A New Type of “Resolution” for 2013: Family Value Principles

Photo Credit:  All17 on deviantart.com

Photo Credit: All17 on deviantart.com

By Jennifer (Smith) Schuler

As we say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in the New Year, I want to wish everyone in our Off the Merry-Go-Round community a very happy, healthy 2013! The more I talk with people and families about how they celebrate the passing of another year, and about making “New Year’s Resolutions,” I see that there are so many ways in which people do so.

For example, I used to make a resolution for each year, yet soon found (as many people do) that the change I vowed to make usually didn’t stick, at least not for long. My husband, on the other hand, has never made resolutions. Smart guy–he already knows this is often a self-defeating prophecy!

This year, my husband and I came up with an idea that we thought would make a good compromise between vowing to make some future changes in our lives, and not holding ourselves to anything too grandiose such as “we will lose 20 pounds.” Besides, we have too many leftover Christmas goodies to make that kind of resolution!

Instead, we took some quiet time on New Year’s Eve to reflect back on the past year–on our work and careers, fun activities we did, financial choices we made, and relationships in our lives. While discussing what went well for us and what we struggled through, we came up with what we called value principles–statements to live by–for the New Year versus goals to accomplish. We kept our list short…just 5 that we can post on our refrigerator and refer to when we need to make a decision about an activity to pursue, a financial purchase to make, or a relationship to engage in–or let go of.

I share these value principles with you below in hope that they will give you a few ideas about how you and your family can think positively about starting the year ahead. Have a good one!

 The Schuler Family 2013 Value Principles

  • Our family and individual activities will nurture our spirits (for example, vacations; hobbies and interests; visits with family and friends; events we attend).
  • In the pursuit of these activities, we will seek ways to support one another.
  • We will spend time with people who are positive and healthy influences in our lives.
  • The use of our financial resources will reflect the above values, and our commitment to positively affect those less fortunate than we are.
  • Relationships, situations, and decisions which cannot be in harmony with these values will not be pursued.

Did you talk with your family about how the past year went? Have you reflected on what the high and low points were for your family? Is there something your family has resolved to make happen in 2013, or even something you have decided to stop doing? If so, please share your ideas with us!

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One thought on “A New Type of “Resolution” for 2013: Family Value Principles

  1. Hi Jennifer, what a wonderful idea. It’s like your own family mission statement! Our family does something very similar on New Year’s Day. We reflect on accomplishments, goals and special moments celebrated during the previous year. Then we set new goals, as a family and as individuals, talk about wishes and dreams for the upcoming year, and then write down our priority items for the new year. Sometimes those plans include home renovations, vacations, summer camps that the kids want to attend, activities that we want to be involved with, etc. It’s fun to look back through all the past years’ goals/plans, all kept in a notebook.

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