New Year, New Me, Same Mini. We’ve officially entered a new decade and if a clean slate ever existed to kickstart intentions, set up new boundaries (I will say “no” this year) and prioritize the heck out of your life, it’s definitely now.
Is a New Year’s Resolution cliché? Sure. Are we all still doing it? You bet. We do it because it’s an opportunity – a reason if we ever need one – to check in and reset. As a new parent, 2019 may have just flown by with a “just make it happen” mindset. And girlllll have we been there.
Now that we’ve got our training wheels off and we’ve started to find a more familiar groove, we can reincorporate and add in some of what matters most: our relationships, our schedules, and oh right, a little ole ‘me’ time!
This year, we have a few tips to make sure your New Year’s Resolutions really happen.
Make a list or two. There are two lists we recommend making to kick off the New Year:
The first: What you hope to accomplish this year – what you’d REALLY like to make happen. Maybe you’re ready to take your first big family trip or you’re looking to workout a couple more times in a week. Tally up your intentions and keep it to a pithy 10 (at most).
The second: a gratitude brain dump. Don’t knock it till you try it and don’t let this feel like something cheesy. The fact is, we often go through our days not remembering just how many positive things happen. Have a barista that smiles at you every morning? Write it down. Get a good night’s sleep last night? Add it to the list. Have a partner that remembers to check in with you every morning to see how you’re doing? Do you know how wonderful that is? Write it down so you remember! These small moments often go unnoticed, especially when stress comes into play. Try to top this list off at 50 – big and small things that are just plain nice in your life. I’m grateful my heater works, that I’m drinking this cafe au lait, that my husband just DMed me a hilarious meme, that my parents are healthy, that I have no plans tonight and a true crime Podcast to listen to on my commute home.
Look at the first list. And see what you can plan ahead on to help yourself stay committed to your goals.
If you do want to take that family trip, pick a week with your family now, block out that vacation time with your employer and make a goal to book flights by mid-Jan.
Interested in more gym time? Quality home time? Time for reading? Look at your schedule and set reminders in your calendar to book specific classes you want to take or to simply indicate to yourself that you are NOT free during certain windows of time.
What else? Check your list for areas where you can dive deep to make it happen. Is there an audiobook you can download to learn how to set boundaries if that’s an objective? Are there ways you can automate your life to carve more time out for other focuses (take a page out of Alexa Von Tobel’s book and set up subscriptions for groceries, household goods, maybe some fresh baby food). Go into problem solving mode and set yourself up for a year that puts your ambition first.
Pick 1-2 areas of focus for your family.
When it comes to family dynamics, there are other players at the table. You know what that means? Less control to make sh*t happen – and that means having to let go. We get the urge to set some family intentions and you absolutely should. Let’s just limit the number to 1-2 things that really matter to you, and always keep in mind.
Stop fighting with the sibs – if you’ve got a few kiddos, this may be your intention for your own household. If you’ve got siblings of your own, it may still be a life KPI. Make the time to talk through how to overcome squabbles in a more productive way than seeing red. Consider scheduling check-ins frequently to prevent things from boiling over and to force conversation.
More date nights – Date nights need to stop falling to the bottom of to do lists, and can’t ALWAYS be binge watching Cold Case episodes all night (though this can be the ultimate self-care and is encouraged every once in a while). As parents, it’s totally normal to switch our attention to the kiddos, but it’s up to us to force against the current and build some very important checkpoints. Add to your calendars a weekly hold and take the time now to hire a standing babysitter (or family member). And stick with it! It will be worth it for you and your partner.
Greater compassion – Parenting isn’t easy, and it’s always important to remember to have greater compassion for yourself, your partner, your kiddos and your circle of trust. Practice and encourage gratitude within your own life, and eventually your energy will be contagious.
Our best advice? Make this a year where you set yourself up with realistic goals that you can truly make an effort to pull off and won’t end up on the shoulda, coulda, woulda shelf. Plan ahead where you can, minimize the amount of work you’ll create for yourself, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself along the way.