January Jumpstart: 5 Mom-Approved Moves to Kick Off the New Year

December 30, 2023 8 min read

Buckle up for a January like no other, where goals aren't just aspirations but a roadmap to a brighter, more intentional family life. Join us in the pursuit of balance, laughter, and creating a haven of love within our home.

As we dive into a new year filled with possibilities, I wanted to share some mom-approved moves to kickstart January.

We know mom life is a juggling act, and these five moves are designed to make your start to the year a bit smoother and a lot more enjoyable. We’re focusing on five pillars that will shape our days and elevate our family experience.

Let's jumpstart January together and set the tone for a year brimming with purpose and joy!


January goal setting

Setting Intentions and Scheduling Realistic Goals

Before we get into the heart of this, it’s important to understand where we want the year to go and why. But let’s forget the grand resolutions that fizzle out by February. Let's set some real, achievable intentions for the year. 

To get started, I ask myself and my family members 3 questions:

  1. What’s something you want to do more of?
  2. What’s something you want to get better at?
  3. What’s something you want to learn?

Then let’s break those answers down into manageable tasks and add time slots in our family calendar. Scheduling time for our goals ensures they’re not just dreams, but that we’ll actually reach them.

Ideas for family goals to get you started:

  1. Embark on adecluttering adventure by setting a goal to tackle one small space at a time.
  2. Set a goal toplan and cook one meal together as a family each week. This could involve choosing recipes, shopping for ingredients, and everyone taking part in the preparation.
  3. Establish a goal for designatedtech-free times during the week. Start with, say, an hour in the evening dedicated to board games, reading, or simply chatting.
  4. Create a family savings jar. Set a monthly goal for each family member to contribute a small amount, and collectively decide on something fun or special to spend it on.
  5. Plan a goal to haveone adventure each month. It could be a hike, a picnic, or a visit to a local park. Rotate the responsibility of choosing the activity among family members.
  6. Make positivity a deliberate part of your family culture, for a home that resonates with laughter, understanding, and unwavering support. 
  7. Choose a simple DIY project to work on together as a family. It could be painting a room, planting a garden, or assembling a piece of furniture.
  8. Start a family memory jar. Set a goal to write down one positive or funny family moment each week and place it in the jar. Take time to read and reminisce together at the end of the month..
  9. Begin a family gratitude journal. Set a goal to collectively write down one thing each day that you're thankful for. Reflect on these entries as a family regularly.

So now that we have some ideas of what we want the year to look like, let’s narrow down the list. Here are the 5 places I’m focusing to kick-off January:

January Jumpstart decluttering

1. Decluttering and Simplifying Spaces

Let's face it; clutter is the arch-nemesis of every mom. It multiplies when we're not looking, like socks in the laundry. 

Dive into the post-holiday decluttering with a burst of energy. Whether it's finding a new home for those holiday decorations or tackling that overflowing closet, let's simplify our spaces to create room for more joy and less chaos. 

My goal: Tackle one space for 30 minutes, every Saturday morning.

Decluttering is my way of maintaining some semblance of order in the chaos. It gives me breathing room (literally) and helps me feel calm and relaxed during those moments when I do get a chance to rest.

I have a prioritized hit-list ready so I don’t waste time deciding where to start. I’ll be entering each clutter zone with a trash bag and a basket. The basket is my handy sidekick, letting me gather items to re-home without the need for constant back-and-forth trips.

I’ve also scheduled these sessions into my calendar. A clutter-free future awaits!

Tips for decluttering:

  • Start small by decluttering one area at a time. Pick one drawer or shelf and set a 10 minute timer. It's a tiny space, but the instant order will bring a big sense of accomplishment.
  • Involve the kids in the great decluttering adventure. Gather up any stray toys, toss broken ones, and put everything back in its place. It's like a treasure hunt for stuff you didn't even know you had.
  • Allocate dedicated time slots for decluttering in your schedule. It could be as little as 15 minutes a day or a few hours over the weekend. 
  • Begin with areas that see the most traffic and clutter, such as the entryway, kitchen counters, or living room for an immediate sense of accomplishment.
  • Arm yourself with four boxes or bins labeled "Keep," "Donate," "Sell," and "Trash." As you go through items, place them in the appropriate box. This method streamlines decision-making and makes the decluttering process more efficient.
  • Celebrate the triumphs. A decluttered closet is a victory worth dancing about.

 For more decluttering tips: Decluttering Delight: 5 Tips to Transform Your Kids' Space


January Jumpstart meal prep

2. Quick and Healthy Meal Prep

Who has time to play Iron Chef every night? Meal planning is my secret weapon against the chaos of last-minute dinner decisions. Plus, it helps me avoid the dreaded "What's for dinner?" question.

My goal: Streamline weeknight dinners by planning five easy meals each week, eliminating last-minute panics.This will not only reduce stress but will also open up opportunities to involve the boys in the kitchen.

We’re giving each night a theme to make recipe selection easier: Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Soup-er Bowl Wednesday, Fin-Tastic Thursday, and Pizza Friday. Under each theme, we have 3 to 4 quick go-to meals that we'll rotate, such as chicken tacos or enchiladas for Tuesday. 

To make planning even smoother, I'm using a recipe app that allows me to filter out ingredients the kids despise. It also generates a grocery list, and even syncs with my store to add items straight to my cart. Voila!

