I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I didn’t have anything particular against them; I just never felt the need to make a definitive statement of my intentions.
I feel differently this year.
Being that it’s January 4 and a lot of people have already fallen off the resolution bandwagon, I’m incredibly late to this New Year party.
But I didn’t want to make my resolutions lightly. I tend to jump into big, major, life-altering things quickly and with both feet without always thinking things through. I act emotionally and impulsively and whilst that’s dandy most of the time (thank God I married a more rational man), I wanted to think through my goals for 2013 with more than just an eager heart.
This HuffPo article says that the key to keeping resolutions isn’t wishing, but instead trying. That makes sense. I can’t keep hope, hope, hoping things will change without making notable steps.
When I was younger and envisioned who I would be at my present age, I saw a woman with more self-awareness and a better grasp on all these things that everyone else seems to know how to handle. I somehow missed Well-Adjusted Grownup 101 my freshman year of college.
I spent quite a bit of time reflecting and pondering who I want to be when I ring in 2014. All of the attributes on my list fell easily into categories with specific goals:
1. I will have better willpower.
2. I will be a stellar wife and mother.
3. I will grow new friendships.
Number 1 sounds easy enough but this category will be the hardest for me as it encompasses the most. It isn’t just about saying no to nutella rice crispy treats (which, admittedly, does take a lot of discipline) but saying yes to myself when I’m inwardly saying no, I don’t want to. I can rationalize anything and give myself far too many free passes.
It’s raining, I don’t want to load the kids in the car and go to the gym. B didn’t sleep well last night and she’ll probably be a wreck for the ladies in child watch. I’ll run later. <– i’m a wimp. girls are fine. i probably won’t run later.
It’s okay my house is a disaster area. I have two little kids and, you know what they say, “there is no point in shoveling in the middle of a snowstorm!” <– actually, there is a point. it’s so much easier to handle a bit at a time rather than a crap load at once. truth.
I should get up early to read my devotions and have some quiet time. But I could really use that extra time to fold the mountain of laundry that is eating my sofa. Or sleeping in this warm bed because God knows I’m completely physically and mentally exhausted by these two children who will surely wake the moment I sit down with my coffee. <– stupid. everyone (God included) knows that laundry won’t get folded regardless of what time I wake. everyone is tired. shut up and read the bible, you whiner.
Ways to correct this bad behavior are numerous. For the sake of brevity (and your interest level, I’m sure), here are a few.
- Suck it up, buttercup. When I make the decision to run/crosstrain/practice yoga, I will keep myself accountable. Yes, there are times that will require flexibility and forgiveness. But planned workouts that are skipped will have to be made up just like high school PE. And no one really liked high school PE.
- Keep on the housekeeping beyond the never-ending dishes and laundry. Motivated Moms has been a great way to start and there is an App that provides a customizable checklist of daily tasks.
- Wake up early enough to get myself prepared both physically and mentally for the day before the girls wake at 7 a.m. On gym mornings, this means preparing breakfast for that morning with leftovers for the following. The mornings that I need to shower will go smoother with breakfast prepared and I can focus on getting the girls out the door once they wake. This time also includes devotions and personal writing.
Number 2 is a bit more vague but revolves around my needing to be more selfless and more invested in my family.
- I will listen when my children speak. They are hilarious and brilliant little humans and I want them to know that when they talk to me, I will hear them and value what they are saying. Now and forever.
- I will say “yes” more often. The bulk of the verbiage coming from E’s lips are requests ranging from the bizarre to the downright annoying. I typically say “no” for the sake of time and simplicity but the joy these quirks bring to that sweet child is immeasurable. An added bonus is that I will no longer be fighting my daughter on things that really don’t matter. As a strong-willed child, she needs to feel like she has control and if that means she gets to dip her apple slices in ketchup, well, so be it. The more I say yes, the more willing she will be to cooperate when I say no. Her little mind is fascinating.
- I will cut my husband some slack. J has a seriously stressful job with long hours and often travels on short notice – all of which, in turn, is seriously stressful on the rest of us. He is an awesome employee and takes providing for his family seriously. He knows how I feel. He doesn’t need a tongue lashing every time he’s late coming home or leaves me shouldering additional responsibility. He knows. So I will be quiet and supportive.
- I will trust my husband to lead our family.
Number 3 will be interesting. I’m the person that smiles and makes small talk with the grocery store cashier. But I’ve gotten in the habit of closing myself off from new friendships. When we moved to Savannah, I made a great network of friends through children E’s age. Some have moved away and others I don’t see as often as I’d like but I’ve been in the mindset of “I have friends – I don’t have time/energy/room for any one else.” I know what it’s like to be lonely, especially as a stay-at-home-mom. When I meet someone new, I always assume everyone has someone to love or if they extend an invitation, it’s a matter of manners rather than genuine interest. Instead, I’m going to extend myself. I will go beyond the polite chitchat.
As a subset to number 3, B needs more friends her age. E has grown up with no fewer than 10 close-aged buddies with whom to share a morning play date. B hasn’t had that. Paired with her disdain for children not yet able to string two words together (she’s a bit of an ageist), it will otherwise be a lonely childhood for her.
I’m excited. I’m looking forward to 2013 and finding comfort in 2012 and all the years prior. Because of this, there is a number 4.
#4. Accept myself for who I am and who I am meant to be.
Did you make resolutions? Care to share? How are you doing?