It is already the second week of January and most people who firmly resolved to “get back in shape” for 2017…have already stopped going to the gym.

What kind of resolutions can you make and REALLY KEEP during the craziness of kids, work, and all the responsibilities that come with gearing up for another year?

The most important thing you can do is make a resolution that is small enough for you to do every day. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed while also doing something to better yourself each day. Another thing that helps make a great resolution is choosing something that can help you and your family grow spiritually in their Catholic faith!

We have come up with five ideas for the whole family (and simple tips to help you KEEP your resolutions this year)!

Number 1: Morning Offering/Daily Morning Prayers

Improving your prayer life and the prayer life of your kids is a great resolution! Now, how do you keep up with that or make sure that all your kids get reminders every day? Decide what prayer you would like your kids (and you!) to start praying everyday. Print out the prayer and tape it to the back of the bedroom door. Every morning, as your children leave their bedrooms, they will be reminded to pray their morning prayers.

**HINT from our Mom:  And every so often, change the prayer during the night by posting a new page up there!  Surprises the kids, and it will keep things fresh. By the end of the year, everyone will have memorized some new prayers, too. For some ideas, you can get 5-packs of our prayer cards (kid-inspiring artwork on the front and short, simple prayers on the back)–enough to post on all the bedroom doors (at least in our house).

Number 2: Prayer Jar

Pray for the deadThis is a great way to encourage your family to pray for your loved ones. Find a clean vase or mason jar and write down the names of families and friends on stripes of paper that can be folded and placed in the jar. All year long, you can add new slips as new intentions are brought to the attention of anyone in the family.  Then, during family prayer time, pull out one of the slips of paper and pray specifically for that person. This is a great way to encourage your kids to prayer for the people they love! And remember: by “praying for the living and the dead,” you are also performing a Spiritual Work of Mercy!

Number 3: Prayer Journals

Ever told someone you would pray for them and then forgot to do it? A great way for your family to keep up with prayer requests is to have a designated journal or notebook where they can be written down. Spiritual DiaryThis journal can be kept in the family prayer area and whenever your family is asked to pray for someone, this person can be written down in the book of prayers and prayed for by name.

Does everyone want their own prayer journal? Our Holy Heroes Spiritual Diary has pages to write prayer intentions (and God’s answer!), people to pray for, and so on.  It also has daily questions to guide everyone step-by-step through the daily examen developed by St Ignatius of Loyola.

Number 4: Make Your Bed

Making beds is something that everyone thinks is important, but very few actually carry out. By making your bed every morning, you are guaranteeing that at least one important task is completed. (And while you are doing it: say a prayer to your Guardian Angel and thank God for a new day!) Even if you are unable to finish any other thing you needed to do that day, at least your bed will have been made! And at the end of the day, it is much nicer to lie down into an orderly bed instead of crawling in among a mess of tangled sheets.

Number 5: 15-Minute Cleanup (Mom’s favorite!)

Messy houses are never fun for anyone, especially the mom! “Fifteen minute clean ups” are something that our family does a lot. Anytime the house is messy or you are expecting company, set a timer for fifteen minutes and the kids race to finish all the cleaning before the timer rings. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in such a short period when everyone pitches in!  Maybe resolve to do just one 15-minute clean up every day.  Before Dad comes home?  Before nighttime prayers? Before dinner?

We hope these helped! Tell us in the comments some of your ideas for this year–Happy New Year from all of us!

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Handles much of our social media, as well as helping the younger kids with their writing and video and audio recording. Clara's voice is heard in several Glory Stories, and the saint whose story she has been begging to have made into a Glory Story is finally about to begin recording--stay tuned!