A Brand New Year for Families: How Will You Be Changed?

The trappings of Christmas are falling away. Trees droop. Needles fall. It is time to pack up our ornaments and wrap up our garland and set our living rooms right for the year ahead. As we clear the clutter of this season away, what else must we clean as the new year begins? It is a time for us to look at our lives, examine our families, and plan for beginning anew.

Ask the important questions

Let’s think through these questions as we begin:

  1. What do we do well as a family? What strengths do we have and what talents do we use to build God’s Kingdom on earth? How can we plan to continue these things as the new year starts?
  2. What goals did we have for our family that we have yet to make a priority? Were there things we thought we would do or learn together that we have not made time for yet? How can we make room for these things in the weeks and months ahead?
  3. Are there areas in our life together where we know we are in the wrong? A fresh start can help us to set aside areas of sin and begin to forge a new path that brings us closer to one another and closer to Christ. What changes do we need to seek this year, and who can hold us accountable for these?
  4. As individuals, what goals would we like to set to help us address interests or challenges we would like to pursue? Families can support one another in meeting goals or overcoming obstacles. What will that look like for us this year?
  5. To what activities should we say no so that we have time to focus on the important and still have time for Sabbath rest?

Plan together as a team

New Year’s Resolutions can easily fall away, but if we approach our goal-setting together, we can use these early weeks in January to begin new habits and pursue new paths. Talking as a family about what we do well and where we need growth can help us to clarify the goals that we want to set.

Create an action plan

But goal-setting is not enough. We must work to make a plan. If you know where you want to go, what must you do this month to work on that goal? What must you do this week? Today? Finding the steps that must be done and then making mini-goals to accomplish your resolution this year will help your family to keep moving forward even after the January push.

Pray over the process

As you put your Christmas decorations away, think about the year ahead. Ask God to help you see what areas need attention and what you are doing well. As a family, set goals for what you will do and make a point of praying together as you seek to pursue these things.

Your intentional approach to resolutions can lead to amazing growth!

About the author — Nadia Swearingen-Friesen

Nadia Swearingen-Friesen is a writer and national speaker with a passion for empowering parents to approach their families with great intentionality and grace.  Nadia and her husband, Mark, are the parents of four children and live in the Chicago area. Nadia also blogs at http://nadiaswearingen-friesen.com/

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