new years resolutions, crunchy moms, new years, family, 2014, crunchy, photo blog, thankful jar, crunchy mom, family game night, volunteer, family

Looking for something different this year?  Perhaps you’re seeking a way for your family to bond, and learn a new skill together?  You’ve come to the right place.  Here are a few of my favorite ideas.  I’ve tried some, and have seen friends do others.   Happy New Year!

  1. Photo –a-Day Blog:  This one is so easy, because we’re all carrying around phones and other devices with camera these days.  All you have to do is snap one picture a day.  For those of you with photography skills or interest, try carrying your digital camera or SLR everywhere (toss it in the diaper bag).  Have your kids help take pictures, too.  Choose a day and time once a week to choose your favorite photo from each day, and post them on a free blog like or  At the end of the year, you’ll have a great photo diary of the past 365 days.
  2. Thankful Jar:   Need some positivity in your life?  Each night at dinnertime, have each family member write down one positive thing that happened that day.  Go around the table and have each person share, and then put the slip of paper in the jar.  At the end of the year, you’ll be amazed at all the good that happened to your family during the year.  Tip:  Is someone having an especially bad day?  Have them take a few pieces of paper out of the jar and read them. Instant mood-enhancer!
  3. Foreign-Language Learning:  Last year, I discovered some free smart phone apps that teach basic vocabulary and conversational phrases, and resolved to learn a bit of a foreign language.  Each night before bed, I would do one small lesson.  Pretty soon, I was feeling comfortable with pronunciation and use of many words.  It was fun, and so quick and easy.  It would be even more fun to learn with a buddy, like a child or partner.  At the end of the year, if everyone has completed the challenge, why not reward them with a trip to a country where that language is spoken?  (This could also be an incentive to keep the family going throughout the year).
  4. Family Game Night (Once-a-Week):  You’ve probably heard of this one before, as it’s a classic.  The reason I’m posting it here is because it’s an effort to get everyone away from screens: television, iPad, smart phone, laptop, etc, and to start engaging one-another, face-to-face.  Choose one night a week that is the least busy for your family, when most members are at home.  Have dinner together, and follow with a rousing game of Twister or Monopoly.  After an hour of game time, have a healthy dessert and chat about your day.  Further– Challenge your family to read a book instead of turning to a screen for entertainment for the rest of the evening.
  5. Volunteer Together:  There are so many amazing organizations out there that need people of all ages and abilities to lend a hand. Whether it’s the local animal shelter, a food pantry, or an elderly neighbor, there are lots of ways to help make your community a better place.  You can make it a resolution by making a one-year family commitment to a volunteer duty of your choice, and sticking to it for one year.  You’ll fee better about yourself, and your kids will soon learn how fortunate they are, and better appreciate the wonderful life you are providing for them.

What resolutions are you making this year? Please share in the comments below.