Then each child made a sign to go with one of the resolutions - handy having five resolutions and five kids!
Here's what everyone came up with:
BE ON TIME
* In case you can't make out what it says at the bottom, it says "Quickly, hapilie, well." We're going to work harder on doing things quickly, happily and well when asked. Oliver came up with some cool and interesting designs for his sign!
* Silas included pictures of a guy skiing, doing push-ups and running. We're all excited to ski a lot this year and make sure we get some sort of exercise every day to keep our bodies healthy and keep the kids from getting stir-crazy and hyped up so much. Silas also insisted I include this photo below where he's trying to do sideways pushups while holding his sign.
* We're going to reach out to those in our school, neighborhood and community to make new friends and help those in need. We'll report back to each other every week on the people we've gotten to know and the ways we've been able to help. Below is a closer-up version of Isaac's sign so you can read it better.
We'll post the signs on the fridge so we can all keep them in mind this week. Then each Sunday, we'll talk about how everyone is doing with each family resolution at the dinner table and nominate ourselves or someone else to receive the "award" for being the most thankful, friendly, obedient, on-time, or good at exercising. Then they'll simply put the sign that goes with what they've been awarded on their bedroom door for the week, bringing it back to the Sunday dinner table to be re-awarded the next week. I'll put each paper in a plastic sheet protector so they stay in good shape throughout the year.
And who knows? Maybe we'll want to switch things up after a while and focus on some different resolutions. That'll be fine. But the kids picked these resolutions and feel a real sense of ownership of them so we'll honor that and start strong with these five.
I'm still working on my personal resolutions, but here's what I've got so far (I'll be more accountable if I put them on this blog!)
1. Exercise at least 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes (a simple walk or sit ups or push ups count!). I've always been great about exercising 3x/week but on the days I don't exercise, I just feel sluggish and I know daily exercise combined with fresh air most days will make me a happier, nicer, more energetic person.
2. No eating anything but fruits and veggies after 8pm (except on holidays or super-special occasions, not to exceed 1x/month). I sleep better and wake up feeling much better when I follow this rule. Eating late at night makes me have weird dreams and wake up feeling sort of sick to my stomach.
3. Read scriptures daily - even one verse will do. At least 5x/week, write up what I've learned in my scripture journal (one sentance will do).
4. Write every day in the 5-year journal Dad gave me for Christmas. I blog and that makes a pretty good journal but I want to do a better job recording my more personal thoughts and specific events and memories on a daily basis - plus it'll be great to see what's happened the previous year on the same day as I keep doing this for 5 years...
5. Express specific gratitude daily via an email, phone call or the like. There are so many people who do good things every day and who could use more "thank you's." When I express gratitude, it always brightens my day while brightening someone else's as well and helping perpetuate good will. If I stop and think for a minute, I know that every day I can think of someone who I ought to say a special thank-you to or who should know I admire something about them. Compliments and thank yous are so important but it's so easy to wind up leaving them unexpressed.
6. Really follow through with the kids - when I say "one minute" I will really mean one minute - not 15 or 30. When I say I'll check to see that a kid's room is clean in 5 minutes, I'll set a timer and really go check in 5 minutes rather than forgetting about it then being frustrated when it's not done a couple hours later and I remember to check. I expect them to do what they say they'll do and I need to be better about doing the same.
7. Better bedtimes - pad the time more, express love, give every child a personal compliment as I say goodnight, switch off which child I spend extra time with each night and just let them talk - we have the best conversations at night if I just sit on their bed and listen.
8. Get out on a weekly date with Jared. We haven't been good about that. We need more simple, relaxing times together.
9. Relax more. Just sit back and listen to others or do what they feel like doing without feeling like I need to drive specific and meaningful tasks forward every minute of every day. I need to be more fun - even if it means being less productive.