Resolutions for My Family

This time of year, we start thinking about what we could have done better. Maybe you regret how much family time you wasted watching the idiot box or that night you let your kids eat ice cream for dinner. Good news: 2007 is a clean slate. So, what will you do with it? Oh, yes . . . resolutions. But this year, try them with a twist: make family resolutions. After all, common goals unite, and are you really going to break them with your kids watching? Here are some ideas to increase family bonding while keeping your priorities straight.

Resolution 1: Grow your own.

And I do mean, oregano. Or tomatoes, zucchini, whatever you love to eat. Family gardening is multi-tasking at its finest. You spend time together, set an earth-friendly example, and end up with the tastiest greens around. Until spring, gaze longingly at seed catalogs. See Abundant Life Seed or Organic Consumers Association to get you drooling.

Resolution 2: Finish a family marathon.

Can't get a marathon done on your own? Delegate. Walk or run together, keeping track of each person's miles. Add them up until you reach that golden 26.2. Besides getting you off the couch, you'll foster your kids' sense of teamwork and persistence. Download a family training plan and running log from the Medtronic TC Marathon.

Resolution 3: Ask better.

We all know that, "How was your day?" generates a monosyllabic response. Instead, get the conversation going with this ritual question: "What was the best / worst / funniest moment of your day?" The catch? Share your moment, too, but don't panic; it's not cheating to edit your worst moment if your kids caused it. (Confession: I "borrowed" this idea from The Story of Us. Movie not recommended.)

Resolution 4: Oh yeah, the rest of the world.

With all we have to do just to keep up, sometimes we forget others. Break that habit. Together, decide on one charity to volunteer at as a family. You'll help someone out, and your kids will learn how to give back. The American Institute of Philanthropy provides a list of worthy charities.

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