Whether it's making healthier choices, trying something new, or deciding to finally start looking for that dream job, January 1 is the start of a new year, and many people view it as a fresh start. Here are 10 things your family can do this month.
1. Start a new hobby. Have you always wanted to try a karate class, try your hand at sewing or learn a foreign language? Take that first step! You never know if you don't try!
2. Clean off your desk. January 11, 2016, is National Clean Off Your Desk Day. Take this opportunity to go through the piles of papers and empty that junk drawer. When you finish, reward yourself with something fun for your desk - a 2016 desk calendar with fun facts or a new photo frame, perhaps?
3. Send thank you notes. Undoubtedly, you got some gifts in December, or your kids did. Make sure you thank those who sent you gifts. If your kids are too young to write their own thank you note, consider taking a picture of them using the gift, and then include a note from you with the picture that you send.
4. Go through holiday decorations. As you put away the ornaments and other decorations from your holiday celebrations, take notice of things that need to be updated. Maybe the wreath you've been using year after year has seen better days. Instead of packing those things back up, take advantage of the many sales going on and replace the things that need it.
5. Spend some time outdoors. I am not a cold-weather person, but I still enjoy taking a walk outside even in the cold. The fresh air makes me feel good, and it also feels great to come back in and grab a mug of something hot to drink after being outside!
6. Invite a friend over for coffee. Cold weather = warm drinks! Now that the busy holidays have passed, take some time to catch up with someone who you haven't seen in awhile. Better yet, meet them at your favorite local coffee place.
7. Take time for yourself each day. Give yourself at least 15 minutes each day just for you. (I recommend longer, but starting out small is making it achievable, right?) Read a book you've been wanting to start, take a bubble bath, enjoy a cup of tea while chatting with a friend, or write in a journal. Whatever you enjoy doing, make sure you do it! Don't get too busy taking care of others that you forget to take care of yourself!
8. Try some new toppings on popcorn. January 19 is National Popcorn Day! Have you always eaten popcorn with butter and salt? Try something new like basil & Parmesan cheese mixed into your melted butter (it sounds weird, I know, but it's good!)
9. Do Nothing! January 16 is National Nothing Day - and it's on a Saturday! I encourage you to stay in your jammies, watch movies, play games and order pizza or eat leftovers that day. Definitely do not do anything that requires hard work. Just have fun!
10. Start a family challenge. Each month get your family to try something new. Post a reading challenge or start an exercise challenge like planks or jumping jacks (check out the monthly "Move More" column of Macaroni Kid Family Fitness for more ideas), or challenge everyone to do a random act of kindness each day. Whatever challenge you choose, celebrate how well each member of your family did on January 31!