Want to make some New Year’s resolutions you’ll actually want to keep for a change? Guarantee a happier new year with these five tips for a happier family over the next 365 days — and beyond.


Plan special time with each kid every day.

Let your kid decide what to do and then do it, even if it’s literally five minutes per day per kid. Your kids so rarely get to spend focused one-on-one time with you, especially time when they get to be the boss. The key to making it work: Schedule it at the same time every day, whether it’s as soon as you get home, right after dinner or the first part of their bedtime routine.


Plan special time every week as a family.

You might decide to do something you know you all enjoy, whether it’s going out for breakfast at the same diner every Saturday morning, drawing or reading together before dinner once a week, or game night every Friday evening (bonus: get to know each other better with Q’s Race to the Top!). Or you could let each family member take turns being responsible for what you do. For example, set aside Sunday afternoons for family time and let parents and kids take turns surprising everyone else on where you go — whether it’s the neighborhood playground, the science museum downtown or a road trip to the mountains nearby.


Go outside.

A regular dose of nature recharges kids and adults alike, and the best childhood memories happen outdoors. Make snow angels, go camping, swim, ride bikes, play freeze tag together! And make sure your kids get a little outside time every day.


Speak softly.

Angry? Stressed? Instead of opening your mouth, pause and listen instead. Take a break. Breathe deeply and count to ten. Find yourself losing it anyway? Be gentle with yourself and embrace the do-over: Just say “Wait, can we start over?” Yelling is a habit — and one your kids will pick up on — but so is choosing calm and patience.


Prioritize yourself and your partner.

It’s easy to let your job, housework, social media, even your kids take up all your time when you put yourself and your relationship at the back of the line. Show your kids what it’s like to show up for yourself and your partner by taking up a hobby just for you and going on regular date nights with your significant other. After all, a happy you and happy relationship is the foundation for a happy family.