For many people, the beginning of the new year feels like a fresh start. It’s a time to reflect on the previous year and anticipate what the new year will hold.
Many people resolve to make lifestyle changes that will improve their quality of life. These resolutions don’t have to be individual goals – they can be goals for the entire family as well.
As you think about the year ahead, what comes to mind?
Would you like to make health a priority by focusing on getting more exercise together and eating a well-balanced diet? Do you want for your family to be more exposed to the benefits of experiencing the local arts and music scene? Would you like to get outside and explore nature together? Have you thought about teaching your children the importance of caring for others and giving back to the community?
Whatever it is that you and your family resolve to do together in 2017, the goal is to make the resolution stick and to form new habits. Thankfully, our area has plenty of opportunities for you to succeed. Take a look at these ideas for some inspiration!
Focus on fitness and nutrition
Many people will start the new year resolving to be healthier. Whether the goal is to eat better, exercise more, or to drop a few unwanted pounds – health is usually a top priority. When dealing with family resolutions, the objective is more likely to be focused on overall health improvement than calorie counting.
One way to go about getting your kids excited about exercise is by finding an activity you will all enjoy.
For example, make it a mission to visit every park in your county, or vow to hike (or bike) a new section of the Indianapolis Greenways System each month.
Take the action indoors with a membership to one of the many YMCAs around town. With facilities all over the region and new programs always being added, there is sure to be something for everyone. Or, if you are looking for something free to do, check out one of the many local indoor playgrounds where your kids can run, jump and play for FREE (regardless of the weather.)
Are you feeling loaded down by baked goods and all of the other delectable holiday indulgences? Is it time to put down the cookie and pick up the broccoli?
Try involving your family in the meal planning and cooking process. Take a family trip to the grocery store and talk about the differences in foods. Register here for a free grocery store tour given by Peacock Family Chiropractic. On this tour you will learn how to shop for a healthy lifestyle. The tour is on January 9 from 6:45pm-8:00pm.
Wanting the kids to be more involved in meal time? Try a cooking class. Sprouts Cooking School offers a variety of classes where kids learn how to be comfortable in the kitchen with basic culinary skills.
Take in more local arts and music
Indianapolis has a lot to offer families in the way of museums. Here, families can explore and learn about art, history, music and culture. Make it a goal to explore one museum a month. Check out Indy’s Child’s Best Museums for Kids in Indianapolis guide and discover some wonderful places where you and your family can celebrate the arts together.
Have your children ever seen a live musical performance? Here is an idea for you – Explore the joy of music with your young one during a one-hour, family-friendly Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s symFUNy Sunday concert. These performances are designed with the young listener in mind. The performances begin at 3:00pm and last one hour with the doors opening an hour prior with fun pre-concert activities for the children to enjoy. Visit their website for more information on performances.
Local libraries also offer great music programs for families to enjoy together. The Indianapolis Public Library is offering an outstanding series of free performances by Indy’s leading jazz musicians called Hot Jazz for Cool Kids. The next hour-long performance will take place on Sunday, January 22 at 3:00pm and will feature a performance by the Rob Dixon Quintet. Known as the “mayor” of jazz in Indy, Rob Dixon has played saxophone with the Count Basie Band, Ray Charles and The Smithsonian Masterworks orchestra. For more information on this performance, as well as future performances, visit www.indypl.org.
Get outside and explore the great outdoors
It’s time to put down the electronic devices and get back to nature. Take a walk around the neighborhood, or find a trail at a local park where you and your family can take in all of the sights, sounds and beauty that can be found outdoors. The Where to Hike with Babies and Toddlers guide offers more information on local parks and trails in the area that are perfect for families with young children.
During an Indiana winter, hiking may be a little difficult. There are other fun ways to get out and get some fresh air. Put on the snow pants and enjoy your backyard. Make snow angels, a snowman and have a good old fashioned snowball fight – no hitting the face! Another fun wintertime outdoor activity is sledding. Check out these Top 10 Spots for Sledding in Indianapolis.
Find a way to give back
Is this the year you want to make volunteering a priority for your family? There are many local organizations that welcome kids as volunteers. Opportunities for youth volunteers exist at Gleaners Food Bank, Good Samaritan Network, Hamilton County Harvest Bank, the Humane Society, the Indianapolis Zoo…the list goes on and on. Visit Volunteer Opportunities For Kids Guide and discover more about the local volunteer possibilities that exist for you and your family.
Other ways to volunteer could involve walking or running a 5k for a cause that is meaningful to your family, picking up litter in your neighborhood (or favorite park) or writing letters to service members that are deployed. Kids might also enjoy making cards for hospitalized children through an organization called Cards for Hospitalized Kids. Talk to your children and decide as a family what sounds best for you and how you all would like to give back together.
Making a family resolution stick takes commitment from everyone. Gather together and brainstorm different ideas – talk about what your kids would find fun or interesting to do. After you have made a decision that is best suited for your family, enjoy the time spent together doing something worthwhile.
2017 has endless possibilites. Good luck and happy new year!
What resolutions have you and your family made for 2017? What has motivated your change? Please comment below or email [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!