my turn


Redefining 'Resolutions' For Families In The New Year

It’s nearly that time of year -- when Weight Watchers, gyms and Special K break out their best deals and consumers believe their new healthy lifestyles will get them swimsuit-ready. It’s New Year’s Resolution time.

Beyond losing weight and becoming more active, however, New Year’s Resolutions can mean much more for families -- lasting beyond January and potentially creating permanent habits, behaviors and attitudes.

This year, hopefully, families will take on something positive instead of giving something up (hello, chocolate and fried foods). It's a trend that we’ve seen during the past few years -- and one that we foresee will only grow.

Here are a few specific resolutions that brands could adopt to provide families with positive, useful content in 2013.

1) Give back: Teaching and showing kids how to give back is a behavior that will last a lifetime. Adults can share with kids how they give back, such as through programs like the American Express Members Give charitable giving program. Members Give donates money for points earned to a charity of choice, so kids and parents can decide together to whom to donate, and talk together about why and what is important to them as a family.



2) Get organized: Any parent who has had to dig through the bottomless pit of a backpack or stumped their toe on toys in a child’s room knows that organization can be invaluable. Luckily, there are resources out there to help kids and families get and stay organized. The National Association of Professional Organizers offers tips and experts. Then head to The Container Store or Bed Bath & Beyond for handy school and home supplies and containers. An organized home means a happier family (certainly a happier mom!).

3) Take better care: This is a broad category that ranges from applying more sunscreen to combatting bullying and cyberbullying at school and in the neighborhood, to having the right safety seat for your preschooler. Brands that know what is keeping their target parent up at night can connect with valuable content that helps them take better care of their families.

4) Manage money smarter: We all want to save money. It’s no surprise that many moms scour sites for coupons. But where does that saved money go? Typically nowhere. Unless you’ve signed up for Upromise or automatically divert savings to a 529 or other education savings plan. Most banks offer these -- and should be connecting directly with families to get the savings started.

5) Appreciate what you have: This can be the hardest one for both kids and parents, especially during the holidays. Who among us have not walked down sparkling aisles of presents and coveted one or more? Taking a few minutes every so often (maybe set a date for once each month in 2013) to talk as a family about what you are grateful for can help kids understand what they have, create a sense of charity, and set a path for grounded teens and young adults.

The Cigna “Go You” campaign is an inspiring reminder to appreciate what you have. It’s all about the “one thing you’ll never change,” what you love and celebrate about yourself.  

The bottom line? You don’t have to be Jenny Craig to take advantage of New Year’s Resolutions and to connect with families and parents meaningfully all year long. If you have other examples of how brands could or are connecting with families, we’d love to hear about them.

Happy New Year!



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