By Miriam Merrill
The new year brings a chance to start fresh. A clean slate provides the opportunity to try new things, overcome old habits, and better ourselves. Finances, health, and education are all common Google search topics this time of year. But have you thought about adding “Strengthening Your Family Relationships” to your list of resolutions? Consider the following statistics to inspire your 2018 to-do list.
A study of US parents recently found that 78% of parents feel that eating a family meal together is a priority, but almost half of them (47%) also report that they’re sharing fewer meals with their current family than they did as they were growing up.
Most families only spend 38 minutes of quality time together on an average weekday, but a multiple hours on the Internet. All this while a whopping 93% of families wish that they could spend more time with their loved ones.
Research has found that grandchildren benefit psychologically from developing a strong relationship with their grandparents, but 61% of grandparents feel that they don’t get to see their grandchildren often enough.
Strengthening your family relationships may actually help you meet your other resolutions, too. For example, if your resolution is to be happier, research has found that people who spend at least 6 hours a day with family and friends are 12 times as likely to feel joyful rather than stressed or anxious. Or if your resolution is to lose weight, a John Hopkins study suggests that people who cook meals at home with their families eat healthier than those who cook less.
Of course, in the busy world that we live in, it is important that our expectations are realistic. But while you are investing time in the gym or in the classroom to reach your goals, I invite you to also consider investing more time in your family. Host one more family night a month. Cook and eat dinner together one additional night a week. Surprise your spouse with a date night, or surprise your mother with a girls day.
It doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, but prioritizing family this year is a sure way to increase love, happiness, and fulfillment in 2018.