Now that the holiday season is over, it’s a great time to think about establishing new traditions for your family. Traditions are vital for human flourishing, even as young as preschool age. We need repetitive, even sacred, rituals to remember what’s important in our lives. Here are some traditions to try to incorporate over the coming year.
1. Find what’s unique about your family.
In order to get anywhere, you have to know where to start. Take stock of your family’s informal traditions already thriving. Is there a family joke? Do you always do something each year without realizing it? These questions can help establish something unique about your family, something organic and natural for you.
2. Standardize it.
The important thing to do is to standardize whatever tradition you’re ready to start. Announcing it to your family so they expect it can help them prepare. Change is hard, but setting expectations makes it easier. This is a great time to start that family dinner you’ve always wanted to have, or maybe you want to begin preparing for the family vacation that you wished would happen.
Each year, or maybe each week, it’s important to set that tradition on the calendar and make it a routine. Traditions aren’t built overnight, but with a little planning they can happen with regularity. This helps build what some people call “muscle memory,” like starting any new habit.
The beginning of the year is the perfect time to restart. It’s not easy, but establishing new routines and new traditions has lifelong impact on you and your family for generations to come.
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