Positive Mindset

The Reason Why I’m NOT Making a New Year’s Resolution

I am NOT Making a New Year's Resolution this year!
Mom Improvement Presents: The Reason Why I’m NOT Making a New Year’s Resolution

It’s January!

I took a bit of a break at the end of last year, to refresh and get over a terrible illness!  But now I’m back and ready for 2018!

Don't make a New Year's Resolution. Just start the New Year.
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

This post is the beginning of a new experiment!

I’m going to try a few new things this year, a few new types of posts.  I’m still a very new blogger, trying to find my style and voice.  A lot of the posts I have written so far have been project or goal-based.  But I’m also looking to explore and write some more prosaic and theory-based posts.  I’d love to share some of the amazing parenting lessons I’ve learned from the ECFE classes I’ve been taking with my boys.  I’m also really interested in exploring some of the philosophies behind some of the anxieties and sadness that I feel- in a way that could help all of us moms out there relate to each other better.

Right now, though, I have a question for you.

Are you sick of New Year’s Resolutions?  I have been grappling with this question all week, actually.  I was trying to figure out what the best kind of post would be for this blog for the new year.  My goals of mindfulness, minimalism and living life at a slower pace are somewhat out of sync with the New Year’s Resolution.  I don’t want to adopt any new behaviors or radical changes.  I definitely don’t need to add any new stress into my life!  And I’m working so hard to appreciate a simpler, more modest approach to a day, to a to-do list, etc.  I want a daily routine that has more peace, less panic.

What is your New Year's Resolution?
?

How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions?

It can feel like you’re not doing your “homework” if you don’t have a New Year’s Resolution.  It’s such a standard small-talk question at this time of year.  “Do you have any resolutions?”  And don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying they are a bad thing.  The optimistic approach of starting with a clean slate, making positive change or sticking to a behavior can be really refreshing.

For me, personally, I just don’t think it works.  I’m the type of person who views life through a pretty hard-and-fast filter.  If I start a new habit, and miss even one day, I feel the entire experiment is a failure and I give up.  So a resolution, at the outset, is an opportunity for me to challenge myself to do something at which I know I’ll fail.  And then I do, and I prove something silly and untrue TO myself ABOUT myself.

If this is true of you as well…

I still think you could make a New Year’s Resolution if you want to.  It would require a daily chat with yourself.  An affirmation that you’re on the right track, that you can make slow change, and even if you miss a day or two, it’s OK!  And you would probably have to set yourself smaller, “trial run”, time frames.  I talk about that idea in this post (look for the part about time).

I'm trying something very new and different this year! I'm not making a New Year's Resolution!
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

However, I’m trying something different this year

And you’re welcome to try it with me.  It’s very, very simple.  We’re a few days into the New Year and we have more than three hundred days of opportunity ahead.  What if our “New Year’s Resolution” doesn’t involve making a big transformation?  What if we already have all the tools in front of us to be our best selves?  I realized the other day that, five years ago, if I’d told myself what I was doing with my life today, I would have thought I made it.  I am living the life I dreamed I would be living.

But in actuality?  This doesn’t feel anything like the dream!  There’s stress, bills, boredom, messes… Most days, it feels like hell, not heaven.  And certainly not the stuff of dreams.

I’m looking at my life through the filter of “what’s missing?”  

My New Year’s Resolution doesn’t have anything to do with making change.  I have everything I need already- just ask Five-Years-Ago-Me!

So what is missing?  Anything?

What if the answer is NO?

My goal for this year isn’t a goal at all.  I mean- I do have things I want to accomplish.  But I don’t have a New Year’s Resolution.  I have a deep desire to feel differently about my life.  A need to see the best in everything.  I want to greet each day with joy, cherish these precious moments with my children.  I do want to grow as a person… through very simple actions- reading some of the many books I have on my shelves!  Enjoying the possessions I already have instead of shopping for more STUFF.  Journaling.  Blogging.  Regular date nights with my husband!

Life is just waiting to be lived.

I realize I’m not saying anything groundbreaking.  I’m not intending to make waves.  The fact that these ideas are so obvious is exactly my point!  We have all the tools we need at our disposal to live our best lives, be our best selves.  We are already here, in this moment, bursting with promise!

Let's try this Non-New Year's Resolution Together!
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Don’t make a New Year’s Resolution.  Just start the New Year.

I can’t wait to share it with you.  Let’s go!

Re-Evaluating Your Goals and Maintaining a Positive Mindset!

