art mommaSupposedly just 8 percent of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution keep it.

The obvious reason is human beings just aren’t very good at self improvement. But some resolutions are doomed from the start.


It’s all in how you craft them. Instead of saying you’ll lose weight, pledge to exercise three times a week and cut out junk food. Go for the concrete rather than the vague.

A popular resolution for parents given today’s stressful world is carving out quality family time. But make it something tangible, like having game night once a week, establishing a cell phone free dinnertime policy or reading two books instead of one at bedtime.

Another trap is setting resolutions that you have no control over. A resolution to end bedtime battles would go down in flames at my house within a week.

Kids are eternal optimists, and that makes them great candidates for New Year’s resolutions. Help them write out their resolution, draw a picture or poster to go with it and hang it somewhere they can see it.

For a younger child though, a New Year’s resolution is a tricky concept. The vain attempt to explain it to my 3-year-old was apparently lost in translation. His resolution is to go to Santa’s Land amusement park — a repeat of his yet-to-be fulfilled birthday wish when blowing out the candles on his cake a couple of months ago.

My New Year’s resolution is the same as Americans everywhere: to be more active.

And not just getting to the gym more, although that certainly tops the list. But going on family walks and bike rides, playing ball and Frisbee in the backyard more often and taking more hikes.

There’s a couple of New Year’s Day family activities to help me get started on the right foot, literally.

Kick up yours heels as a family at the “Run in 2014,” an annual New Year’s Day 5K run/walk and half-mile fun run starting from the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee. All fun-run participants under the age of 12 get a medal for participating. The 5K starts at 11 a.m. and the fun run is at 11:45 a.m. 828.293.3053 or (put “Run in 2014” in the search bar.)

Gorges State Park is hosting a two-mile guided hike on New Year’s Day. It is part of the “First Day Hikes” initiative held in every state park all across North Carolina on New Year’s Day. The two-mile roundtrip hike in Gorges State Park will go from the Upper Bearwallow picnic area to an overlook with awesome views.

Gorges is located on the Jackson-Transylvania County Line off N.C. 281. From Sylva, take N.C. 107 south, then head left on N.C. 281 south, and you’ll eventually come to the park entrance on Grassy Ridge Road. 828.966.9099.

Kid’s New Year’s Party

For a fun twist on a New Year’s Eve celebration — one your kids can actually stay awake for — head to the Rockin’ and Readin’ New Year’s Eve Luau at the Macon County library in Franklin. The party starts at 11 a.m. on Dec. 31, with a “countdown” to the New Year at high noon. Wear Hawaiian style attire!

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