In this article, we pinpoint a few goals you may consider setting for you and your family.
Reduce your screen time
The pandemic has forced us to spend more and more time in front of our screens for the better part of a year. If you are lucky enough to work from home, Zoom calls and spreadsheets eat up your days (and sometimes nights), and your kids have been juggling the unusual world of hybrid and remote learning. Tackling this unforeseen landscape has led to an overwhelming amount of time spent in front of the computer.
Reducing your screen time outside of work and school hours is more important than ever. Incorporating ways to unplug as a family will give your brains (and eyes) a much-needed reprieve from the world of blue light.
Creating the goal with your family to decrease screen time is an important one to make this year. Consider all of the things you can do both on your own and as a family during screen-free hours. You can enjoy the fresh air on a hike, watch the dog run around the dog park with such vigor, and you can even explore new hobbies that might turn into passion projects.
Encouraging your family to explore new things will help them embrace their creative side and allow them to discover activities that spark their interest.
Exploring activities can help bring you closer as a family and help you all expand your own interests and values.
Increase your financial wellness
Taking a look at the financial burdens you may have taken on over the last year, like depending on your high-interest credit cards or dipping into your savings more than you anticipated, are things you can try and bounce back from this year. Managing your debts, understanding how you should save, and preparing for big purchases are all part of your financial journey.
Having a firm grasp on your budget and setting financial goals will help alleviate some of the stress that finances can put on you and your family.
Sitting down and assessing your financial wellness early on in the year will give you a better understanding of the goals you want to set and how attainable they are. If your current financial goals seem a bit daunting, try making smaller quarterly goals to focus on. Smaller goals that lead you to the same endpoint may make it easier to reach success.
Keep in mind the tools that are available to you to help make reaching your goals a smooth process; things like online banking, budgeting apps, and preapprovals for loans to help keep you within budget are all things that can help you manage your financial goals. For example, being preapproved for a new home or applying for a new car loan will help you keep your eye on the prize and prevent you from shopping outside of your budget.
You can use this time of focusing on your budget and financial wellness as a teachable moment for your kids.
Take the time to tell them why having a savings account is important, why they should keep track of the money they spend, and why a debit card doesn’t mean they have unlimited money.
Having conversations surrounding money and the importance of understanding it will help your kids have a strong grasp of their own financial futures and will help them feel more comfortable with asking questions about major money decisions in the future (like buying a car, taking out loans for college, or even buying a house).
Reduce your waste
Whether you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint, trying to feel like less of a packrat, or you just finished reading and watching everything to do with Marie Kondo, reducing your waste can be an interesting goal to set!
There are many areas you may consider trying to reduce waste, like with your food or clothing. Being more tactful with your food buying habits can help reduce the waste you may experience in the kitchen. Learning some new recipes that utilize the leftovers in your fridge can make you feel like you’re on an episode of “Chopped,” but it can be an exciting way to reduce your food waste.
With spring fast approaching, you may also consider using the unused seeds to create a garden of your own or even use the scraps from your meals to create a compost for your flowerbeds.
When it comes to clothing, having a growing family means there are times there are clothes in your house that aren’t wearable anymore — your kids grew out of them, or there are a ridiculous amount of holes in them and they can’t see the light of day.
If the clothes are in good condition, consider donating them to a local homeless shelter to help those in need. Instead of throwing away your holey shirts, consider giving them a new role in the house; ripping up your tattered clothes and making them into rags for cleaning will give them a fresh purpose.
A great way to revitalize your old concert tees that just don’t fit anymore is to make them into art for your walls! Stretching them across a piece of the canvas will give them a second life on your walls and give you a fun conversation starter.
Exploring the different ways you can reduce waste in your home allows your family to think creatively and consciously about throwing things away and what can have a new purpose.
Allowing your goals to be a communal experience will make them more attainable and valuable in the long run.