Family Resolutions for a Happier New Year

The Kam family rang in the New Year with food, family, and fireworks in Kailua. Photo: Nathan Kam

It’s absolutely crazy to think that 2013 is here! Where did the time go? Why does the New Year always seem to arrive so quickly? Like many of you, reflecting back on the year confirms it certainly was a busy one. Personally, it was quite a productive one for our family, highlighted by Ensen’s transition to kindergarten and Avery moving into preschool. Life is good!

So, what will the new year have in store for all of us? I’m wishing for good health, prosperity and tons of fun and excitement. But it never hurts to be proactive and set your own course for a positive future by committing to a handful of New Year’s resolutions. Here are a few that our family will be focusing on over the next 12 months:

  • Patience. I always joke that if “Patience is a virtue” then I need more virtue in many situations. As the kids get older and wiser (most times, in the sassy kind of manner), Kelly and I are finding that we have to keep reminding each other to keep calm and parent responsibly. We both know this will only get more challenging going forward. But, with patience comes understanding, and with understanding hopefully comes discipline and respect. Bottom line: Chill Out!
  • Cut The Salt. Having read many news stories about the dangers of consuming too much salt as part of your daily diet, it’s time to cut back on the stuff I love. Not that I was overly excessive with the sodium in my cooking or eating, but the goal in 2013 is to cut back on using it as the “go to” seasoning. There are much healthier ways to get flavor into food using herbs and spices that our hearts and bodies will appreciate. Bottom line: Only go aggressive with the salt when dealing with slugs in your garden.
  • More Exercise. Even I’m disappointed to see our exercise bike sit idol with clothes draped all over it looking sad and lonely. Two years ago, I was riding this thing like I was training for the Olympics. Today, I stare at it lazily and carry on with the daily duties of being a dad. Poor excuses I know. Next year, I’m making the commitment to jump back on and add a few thousand miles to the odometer. Not to mention, we live in a great neighborhood, so I’m hoping to reignite our evening strolls around the block to burn a few calories before bedtime. Ensen also begins playing soccer and I’ve volunteered to be an assistant coach. That should help get me sweating. Bottom line: Find the time to get the heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day… 60 minutes when time really allows.
  • Read, Read, Read. Many would agree that there’s nothing quite like spending time to read a great book. It’s exercise for your brain, vocabulary and a great stress reliever. We’ll continue to read to the kids at bedtime and we’ll continue to help Ensen become a stronger independent reader over the next year, but Kelly and I also see more reading for ourselves in the future. The in-laws bought us an iPad. I got her a Kindle Paperwhite reader for Christmas, which she loves. I still subscribe to a bunch of magazines and have some business and leadership books I haven’t touched. Bottom line: It’s time to get our reading on.

We’re keeping our resolutions simple, attainable and focused on good health for the entire family.  It’s not too late to set yours if you haven’t already done so.

What a fantastic year it’s been. From our family to yours, we wish you a very safe and Happy New Year! Hauoli makahiki hou!

Nathan Kam is a Honolulu public-relations executive, husband and a proud daddy of two incredible kids, Ensen (5) and Avery (2), who enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling, blogging and golfing. You can reach him via emailTwitterFacebookLinkedIn or via his personal Kam Family Blog.