Happy New Year, Groks and Grokettes! I hope you all got the chance to celebrate whatever holiday is yours. I hope you were with loved ones, friends or family. And finally, I hope you didn’t sit down January 1st making resolutions you will break by February. I am not actually against resolutions. I also think, that there is nothing wrong with choosing a symbolic date to have them. January 1st happens to be our man-made date to start over fresh. But it is also a time to think honestly about whether or not you are ready to conquer the world… or maybe just take a baby step in the right direction.
I always start the year off with a clean fridge. I toss out stuff that just won’t be eaten, or that I don’t care for. I clean the shelves, and I fill my newly cleaned fridge with yummy wholesome foods. It’s not a resolution as much as a fresh new start after a couple of weeks of too much eating and not enough working out.
But what about the big resolutions that we all have? Lose 60lbs! Go on a diet! Be a better parent! Make more money! Eliminate debt! Save money!
These are some of the most popular resolutions, with weight loss being the big leader hands down. They are also huge resolutions! They set you up for failure. Make more money? Well, how much more? And how are you going to go about it? Eliminate debt? How much debt do you have? And how can you eliminate it? Save money? What are you saving for? How much do you want to save?
The reason we fail at these resolutions is that they are either too generalized or too big. There is obviously nothing wrong with being a better parent, but really, what do you want to be better at exactly? Being patient? Doing school work with your kids? Being more involved in their hobbies? Also, what about making more money? You either have a pretty clear idea on how to accomplish this resolution, or you might just as well scratch it. You won’t get that promotion without an action plan. That business you’ve been wanting to start won’t start itself.
A resolution, no matter if you make it January 1st or June 17th, has to be one that you know exactly how to stick with. Don’t make 10 resolutions. Make one or maybe two. Then create your action plan. Bullet points will help. The more details you have, the less you’ll feel overwhelmed, because you can take those baby steps and mark them off your to-do list. Seriously, I am all about baby steps.
Another idea, if you like the symbolic date of January 1st, is to make a list of burdens. This may sound backwards, but bear with me. The day before yesterday, my family and I went to the coast with friends, my husband and I talked about what we wanted to change in 2014. I whined at him about things that made me unhappy, most of it being issues with the kids. 😉 I love my kids, really, I do. But boy, did I feel overwhelmed at the thought, that I’m creating the FastPaleo Top100 with a deadline of January 31st, all while being a homeschool mom to three children, who also is preparing to start Nutritional Therapy school in February. Additionally, there was/is some behavioral stuff going on, that’s weighing me down a bit.
My husband (awesome dude that he is) said to me, “Why don’t you make a list of burdens, that are weighing you down. And then I will do my best to help you eliminate them.”
And so I did. One by one I wrote down things that are stressing me out. It wasn’t money, although it is tight. It wasn’t jumping back on the clean food bandwagon, although that’s the plan. It wasn’t school. It was all personal stuff, little things that make our family life a little complicated right now. My list consists of things, that with a little effort from EVERYONE, can be tackled one at a time. Heck yes, I want to be rich and famous and go on vacation. But this is not what will ultimately bring me happiness.
Last night, my husband took me out for a drink, so we could talk. Away from the house and the family we were able to talk openly. We addressed each issue, and we created a quick action plan. And then we went home and informed our children. My list of burdens and our ideas on how to overcome them was now not my own anymore. I have four people to share them with, four people who are willing and happy to help me create the kind of family life that I (and ultimately we all) need for happiness.
Yes, I chose the symbolic date of January 1st. But I will revisit this list throughout the year, and add to it, or erase one.
Think about your own list of burdens. And hopefully, you too, have someone in your life to share the load. But most of all, be forgiving to yourself if you don’t accomplish something that you really wanted to do. You will get another chance every day that you wake up.