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© 2020 by Julie M. Gentile. All Rights Reserved.

A New Year’s Intention for the Whole Family

Make 2019 the year of play.

Spend more quality time with family this year.

Most New Year’s intentions (I like to call them “intentions” instead of “resolutions”) are set with embracing a healthier lifestyle: to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise. As an extension of this healthier lifestyle mind-set, I’m recommending you and your family set a group intention for 2019—something that everyone will benefit from and enjoy: more playtime.


My family and I prioritized playtime as the family intention for 2018. We actually dubbed 2018 “the year of play.” (Read about the personal intention I set in 2018.)


With jam-packed schedules and a daily routine that includes dinnertime, bath time and bedtime, how does a busy mom actually find time for family play during an incredibly busy day? It can be seriously challenging to find time to slow down, sit down and eat a meal together, much less play. But we found opportunities to play, and you can, too. As a result, there were fewer tantrums and outbursts and more smiles and giggles.

Most adults stay busy with jobs, deadlines, meetings and other to-dos. Kids stay busy by playing all day long—it’s their main job. Look to your little ones for play inspiration to help reinvigorate that imaginative, playful spark.

For those looking to spend more quality time together, here are some ideas to fit in more playtime throughout the New Year.

  • Go on a spontaneous family adventure at least once a month. You can do this on a budget! Find a new park, library, bookstore, restaurant, or hiking or biking path. Unplanned playtime is often the best kind.

  • Experience something new together. Watch a movie no one in the family has seen before, attend a new exhibit at a museum or try a new food together.

  • Book mini trips instead of one long trip. My family and I did this in 2018. Short trips can still be a lot to pack and prepare for, but it’s worth the effort to get everyone out of the house. Plus, the smaller trips gave us something to look forward to throughout the year.

  • Find pockets of time in your day to play. If your mornings are too rushed, devote a few minutes every evening to play a game, sing songs, dance or read together. Your options are limitless.

Beyond family play dates and playtime, be sure to schedule time for solo play, too. Always wanted to take a cooking or painting class? What about guitar or dance lessons? Sign up and explore. Or just give yourself permission to take a day off to choose your own adventure. Your openness to play can shift your day in a profound way.


I found that the playfulness theme was woven into every area of my life this year. For example, I experimented more on my yoga mat, which helped me discover new yoga sequences and meditations.


Have fun creating a healthier, happier family—and a healthy, happier you—in 2019!


Now put down your phone and play!

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