December 30, 2015, Epoch Times
As a new year dawns and we resolve to improve in 2016, parents may wish to set their intentions for their families in the new year ahead. Here are some inspiring nuggets of wisdom to trigger ideas for your family’s new year’s resolutions.
Wherever your path takes you in 2016, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year!
“Without deep reflection, one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.”—Albert Einstein
A great first step in considering your hopes for your family in the year ahead is to review the year that has come to pass. Great joy can be had in sharing your family’s photos together and recollecting your favorite moments. In doing so, you may also identify areas of change you’d like to aim for.
“The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”—Warren Buffett
For many, 2015 was busy and fast-paced, as every year seems to be. As important as identifying your goals may be, perhaps even more important is identifying those things your family will not devote their precious time to in 2016.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”—Lao Tzu
Are there aspects of your family’s life that are no longer working for you? Are there changes you’ve been wishing to make? A new year is the perfect time to identify these and change course.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”—Aristotle
Parents are the captains of their family’s ship and have significant influence upon the habits of all family members. Look at what your family repeatedly does and all of your routines. Are your habits helping or hindering you? Does 2016 call for a new habit to be established?
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”—Joseph Campbell
Of course, anyone old enough to be a parent knows what can become of the “best-laid plans.” In leading by example, we can teach our children to be both unattached to outcomes and open to possibilities.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”—Lao Tzu
Celebrating each of our family members for who they truly are (and embracing who we are as parents) may be just the thing to make 2016 the best year ever.
“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones—the ones at home.”—Mother Teresa
Perhaps 2016 calls for a healthy dose of “back to basics” in your family—sharing more meaningful time together, putting down those phones, and eating dinner at the table as a family.
“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.”—Giada De Laurentis
Do you wish for more home-cooked meals or healthful kitchen options to be a part of 2016? Food is a significant aspect of parenting and, perhaps, the one to focus on this year.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”—Buddha
Another aspect of nourishment we might consider: With what are we feeding the minds of our family members? Are we allowing them to consume content that is good for them? Are we engaged in the spiritual teachings we wish them to understand? How do we speak to our family members? Perhaps here we can find adjustments to be made in the new year.
“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”—Mahatma Gandhi
As parents, we are always aiming for a loving home and to be good examples for our children. The work here is never done.
“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.”—Charlotte M. Mason
When it comes to education, are we allowing our children to learn and grow at home or simply leaving that up to school? In 2016, we know more about education than ever before, how children learn best, and we have access to resources to allow those little minds to thrive. Perhaps 2016 is the year we take back the reigns of our children’s education just a bit.
“The highest result of education is tolerance.”—Helen Keller
Perhaps a greater effort to expose our children to different cultures and the world around them will enhance our lives this year.
“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”—Mark Twain
Better yet, might some specific travel goals make 2016 the best year yet for your family?
“Be as you wish to seem.”—Socrates
The character of our families and the values we hope to instill in our children can always benefit from a healthy review. See anything worth working on in 2016?
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”—Henry David Thoreau
Let’s make 2016 the year we see the good in it all!
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Remember that not just New Year’s Day, but every day is an opportunity to begin anew.