A new year is just around the corner. With the time-honored tradition of New Year’s resolutions, it’s the season for renewed determination to accomplish higher goals and achieve healthier daily physical, mental, and spiritual habits.

Making individual goals can be easy to make but it’s very tough to keep yourself accountable. It’s always a good idea to have a network and team to help you make it to the top. And what better team than your family: the people who challenge you and love you the most.

This year, you can set goals as a family to help each other stay accountable and create habits that not only make YOU a better person in 2018, but can help your family become a source of support and love that is a catalyst for building peace in your community and world.

Here are five habits you can work on as a family to kick-start a Happy New Year:

  1. Eat meals together. Even if you can’t get the family together every evening for a shared meal, try to set at least one or two days each week. Research shows that families who eat together improve their communication skills and strengthen family values.
  2. Say thank you often. Expressing gratitude is a simple but essential aspect of building up every family member’s character, confidence and humility, which turns out to not only make you a better person, but also a better leader inside and outside your own family.
  3. Expand your notion of family. Do community service together. Service is a natural way to care for those less fortunate, and acknowledge that the community is part of our extended family. It is also a great way to model good citizenship for children and build up self-confidence, creativity and a sense of purpose for the whole family. Researchers say these kind of experiences create fond lifelong memories that contribute to a person’s sense of happiness and fulfillment.
  4. Go outside. Nature is the best classroom for us to discover and reflect on our spirituality and learn lessons that can transform our whole outlook on life. Whether your family wants to hike, camp, participate in sports, visit a park or simply go for a walk, there is so much to learn and memories to make in the great outdoors. It’s called “great” for a reason.
  5. Dream big. Moving forward into the New Year, talk about what all of you hope to contribute to the world as a family. It’s never too late to set new goals, no matter what time of year, and to start making steps towards the greatest dream of all: One Family under God.

What healthy family habit will your family work on in 2018?

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