What moments filled you and your family with pride in 2012? And what positive changes do you hope to make in 2013?
We know that January (the darkest, coldest month of the year!) can feel like a tough time to start a new habit. But if you stick with a change for 3 weeks, research suggests that the behavior will start to sink in.
Manageable changes are more likely to stick, so try to make resolutions that are achievable and specific. This could be as simple as making more vegetable side dishes, having family dinner an extra night each week or keeping your cell phone pocketed at the table.
Here are some tips for forming new habits, provided by Dr. Anne Fishel.
If your resolution is to have better, more frequent family dinners in 2013, start by asking your family what they would like to improve about dinner. Then, as a group, commit to two or three manageable goals. Here are a few possible family dinner changes:
Remember: You don’t have to be perfect! Missing some nights won’t keep you from achieving your dinner goals – but getting discouraged will. Let go of perfect and keep trying!
Have family members write down their five proudest moments from 2012, as well as five things they’d like to accomplish in 2013. Once you’re gathered for dinner, share your accomplishments and hopes!
After you’ve shared your real resolutions with each other, have fun with our Mad Libs-style resolutions. Fill in the blanks with suggestions from different family members. Then read each resolution out loud!
So many things to think about with the start of a new year! Kick off the discussion with these questions:
For even more recipes, activity tips and conversation ideas, visit The Family Dinner Project. You can read our Family Blog for ideas and inspiration, get advice and tips from family therapist Dr. Anne Fishel, and find new ways to have dinnertime fun with your family.
Happy food, fun and conversation!
The Family Dinner Project
c/o Public Conversations Project
46 Kondazian St., Watertown, MA 02472