The other New Year

Make a fresh start for fall with 3 family-focused resolutions

Hallmark staff
Back to School Ideas: 3 Family-Focused Resolutions @hallmarkstores @hallmarkstoresIdeas

It's that time of year again—pristine pencils, a spiffy notebook...but wait: It's the kids going back to school, not us! "We naturally associate fall with new challenges," says Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, life coach and founder of Power Living in New York City. "It's a perfect time to set some goals." So we declare September the new New Year—with three family-focused resolutions to help you get the season off to a stellar start.

Calm dawnsWake up a few minutes early and get centered before the morning rush begins. "Starting your day with at least 10 minutes of quiet time is a huge help when adjusting to new schedules," says Kay-Aba Kennedy. Try stepping outside for a quick dose of fresh air, or sitting down with your coffee to reflect on the coming day.

Uncomplicated daysThis school year, we will not overschedule our children—or ourselves! "A sure sign of activity overload is if the parent feels frazzled," says Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D., coauthor of The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap. The key to avoiding a jammed calendar is scheduling—for free time. "Regularly leaving kids to their own devices helps to develop their own interests," says Rosenfeld.

Family dinnersWeeknight family meals don't have to be fabulous to be meaningful. Teenagers who eat dinner at least five times a week with their families are less likely to smoke or drink than teens who don't, according to a recent study. So even if you order takeout, gather the troops and eat up!