If you're not hitting your goals, it may not be the goal that needs to change, but instead, your mindset and methods! The "Re-evaluating Your Goals" freebie can help!
Mom Improvement Presents: Re-Evaluating Your Goals

Re-Evaluating Your Goals

We’ve taken the last few posts to make some small improvements to your life. Your focus should still be your 28 Day Goal, and you should be giving yourself time each day to make that a priority. We also gave you the opportunity to set yourself some small daily priorities that give you some structure and balance.

After you’ve practiced those things for a few days, you should be re-evaluating and helping yourself to fix any problems. That’s what we’re going to work on today.  We will be re-evaluating the process and continuing to problem-solve to help yourself feel less stressed and more mindful! And I’ve made yet another freebie to help you do just that!

What’s Going Well?

Take some time to be positive! Before you can get down on yourself, make sure to look at everything you’ve accomplished.

The top section of your worksheet gives you space for 10 good things. Fill in all ten spaces! You don’t need to dig deep here- even getting yourself dressed, making your daily coffee or tea, or feeding your children counts towards your successes! My most successful mindful moments are the times in which I take a few seconds to focus on life’s small happy moments. Did you share a good laugh with the kids? Take them on a fun outing? Play a fun game or play outside? Give yourself credit and praise for all your hard work. Errands, housework, play time, anything you did for yourself. It all counts for your list! Write them all down and then read it back to yourself and take some time to feel pride. This is a part of mindfulness, too!

 Keeping flexibility and re-assessing your goals is an important part of the process! This will help!

What Isn’t Working Quite Yet?

Be gentle and honest with yourself about what you still want to change. Start with your 28 Day Goal– how is it going?  How is your tracking? Do you need to change what time you work on your goal or for how long? Does your tracker need to move to a place where you will see it more readily and remind yourself to work on it? Take a few minutes to look at your progress, then brainstorm and problem-solve how to keep working towards it. Do you need more resources, ideas or help? Figure out what you need and where you can get it.

Now think about your daily time-block priorities. Do they need to change? Did you get them done? Do you need to re-configure the timing or change when and how you complete them? More research and brainstorming! And always remember the alternative: you can cut down your priority list to two things for each time block instead of three. If you have been feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, cut down on your work load. Take a look at what you’ve been doing and what you’ve been trying to do, and ask yourself that crucial question, “How can I help myself?” Those answers are the first and best place to start.

The only way to get where you want to be is to keep trying and doing your best!
Don’t Give Up! Keep Trying!

Patience and Perseverance May Be What’s Required

If you’ve been having some success, but you’re just not quite 100 percent yet, then your process of re-evaluating may not need to be particularly intense. If you think you’re on the right track and you just need more practice with mindfulness, that’s totally OK! You can give yourself time and patience! Sometimes creating habits is simply a matter of taking the time to do them consistently. Consistency will come with mindfulness and intention. If you’ve picked something you really want to do, but you’re having a hard time actually doing it, you may simply need to keep trying. If you don’t need more information, more support or reminders, then all that’s left is to breathe and focus.  Take the time in your day to do what you need to do!

The most helpful thing you can do is to practice as many days in a row as you possibly can. This will do 2 things- it will give you the pride of accomplishment and it will help you get adjusted to this new routine, which is the same as creating a habit. One of the worst excuses you can make is “I don’t have time”, because the truth is, if it’s something you care about, you will make the time. This is where an accountability partner or your partner/spouse/SO can help you. If you have someone with whom you’re checking in on a regular basis, then you might be more motivated to do your task.

Daily Self-Care Routines are often very effective if they include positive affirmations, belief in yourself!
Breathe and Focus on a Positive Message

Don’t Give Up; Create an Affirmation

Remember that your attitude can have a tremendous amount of power over your success. In addition to mindfulness, positivity is a huge component of a successful mindset. Give yourself a small “mantra” to say each day, either before or after you work on your goals. Giving yourself permission to change, to improve, to take time for yourself, can be very freeing. Especially if you are prone to guilt about taking for yourself when you have others to care for. I understand those feelings immensely.

But here’s what I also know to be true- something I talked about in my very first post- you will be a better mom if you are a happier mom. Constantly taking from yourself and giving to others will only lead to a deficit in your own personal satisfaction with life. Affirm your desire to create your best “self”, and then you can be your best self for others!  Affirmations can be anything; a positive word or phrase, an inspirational quote that you keep by your front door and read each day before you leave the house, the options are limitless.

What do you need from me?

My next question is very simple- what other ideas and suggestions do you want from me?  We’ve come this far together, we are working hard on small change, building consistency, and making time for self-care!  So, what’s next?  Leave me a comment to let me know what tools you are looking for.  More worksheets?  A podcast?  Posts about specific goal-setting obstacles and how to overcome them?  Let’s keep building momentum together!  And don’t forget to download the freebie!\