Get organised for 2012

Photo © / Sunnybeach

Here we are at the end of another year and facing the start of a new year. While we remember all the blessings bestowed on us in 2011, let's look forward to a bountiful 2012 filled with love, happiness, fun and family time.

In that spirit, ParenThots has a list of must-do's for 2012:

Get organised.
You will find that your life runs a lot smoother if you are organised – set yourself reminders of appointments, birthdays and anniversaries on your handphone or tablet PC, if you're forgetful, and file your documents in the appropriate folders. This way, you won't waste time running around looking for things, or having to reschedule appointments, and yes, you will remember which extra class your child is having on which day.

Live healthy.
Yes, folks, it's time to get cracking with the vegetables, fruits, cereal and exercise, too. Remember that yoga class you wanted to join? Ask friends for recommendations or do a Web search for a suitable class near you and join. To quote that famous brand - just do it, because when your kids see you living a healthy lifestyle, they will, too.

Spend time with nature.
We can't emphasise this one enough. It's great for the whole family to relax in the great outdoors, get some fresh air and just enjoy what nature has given us.

Less time at work, more time at home.
Easier said than done, this one. If you can't go home early, try negotiating with your boss to work from home. It will be a task trying to work from home but at least you'll be home with your kids and, if you keep disciplining, they'll know not to disturb you at home when you're working. Plus, you'll get the work done much faster than at the office because there will be no colleagues to hound you for tea or for chats and meetings.

'Me' time.
Make time for yourself because a happy you is a happy parent = a happy family. If you're not happy and you're overstressed, it will affect your whole family and you risk taking out your unhappiness on your kids.

Couple time.
Yes, date night with your spouse is important, too. Just get away for a few hours, hold hands, go for a movie, just try not to fall asleep there! Couple time is when you reconnect with your spouse and also remember why you got married in the first place. Remember, your spouse needs attention, too, just like your kids. And, if you don't do anything to keep the communication lines open with your spouse, don't be surprised if you end up growing apart.

Go for a holiday.
It needn't be abroad to any expensive destination. It could be to a local destination just 200km away from you. Just go out of town, if you have to. Make it a point to spend time together as a family, playing, eating and talking. Avoid switching on the hotel TV and try to leave the usual gadgets at home so that there'll be more communication.

Give yourself a treat.
Parents often will splurge on their kids, yet shop at the night market (pasar malam) for themselves. Stop treating yourself as a doormat. If you keep putting your needs aside, your kids will learn to do the same to you. You are teaching them that you're not important. You deserve nice clothes, bags and shoes, too!

Euro 2012 for football fans.
If you're a football fan, then you know where you need to be in June next year – planted in front of your TV set. It's the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship going on in Poland and Ukraine from June 8-July 1. If you're not a big football fan, we suggest you indulge in some sports with your kids. They'll love it and you'll find yourself having fun, too!

Take part in ParenThots events.
Yes, shameless plug time. Come join us for our online and ground events. We are planning to have at least 10 contests next year and definitely about three events (forums and crafts). We promise you will have a good time. Don't we always? As long as you're doing something to help your family and kids and / or participating in a bonding activity with your kids … you really can't go wrong; a fun time is bound to be had.

Those are our recommendations for 2012. We hope you have a blast this New Year's Eve and we'll see you in 2012.

Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

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