One of my goals for 2018 is to make a family bucket list. I did this last year and when I looked back, we didn't accomplish anything on it. This is totally fine with me since our year was still filled with amazing moments, love, family and fun — but this year, I'm making one again, and I think it's more realistic.
I asked around for ideas and advice while creating my list. Some advice that I took into consideration was:
- Keep it simple. For example, plan day trips instead of week-long vacations.
- Be realistic and budget-friendly.
- Print and keep it on your fridge or family bulletin board so everyone can see it.
- Stay open to new ideas from each member of the family, regardless of age.
- Involve more than just your immediate family. Reach out to grandparents, cousins, and friends too.
- You don't have to leave home to check something off.
This year I did things a little differently. I broke it down by month, setting a small goal for each.
January: Give Back. We're going to go through all of our old clothes, toys, shoes, coats, home goods, books, and movies and donate them to a local shelter or church.
February: Nutrition and Wellness. Prepare and eat more healthy meals together. More vegetables and fruits, a stronger focus on things like cholesterol and sodium, less caffeine and more water, adequate sleep.
March: Friendship. Play dates, fun events, cousin sleepovers, and more. March will be full of friendship and fun for our little noodles.
April: Parks and the Great Outdoors. This is when we'll start our small hikes, walks around the lake, picnics in the park, and afternoon bike rides.
May: Family Fitness. With summer right around the corner, let's focus on staying fit! The kids have had an interest in karate and working out lately (which we love!) and this is the month we're going to really head this up, enroll them in local classes, and start working out as a family.
June: Reading Challenge. Now that we've been focused on our nutrition, fitness, and movement, let's take a step back and work on our brains too. This month, I want to read a book as a family. A good, long book that we can all read together.
July: Adventure Awaits! This is our vacation month! It's family road trip time!
August: Back to School. I'd love to officially end the summer with a Back to School party or picnic for my kids and their friends. We can give them their school supplies then, take their "before" picture, set some goals, and really build excitement for the year ahead.
September: Art Appreciation. This month we will visit local art exhibits and museums to gain an understanding and appreciation for art and art history.
October: Stress Free. The holidays will be here soon. October will be a month of rest, downtime, and mental relaxation. Enjoy the calm before the storm, if you will.
November: Give Thanks and Give Back. We'll think of five special people in our lives (outside of our family) and prepare a thank you card and a small gift to show our appreciation. I'd also like to adopt a local family for the holidays, helping with meals, gifts, and more.
December: Live with Love. I want to really take the focus away from presents and gifts and bring it back to love, respect, and community. This will be a month of learning about love and what it means — love for others, love for community, and love for ourselves.