‘Tis the season of resolutions and habits made...of new gym memberships and Bible-reading plans and the purging of various vices…
For some, resolutions have lost their luster. They aren’t what they used to be, but simply are reminders of past goals not met. For others, resolutions are a deeply spiritual commitment to a better life.
I’ve heard that if you are looking to see change in your life, start with flossing. Maybe it’s that faithfully executing the tediousness of such a nighttime routine puts real change within reach. Maybe it’s because we’re building self-discipline. Maybe it’s because small victories bring about bigger ones. Maybe there’s some cosmic connection between oral health and right living.
Whatever the reason, it’s the time of year that we naturally start thinking about change. So for that, we thought we’d recommend a few ideas—some of them as mundane as flossing—to make us all better stewards of the real estate we use up here on planet earth.
If you haven’t done these, they’re something to consider. They’re a chance to get the whole family together to connect. Mom and Dad can talk about what they’ve seen that’s going well and what everyone can work on. The kids get a chance to be heard in a different way and view their family as a safe support system. And it’s also a natural transition into our next suggestion.
Some families are better at this than others. For some, it seems impossible. So this doesn’t need to be an 8-week commitment where you read through some obscure spiritual allegory. And depending on your kids, their ages, and your history, you should expect resistance. But you’re the adult, and it’s not too late. So consider C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or Bennett’s Book of Virtues. Or start easier than that. And now put some nights on the calendar.
I’ve heard that kids get their understanding of fitness and self-discipline from their dads. Whatever your family dynamic, regular exercise together gives the family something new to do together.
Family Dinner with No Technology or “Work Talk”
Once a week…once a month…Whatever you have to do to start doing it regularly. Family dinners that are focused on being together can be as uncommon and elusive as the chupacabra, but they’re worth it. They slow everyone down and they give you another connection point as a family.
Crafts and Projects
Find some pallet wood. Buy some canvases. Collect some rocks from Lake Superior. Give everyone in the family the assignment to create something to display in the house. Have them put thought into their project so that it reflects one of your family’s values.
Some of these are pretty typical suggestions. But if you’re anything like the rest of us, the “typical” things get lost in the chaos of commutes and practice schedules. If we don’t choose to slow down, we never will. If we don’t start small, with mundane things like flossing, then we won’t build the habits that will take us somewhere new.
Good luck leading your family into a different kind of new year.