Molly Cavanaugh (mug 2)

Molly Cavanaugh of Channel 94.1 FM’s Big Party Show in Omaha is a mom to two children living in Chicago. She writes weekly for Read more from Molly »

A new year. A chance at a fresh start. With the arrival of Jan. 1 comes all the promise of making 2019 “the best year ever.”

Plans to eat right, exercise more, screen time less and live one’s best life. It’s usually sometime around Jan. 2 or 3 when I realize that maybe a more moderate approach to changing my life would have been more appetizing than, say, the bottomless bowls of kale I’ve been trying to convince myself I love.

This past New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d try something a little different by asking my kids if there was anything they’d like to work on in the new year.

After listening to a barrage of tech-related aspirations — building more worlds in “Minecraft,” achieving a new level in a game that is my daughter’s current obsession — I decided I needed to make my request a little less open-ended and do a better job of explaining the nature of resolutions.

The parameters I laid out to my 9-year-old son, Declan, and 7-year-old daughter, Mara: The idea is to find something that makes you happy and improves the general enjoyment of your life in the new year.

I gave them the example of what I was going to “work on” in the coming year. I told them that I’d like to write and exercise more. These are two things that vastly improve my life outlook, but also two things that are the most likely to be jettisoned from my daily itinerary to make room for things that I “have” to do.

Once I laid down the basic ground rules for a “proper” resolution, I was surprised at their choices.

Mara would like to paint more in 2019. But she’d prefer not to paint alone, so she wanted to know if part of her resolution could include more time painting with friends and family. I told her I’d be more than happy to help her achieve her socially artistic goals by setting up some paint playdates in the coming months.

Declan has resolved to get “stronger” in the new year. What exactly does that entail? Apparently more exercising. This very much amused my husband and me. Both Declan and Mara have firmly cemented spots on the low end of the growth cart. But who said just because you are small, you can’t be mighty? So 2019 is going to be a strength-builder for my son, and, who knows, maybe his exercise enthusiasm will make it easier for me to stick to my annual attempt to get more fit.

There turned out to be one thing that we all agree is something we’d like to do more of in 2019 — spending time together. Life can be hectic. It’s easy to get swept up in juggling the minutia of the day-to-day and forget the importance of the people you are juggling it all for.

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