosing and planning tasks. Cut your list into strips of paper and store them in a decorative jar. Let family members take turns choosing an act and let them be responsible for organizing, planning for, and performing the act–either on their own or leading a group of siblings and family members. Write your ideas on index cards and take turns drawing from the deck; make a decorative paper “kindness chain” with your plans on strips of construction paper; or stuff ideas into a pinata, break it, and let everyone collect as many ideas as they can and plan them out throughout the year. Focusing on others and taking some time to share the time, money, food, or property you have been blessed with is a beautiful way to begin a new year.
If your family is anticipating setting an activity goal this year, a fun way to help keep momentum is to work toward a specific event, like a 5K run or walk. The need for more exercise is one of the most universal acknowledgements made by those who make new year’s resolutions, but it’s easy to backslide, especially when hectic days start to take over. Active.com features training tips as well as a search function to find a variety of running and walking events near you. There are plenty of virtual events that you can participate in as a family.
Disorganization is the enemy of meeting family goals. It’s hard to keep track of progress and stay motivated when you can’t keep track of your day. These cute command center ideas from Creating Mary’s Home are designed for kids and can be tailored to fit any age range. Planning and setting up your family command center is a great project for a new year, and gathering your family’s input and ideas is the best way to ensure that your command center is actually functional.
New Year Family Devotions
If you haven’t started sharing family devotions together, the new year is a perfect time to start. It can seem hard to commit the time and energy consistently, but starting small and being realistic are great ways to help keep you on track. And truly, if the half hour to spend together in devotions isn’t available with your current schedule, you can drop or reduce any other subject, lesson, or activity without losing nearly as much as you and your family will gain from instilling strong spiritual habits. On their blog, Intoxicated on Life, Luke and Trisha Gilkerson share a post with seven tips for starting family devotions.