New year, great new family habits on a budget

Family habits are something that we can develop and improve. Don’t worry, this isn’t another article about making new year resolutions… Rather, it’s about building family habits that become feelgood routines and won’t weigh on your monthly budget.

Why new year’s resolutions set us for failure

Taking an introspective look at how we live, how we want to improve our life and what long term goals we want to set is great. However, when we set resolutions for the new year, we are actually doing ourselves a disservice. Just think of all these gym memberships bought with the January motivation to become fit and how many will just make their owners feel guilty for not maintaining the rhythm passed February 1st.

The problem with resolutions is that they just add another item to our long daily to do list. Instead, let’s build sustainable habits. So rather than “I’m losing 10 kg this year,” let’s say “I’m making movement part of my way of life.”

5 healthy family habits on a budget

Here’s some simple ideas to improve your family life and health without breaking the bank either!

1. Get active as a family

Don’t let winter turn you into a family of couch potatoes. Doing sports and choosing activities that get your body moving are a really good way to spend time together, learn new skills and get fit. It could be following an online exercise class all together. Dancing to hits of the 80’s in the living room. Taking your baby in it’s stroller for a run… There are tons of ways to include your kids and get them into the habit of making movement part of their way of living.

2. Less time in front of screens

Turning off screens is good for the entire family! Whether it’s TV, scrolling on social media or working from home… We spend our life online glued to screens. It has been proven that the light emitted by screens is bad for children’s sleep. In addition, it affects eye health and psychological development. Technology isn’t bad in itself, but parenting in the 21st century includes teaching kids how to maintain healthy boundaries with the internet and all the gadgets.

Make it a habit to ban screens at the dinner table, to have an evening or two each week free of tech and TV. Instead spend time together. Without all the distractions, it’s easier to be present. Board games, puzzles, DIY projects, cooking dinner together… There are tons of options that won’t cost extra.

3. Reading with your child

The beauty of physical books is that we get attached to them. We all had our favorite little books as kids and it’s quite beautiful to get to share that with our littles ones. It’s also a wonderful way to expand their world and stimulate their imagination.

You can read together anywhere, like cozy on the sofa, on the bus, or simply in bed. Even just 10 minutes a day is enough to create a lifelong habit. It’s a time for bonding, exchanging ideas and growing. Let’s not forget that reading from an early age helps develop vocabulary and language skills. It’s also wonderful for developing empathy and creativity.

4. Practicing mindfulness as a family habit

Mindful living isn’t just for grownups. Kids too benefit from mindfulness. Studies have shown that cognitive performance, emotional balance, coping with stress and resilience all improve with regular mindfulness practices.

Taking the time to be quiet and relaxed before bedtime can be a great place to start for little kids. There’s an abundance of online resources for teaching meditation and breathing techniques to children available.

5. Cooking together

Most of the time, we don’t have time to cook as a family. We are so busy with everything else that we try to turn “making dinner” into a quick and painless operation. Nonetheless, there’s also a lot to gain from family cooking time.

From learning about nutrition and eating healthy to family recipes and cooking skills, there’s a lot more to it than just making food. So how about taking the time once a week to bond, learn and be present together in the kitchen?

Hope you will give these healthy family habits on a budget a try.

Want more? Check out my “sanity saving tips” for parents.

Until next time, Tania XX