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New Year's resolutions for families

This year, make a New Year's resolution with

This year, make a New Year's resolution with your family. Katie Herrick Bugbee, global parenting expert and senior managing editor at shares a few ideas. Credit: iStock

Losing weight. Quitting a bad habit. Spending more time with the kids. We all have resolutions that we hope to fulfill in 2014. For me, it's as simple as embracing playtime with my two young children. It may sound trivial, but it's really simple: Leaving the dishes in the sink so I can color with my 2-year-old. Reading and exploring new toys with my 3-month-old. Checking email after the kids are in bed. Watching "Toy Story" without cleaning or picking up the mess.

This year, some families are making resolutions together. Here are five ideas from Katie Herrick Bugbee, global parenting expert and senior managing editor at

Unplug. Whether you're able to commit to one day a week or once a month, get your whole family on board with completely unplugging several times throughout the year, suggested Bugbee. This means no computers, phones, video games or TV. "Instead, spend the day really connecting with your family the old-fashioned way," she said. "Play board games, enjoy outdoor activities or cook a meal together."

Be healthy together. Make exercise a daily family activity. "Go for walks, join a gym, swim, bike, go rollerblading or even try paintball, just get your family moving," she said. Other ideas to incorporate a healthy lifestyle: Start a vegetable garden in your backyard, take the kids with you to the grocery store and teach them about where food comes from, cook  meals together and talk to them about nutrition. "It's just as important to sit down at the dinner table and enjoy the meal together," said Bugbee.

Learn something new as a family. Whether it’s learning Italian for your family trip to Europe next summer or taking a pottery class, learning new things as a family is not only a great way to bond, it’s also a fun way to stay mentally stimulated, she said.

Plan a family date night. "Make a commitment to have a family date night once a week," said Bugbee. "Go out to dinner, bowling or to a movie. You’ll spend quality time together as a family while getting in some much needed fun and relaxation after a long week at work and school."

Volunteer together. Take turns choosing an organization to volunteer with each month. "This is a great way to teach your children about helping those less fortunate, to appreciate the nice things they have and to explore causes that they are passionate about," she said.

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