It’s that time of year again when people—moms included—set New Year’s resolutions.
The idea of making a goal each year, a resolution, has been popular for a long time with the earliest records of this goal setting dating back 4,000 years to the Babylonians.
Hopefully, this year we can all set resolutions that stick! But what kinds of resolutions are reasonable? How can a mommy—or anybody—keep the “mom-entum” going throughout the year?
These are the Top New Year Resolutions For 2024 from Forbes.com
- Improve fitness. 48%
- Improve finances. 38%
- Improve mental health. 36%
- Lose weight. 34%
- Improve diet. 32%
- Make more time for loved ones. 25%
- Stop smoking. 12%
- Learn a new skill. 9%
Those ALL seem like good ideas to improve life. Having control over money, having good health, connecting with loved ones, having a clearer mind, and improving oneself are all wonderful goals. But as we all know, resolutions are harder to keep than to make.
What if you are a mother (or father) of young ones?
As we all know life is BUSY, especially life with babies and kids in the mix. Babies are demanding of time and energy, needing nearly constant attention, and kids can be little energizer bunnies! Moms and dads give so much to keep them fed, clean, moving, stimulated, learning, and happy. It’s a tall order.
It’s also true that having a family adds meaning to LIFE. Without them, we wouldn’t feel the sweetness of holding a baby, the tenderness of reading a child a story, or the specialness of having our own people who we know and who know us.
This year, we have put together a few ideas for a different kinds of resolution.
- Pick a resolution as a family. This could be spending more time outside, reading a story each night, or putting away electronics during mealtime. Generate ideas and choose something everyone can get behind. Hold each other accountable and let the kids be part of that!
- Pick a personal resolution that works with being a busy parent. Perhaps this year you want to lose weight and be more fit. This year’s resolution could be to play on the playground with your kids rather than sit on the sidelines. Yes, moving with them counts as moving, even if the pace is slow. Getting outside is a bonus!
- Pick a resolution that is motivated by loving and serving others. This year you might want to be kinder or more patient as a parent. A resolution could be to write down one good thing that happens each day, give more hugs and praise, or to take deep breaths of fresh air before responding to tantrums, criticism, or challenges. As a bonus, these things can dramatically improve mental health. Simple changes that require almost no time can have a big impact on mental well-being, especially when times are tough.
- Gather people to your cause. Tell someone you trust about your goal. Ask for help. Join the group, even if groups aren’t your thing. If you need professional help, reach out to organizations and churches and charities and doctors and schools, and get that ball rolling! You are not alone and do not have to quit smoking, stop using drugs, or create healthy boundaries all by yourself. Everyone who succeeds has had helpers along the way.
- Pick a word instead of a goal. Sometimes, a whole, big goal is too scary. Maybe this year a simple word is enough. What is a word you need? Or a word you want? Some words for consideration: Truth, Peace, Creativity, Humility, Gentleness, Strength. Google the word, read about it, ask for opinions on it, reject bad ideas and accept good ones, and keep a record of what you learn. Check in throughout the year to see what you have learned about your word.
As you plan your New Year resolutions, apply these nine guidelines to set yourself up for success:
- Commit to your resolution. You have what it takes, all inside you right now.
- Be realistic. Choose a specific and attainable goal.
- Write it down. Make it fancy or keep it simple, but put it somewhere you will see it!
- Make a plan. How will you accomplish this goal?
- Be flexible. Don’t expect perfection – you are a human being! Progress, not perfection.
- Use reminders. Sticky notes, phone reminders, apps!
- Track progress. Use a calendar, whiteboard or even a piece of paper.
- Reward yourself. Celebrate even the littlest successes in a way that makes you happy and keep you moving toward health.
- Be accountable. Tell someone about your resolution and give them updates.
Finally, here are some resources for those resolutions that require HELP to get across the finish line. It is much harder to go it alone than to get help. Pick up the phone!
Financial Peace University has many virtual and in-person groups that help you to get control of your money. https://www.financialpeace.com/app/classes/guide
The Missouri Tobacco Quitline can help you quit smoking for good. Call the Missouri Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to www.quitnow.net/Missouri to register for services. Professional coaches will work with you to help you develop a plan to quit smoking.
Weight-watchers is a simple program with accountability meetings that has helped so many people to lose and keep weight off. Check out a local chapter today.
Alcoholics Anonymous. If you think you may have a substance abuse problem or dependency on drugs or alcohol, you are not alone. If you are ready to quit, a member of AA is ready to listen. https://aastl.org/
Tri-County Birthright is always here to help women, moms, and dads with the hectic and unpredictable. Give us a call if we can alleviate your burdens this year. Contact us now!