Tips for meal planning:

  • Sunday afternoons can be designated prep time – chop veggies, marinate proteins, and make batches of healthy snacks. 
  • Choose a short-list of favorite recipes that take 15 minutes or less to prep. 
  • Allow each family member, including kids, to pick a meal or suggest ingredients they'd like to include.
  • Pick a theme for a meal night, like "Meatless Monday" or "Pasta Night." Allow your kids to choose the theme and help select recipes that fit within that theme.
  • Let kids help; tailor the tasks based on your child's age. Younger kids can wash veggies, stir ingredients, or set the table, while older kids can handle more complex tasks like chopping (under supervision), following a recipe, or even cooking simple dishes.
  • Have taste tests and give samples during meal prep. Allow your kids to taste different ingredients and share their opinions. This not only engages them in the process but also helps develop their palate.
  • Remember, the goal is to make mealtime a positive and interactive experience for the whole family. Be patient, embrace messes, and enjoy the quality time spent together in the kitchen.


January Jumpstart special moments

3. Creating Special Moments with Kids

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I've realized the importance of creating special moments with my kids. These moments are the glue that binds us, building a treasure trove of shared memories that will last a lifetime.

My goal: Set aside one weekend every month for a family adventure.

We've designated one Sunday-Funday each month for a family escapade. Whether it's cave tubing, bouncing around a trampoline park, or simply enjoying a laid-back picnic in the park, each family member gets to choose three activities per year. 

Once we have our list of activities, we’ll plop them into our family calendar.

Ideas for Sunday Fundays:

  • Family Outings: Going to the park, zoo, museum, or any other family-friendly location.
  • Game Day: Playing board games, card games, or outdoor games together.
  • Movie Marathon: Watching movies or binge-watching a series as a family.
  • Creative Time: Engaging in arts and crafts, DIY projects, or other creative activities.
  • Cooking Together: Trying out new recipes or cooking a special meal together.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Going for a hike, bike ride, or having a picnic in a nearby scenic spot.
  • Relaxation: Simply taking it easy, perhaps reading a book, enjoying a lazy brunch, or spending time in the garden. Plan a surprise indoor picnic on a chilly day, complete with cozy blankets and their favorite snacks.

january jumpstart spreading positivity

4. Spreading Positivity

Why settle for a mundane home vibe when you can turn it into a carnival of cheerfulness? Building a positive atmosphere isn't just a choice; it's the foundation for the emotional well-being of our families.

My goal: Transform our home into a sanctuary of positivity—a place where every family member feels valued, supported, and uplifted.

By cultivating a positive atmosphere, I want to nurture not only individual well-being but also the collective spirit that defines us as a family unit.

I aim to kickstart our mornings with a burst of positivity by practicing affirmations that promote self-love and confidence in our kids. Each evening, our dinners will commence with a moment dedicated to expressing gratitude for one another and the world around us.

To sprinkle surprise joy throughout the day, I'll be leaving thoughtful notes in unexpected spots, such as their lunchboxesor on their bathroom mirrors, and jokes taped to cereal boxes. 

Additionally, I've been using apps for daily affirmations and gratitude that have been working wonders for me. I'm excited to continue using them and sharing their uplifting messages with my family.

Ways to spread joy and positivity:

  • Encourage random acts of kindness to create a ripple effect of positivity. It could be as simple as leaving a thoughtful note or helping with a task. 
  • Slip a cheerful note or a joke under their breakfast plate, inside their cereal box, or in their lunchbox to bring a smile to their face.
  • Leave a small surprise, like a funny drawing or a positive message, on the car seat for them to discover when they buckle up.
  • Write an encouraging message on the bathroom mirror with dry-erase markers or lipstick, or on their bedroom door with sticky notes.
  • Mail a letter to your home addressed to your child. They'll be excited to receive 'real' mail, even if it's just from the next room.
  • Embrace the power of the unexpected. While waiting for the school bus or during a commercial break, challenge the kids to a quick dance-off or share a joke. 


January Jumpstart game night

5. Tech-Free Tuesdays

Screens are like stealthy invaders, taking over our lives one moment at a time. In our digitally connected world, carving out screen-free time feels essential for family bonding.

My goal: Designated Tuesday evenings as tech-free to have intentional, quality time together that contributes to the happiness of our family. 

With our devices tucked away, we’ll raid our cabinet of fun. We’ll transform our living room into a playground of board games, arts and crafts, and friendly foosball and ping pong matches.

We’re looking forward to the conversations, the memories, and all the snacks that will go with the togetherness.

Tips for Tech-Free Tuesdays:

  • Show enthusiasm and commitment to inspire the rest of the family.
  • Clearly communicate the plan, the reasons behind it, and the activities you have in mind to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Clearly define what "tech-free" means. This includes not just phones and tablets but any other electronic device. Set specific rules, and consider having a designated spot for storing devices.
  • Make it a collaborative effort. Involve the family in planning activities for Tech-Free Tuesday. When everyone has a say, there's a greater sense of ownership and enthusiasm.



As we wrap up our January Jumpstart adventure, it's not just the end of a month but the beginning of a beautifully orchestrated symphony of family living. We’re decluttering, savoring delicious meals, curating moments, surrounding ourselves with positivity, and unplugging for Tech-Free Tuesdays.

But this isn't a finale; it's a prologue to a year filled with intention, connection, and joy. The seeds we're planted in January are already sprouting, promising a garden of warmth and growth in the months to come.

January Jumpstart is more than a reset; it's a collective decision to make every day count. It's not about perfection but progress, not about doing it all but doing what matters. 

May your days be filled with decluttered spaces, nourishing meals, cherished moments, contagious positivity, and moments of digital detox. Here's to a year of purpose, presence, and the simple joys that make life extraordinary.

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