I have a love-hate relationship with the new year. I always feel a little bit of sadness saying goodbye to yet another year. Even still, there’s anticipation and excitement at what this new year might bring. I don’t know about you, but a new year just feels like a fresh start. How many of us go into January with good intentions? We think, this year will be the year I accomplish my goals, maintain healthy habits, and keep all my New Year’s resolutions. And, how many of us lose track and forget about those resolutions before we even get to February? This is me unashamed and raising my hand; now it’s your turn.
Keeping New Year’s resolutions becomes even more challenging when you’re a busy mom. We’ve already got so much on our plate, it’s no surprise we can’t keep up with the high expectations and unrealistic goals that most resolutions are made of. The answer, of course, is to keep your New Year’s resolutions realistic and attainable long-term. For busy moms, this means deciding which changes you’d most like to make in your personal life and/or in your household and focusing all your goal-achieving energy on those.
3 Simple Tips for Setting Attainable New Year’s Resolutions
- When setting New Year’s resolutions, limit your focus. If you start the year with too many, you’re bound to crash and burn. Shoot for no more than 3 meaningful resolutions, narrowing in on those that are really important to you.
- New Year’s resolutions are goals, and the number one rule of goal setting is to aim for the attainable. Making resolutions is pointless when you’re setting goals that are way out of reach. Think practical and realistic. For example, I would never make it past week one with a resolution to run 5 miles every day. I’m just not a runner and that ain’t gonna happen. However, I could probably stick to a resolution of walking a few miles at least three days a week if I stayed dedicated and motivated. Underwhelming as this resolution may be, it’s within my practical reach.
- Speaking of staying dedicated and motivated…let’s talk about that. You know that old phrase, “out of sight, out of mind”? When you’re really trying to stick to your guns for an entire year, it helps to have a daily reminder. Get out a pen and paper and jot down your 3 New Year’s resolutions. Pin it to your bulletin board or tape it on your fridge; post it wherever you’re sure to see it on a daily basis as a friendly reminder to keep moving forward.
Need some inspiration for New Year’s resolutions that are worth making as a busy mom?
Here are some of my favorite personal and family New Year’s resolutions that you should totally try this year:
- Make self care a priority. Come on, you knew I was going to go there. After all, I am always preaching the importance of self care. Make a resolution to practice self care once a week, or at least once a month – and schedule it in your calendar! These can be free and easy, like carving out an hour of reading time or giving yourself an in-home facial. Or, you can spend a little dough to really treat yo’self. Massage, anyone?
- Cut back on daily screen time. I think this resolution is actually perfect for the whole family. This could mean cutting out all electronics (including TV) during meals, or putting the phones away for an hour or two before bedtime. As a mom, I’m making a conscious effort to leave my phone out of sight until after the kids have gone to bed. The whole idea is to encourage more quality time, whether that’s personal quality time (like reading a book or writing in a journal) or quality time with your family.
- Get more sleep. I know this one may feel impossible at times, but getting more sleep, even just 30 extra minutes, could do you wonders. Stop burning the midnight oil with Netflix binges and endless Facebook scrolling. Instead, prioritize sleep and get some much needed beauty rest. Give yourself a specific bedtime and set a daily alarm as a reminder. Try out the new bedtime for 30 days, or commit to turning out the lights on time every week night.
- More quality family fun time. How often do you and your family get out and actually do something fun? Create lots of new memories by making 2019 the year of family outings and activities. Sit the whole family down and make a list of all the activities you’d like to try together in the new year. Need some suggestions? Think along the lines of local day trips, museum tours, beach days, picnics in the park, miniature golf, bowling, or attending a sporting event. Browse deal sites like Groupon and Living Social for more inspiration. Decide how often you can make these family outings happen (once or twice a month perhaps) and put them in the family calendar.
- Learn to say “no”. I’m not referring to when your kid asks for dessert before dinner. I’m talking about say “no” when you just don’t have the energy to say “yes”. Stop feeling obligated to accept every social invitation that comes your way. I’ll say it louder for those of you in the back – it’s okay to kindly decline an invite to a classmate’s birthday party or a friend’s casual weekend BBQ. And don’t forget to set some boundaries when it comes to work, too. Tell your boss you won’t be checking email outside of working hours, and feel free to skip happy hour with your coworkers to make it home in time for family dinner.
- Go on more dates. If you aren’t already dating your spouse, this is the year that needs to change. Spending quality one-on-one time with your significant other is crucial for an intimate and healthy relationship. Plus, it’s nice to just get away from the kids once in a while and have some grown-up fun. Trouble finding childcare or can’t really afford date night out? Not to worry. Check out this list of 10 unique and cheap in-home date night ideas. No babysitter required. Decide how often you’re going to make date night happen (at least once a month, I hope) and schedule it in your calendar.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. In 2019, make a conscious effort to let the little things go, like the dirty dishes in the sink. I know, easier said than done for people with OCD tendencies, like me. Bottom line, obsessing over having a spotless house and a perfectly completed to-do list will do nothing but stress you out. So, work on ignoring those dirty dishes until later and completing that to-do list another day. Also, don’t be too proud to ask for help. Let your husband carry some of your mental and physical load. Accept help when offered, whether it’s a friend attempting to drop you soup when you’re sick or your mother offering to watch the kids to give you a night off.
As a busy mom, making New Year’s resolutions may seem like a pointless effort, but if you keep your goals attainable and your eyes on the prize, this could be the year those resolutions actually stick.
What New Year’s resolutions are you making this year? Are you making any resolutions that include the whole family? Tell me all about it in the comment section below!
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