I can hear the moans now. Ugh, we're not even through Christmas and this chick is talking about New Year's Resolutions already!! Ack!
Actually, I'm not... not really, anyway, so you can stop gagging.
Personally, I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kind of girl. I’ve never been one to make it past February, quite honestly. And I know I’m not the only one. That’s why every gym in America is full of newly motivated folks in the month of January but basically empty by March, and the self-help isle at Barnes and Noble has been made bare after the New Year, only to have these books be used as door stops or coffee table décor.
Yes, those first few years that I tried, I realized just how badly I sucked at keeping my resolutions, so I resolved, instead, to make daily resolutions, all year long, that were attainable – on-going – deliberate. In case you are a New Year’s Resolutioner, or even if you’re a daily work in progress like me, here are some goals you may want to consider making for yourself.
1) For the Dieter – Please throw away your scale. Please, I beg of you. I don’t care if you’re 120 lbs soaking wet or 400 lbs completely dry… numbers are numbers and health is health. Dieting won’t change a mindset, and a healthy mindset will mean more than numbers any day of the week.
So this is what I suggest: Make a daily effort to replace one unhealthy product from your life with a healthy one. Whether it’s coffee, pop, late-night snacking, or fast food… take one out and replace it with a healthy option. Don’t lose your mind with some goal of how many pounds you want to shed or how many days a week you claim you’ll exercise. Choose to take one unhealthy thing out and replace it with an opposite. THIS is doable.
2) For the Budgeter – Remember that life isn’t about saving EVERYTHING so that you’ve enjoyed nothing throughout the year. But there are times when our pocketbooks call for us to use a little thing called Wisdom, and this comes in the form of a budget. Make one and follow it. We all have at least ONE thing that we can live without. Something that we can cut out of our spending habits and put in a savings account or towards a looming bill.
But also do this. Allow yourself some wiggle room. There will always be something unexpected that will arise, whether it’s car trouble or just the fact that, due to goal #1, you lost some weight and need a new pair of jeans. Allow for wiggling without losing your head. THIS is attainable.
3) For the Work-A-Holic – Seriously, you’re gonna have to chill out just a little bit. You’re making the rest of us look bad, and frankly, your heart is asking for you to bring the stress level down a bit and take a holiday! Work isn’t intended to be our all… it is intended to pay our bills. So, if your bills are paid and you’re satisfied that you’ve given it your best effort, then it’s time to take a step back and make it to your kids’ choir concert. Go catch a game with a buddy. Take your partner out for a night. Or do what I do… simply go to bed early and call it a day! THIS is sustainable.
4) For the Spouse – There are days when that beautiful person you married suddenly grows three heads, two horns, and looks like an evil version of the one you vowed to spend forever with. You chose them, and now you’re stuck, right?
Well, kinda. You chose them, but you’re probably just stuck in a rut. The person you married is still in there, despite the new look and harried personality. So how can you commit each day to improve your marriage? Simple. Take one thing you would do for yourself that day and do it for your partner.
For example, you wanted 10 minutes to finish an article you’ve been waiting to read. But what if you offered your spouse those 10 minutes to take a shower, talk about their day, or put their feet up? What would that do you’re your marriage? Or maybe you go to the kitchen to make yourself a snack. But what if you made a snack for your spouse instead? Perhaps wrote a note telling them you love them to go with it? There are so many ways to give in life. Yet so often we take.
Marriage isn’t 50/50. It’s 100/100… and someone has to get the ball rolling. One simple act of giving each day. THIS is possible.
5) For the Parent – Let me tell you something. I love parents. I have a heart for those that are looking after young lives, molding and shaping them into mature, independent adults. But there has been a lot of fluffy articles out there telling people these dangerous words: You are enough.
Folks, let me be real here for a moment. When we are comparing ourselves to other parents and feeling worthless, we need to hear these words. When we are doing all that we can and it still seems like our children are crazy, we need to hear these words. But here’s the thing. Some of us… some of us are not enough. Some of us need to take an honest look at our lives and see where we’re missing the parenting mark.
Trust me, because this is a goal I have set for myself every single day. There are times when I’m simply not enough and it’s a danger to tell myself otherwise! My goal isn’t to be OK and settled somehow in my mediocrity. But my daily striving is always towards becoming better. Becoming healthier. Becoming more like Love.
So, if you’re a parent, my resolution suggestion for you is to find one thing each day to work on that will better be Love to your children than the day before. Whether it’s offering grace when it should be shouting, spending the extra few minutes to teach instead of rushing past a learning moment, or simply saying those magical words ‘I love you’ one extra time that day…. We are not always enough. But we can be works in progress, can’t we? THIS is achievable.
Side Note: Speaking of the New Year, if you're in need of a 2016 Calendar, let me make one final suggestion. Welcome Home 2016 celebrates Chosen Families - those brought together through adoption, fostering, guardianship, or any other way imaginable. To get your copy today, click here.