Well, it’s a new year and that means it’s time for new resolutions! Being that we are already more than one week into 2017, timeliness is clearly not one of them. Sorry.
I’ve made resolutions in the past but, honestly, I can’t remember the last time I outlined a specific plan for myself that I successfully maintained. With little kids and hectic days, I’ve felt fairly successful just putting one foot in front of the other the last few years.
But goals are important. I want my kids to know they are important, too. That’s why I’m making a concerted effort this year to model what it looks like to set and achieve them.
Putting my goals in writing is a new and important step for me. Converting vague notions into concrete plans should keep me focused, while my own words will help to keep me accountable — hopefully!
So here goes…
1.) For My Health: Drink More Water
* The basic idea
I drink way too much diet soda and want to stop. I’ve gone long periods without it before but always come back and I think it’s because I try to deprive myself until I decide it’s no longer convenient or worthwhile. This time, the goal isn’t overtly to restrict drinking diet soda but to increase the amount of water I drink. If reaching for water becomes my new normal, then the amount of diet soda I drink will necessarily decrease. My mindset is all about feeling healthy instead of feeling like I’m making a sacrifice.
*The specific plan
I have already bought a 24 oz. water bottle with a straw, which I know makes it easier for me to consume more water. To meet recommendations for daily intake, I need to refill my bottle with water at least 3 times per day. That will be the goal!
2.) For My Happiness: Continue Writing
* The basic idea
Although it’s only been about 6 months, starting this blog with my sister has already brought so much fulfillment and reignited a passion for writing that I’ve had since I was a little kid. The goal is to simply keep it going! Sounds easy enough but it’s hard to carve out time for writing with toddlers running around all day (and sometimes all night). I’ve been in this place before, where I start writing and feeling great about what I’m doing only to let life get in the way. Hey there, unfinished novel — I’m talking about you!
* The specific plan
The mantra for this year will be: slow and steady wins the race. I’m realistic enough to know that my life is too crazy right now for any sort of daily expectations. That would only lead to failure at this point. The idea is just to keep putting pencil to paper on a consistent basis. I am challenging myself to write something (even just a rough draft) for the blog and at least one other endeavor each week. I was thrilled to have my writings featured in several publications this past year, but the long term goal is to start building an income, no matter how small. Money isn’t everything, of course, but the day I receive a check will be the day I really feel like a writer!
3.) For My Family: Put Down the Phone
* The basic idea
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve become glued to my phone over the past few years. Parenting as an introvert can be exhausting because I never get the kind of alone time I crave. Feeling touched out and overwhelmed makes it easy to slip into mindlessly checking social media or playing a game. The problem is that it is significantly harder to climb out of it and I sometimes end up responding to my kids or my husband without even looking up from the phone. That’s a problem. I know that kind of behavior is dismissive and detrimental to healthy relationships. I want my family to feel how much I love them by being present and attentive.
*The specific plan
Step 1: Delete games from my phone. There is only one game I ever play but it can really zone me out because it’s so mindless. That game is already gone and won’t be coming back.
Step 2: Replace it with reading or writing. Putting down my phone won’t change the fact that, as an introvert, I simply can’t engage on an intense level all day long or else I will lose my mind. And, you know what? Toddlers are super intense! The goal needs to be finding a more productive outlet to recharge. So instead of reaching for my phone, I will either reach for a book or grab my laptop to write. This makes so much more sense than playing a silly game because I love to read but feel like I never have enough time. In truth, I haven’t made time to the best of my ability. There’s also the bonus of modeling good habits for my kids, who I hope become readers too. And scribbling down a couple lines or ideas helps me achieve resolution #2! In the past, I’ve ignored these choices because I reasoned that I couldn’t get any quality reading or writing done with the kids around. But you know what? Something is always better than nothing. I’m a mom. The conditions are never just right. It’s time to fully digest that and move forward with goals outside of putting one foot in front of the other and surviving the day.
So will I be successful? Stay tuned to find out!