Resolutions That Matter
As you know, 2018 is here – AND – we’re over half way through the first month of it! However, it’s not too late for that renewed hope for accomplishing our goals!
You’ve probably heard that most resolutions fail by the end of January, but by focusing on intention rather than perfection, you and your family can enter the year with a fresh mindset and fail-proof objectives. Here are some intention-based resolutions for the New Year and beyond.
Stop trying to control everything.
As parents we are in a position that carries a lot of responsibility. It is our job to make sure our kids are safe, healthy, loved, educated and well-adjusted. But sometimes we settle so heavily into these roles of responsibility that we start trying to control everything and everyone. This is an exhausting way to live, both for ourselves and for those around us. So here’s a resolution you can intend toward: I will not attempt to control people, situations, or outcomes. I can only control my response. Now take a deep breath, and let it out slowly as you imagine the weight of control being lifted from your shoulders. Ahhh. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Let go of perfection.
Sometimes the desire to control everything is reflected back to ourselves in the form of perfectionism. Trying to be perfect all the time is a guaranteed recipe for misery. The satisfaction we get from doing something “perfectly” lasts only a short time, and it only serves to increase our fault-finding power in the long run. Interestingly, the harder to we try to be “perfect,” the more we are bothered by anything (everything!) that falls short of this standard. It’s about managing expectations. Life is not perfect. People are not perfect. Your home, your kids, your appearance, your contribution to the school bake sale– none of it has to be “perfect”– and neither do you.
Have an attitude of gratitude.
The holiday season reminds us of the importance of being thankful for what we have, but don’t let this mindset change when you take down the Christmas lights. Being grateful is a surefire way to improve your mood and your interactions with others. Consider doing a “30 Days of Gratitude” challenge with your family, friends, or colleagues (Google will show you lots of ideas for how to do this). Whatever your method, resolve to set your intention toward gratitude: I have much to be grateful for. For example, I am thankful for _______ because ______. This can have a life-changing impact on your perspective, in good times and in bad.
Take care of yourself.
As providers, parents are notorious for putting their own needs on the back burner in order to tend to the needs of the kids. And while this may seem like a good and selfless way to live, the truth is that we can best care for our kids when we’ve also cared for ourselves. In an airplane safety demonstration, the flight attendants always remind parents to put on their own oxygen mask before putting one on the kids. Why? Because a parent who is not breathing cannot care for a child! The same is true for everyday self-care. Make a point of taking care of yourself so you can have enough inner-peace and energy to take good care of them.
Remember that “enjoy” is a verb.
Last but not least, find joy. Stop thinking of joy as an incidental happenstance. The word ‘enjoy’ is not only a verb– it’s a command. And the word ‘rejoice’ is a commanding verb as well: Find joy again. Look for opportunities to enjoy things in life, big or small. Live by example and others will find their joy, too (but don’t force it! See #1).
Happy New Year. Let’s make 2018 a year of intention!