I take a hard pass on New Year’s resolutions. Creating a wishlist of substantial changes to act upon when the calendar flips to January sets you up for disappointment. Resolutions notoriously fail, as anyone who has tried to go to the gym during the first weeks of January can attest. By mid-February, the enthusiasm has dwindled along with the crowds as most people let their intentions slide.
I’m a Master Procrastinator with questionable self-esteem. I know how to dream of a life minus 20 pounds or with clutter-free kitchen counters. I fantasize about winning the lottery whether I buy a ticket or not, and daydream of being a world-renowned author. The world inside my head is a very happy place, but my diet doesn’t start until Monday, and when I slip up, it resets to the following Monday. My counters will seem expansive when that organizational system is put into effect, but that will come after my closet is rearranged, the kids’ rooms are free of clutter, and I’ve weeded out neglected toys from the playroom. That novel that’s been bouncing around my head since college? The characters have morphed from young 20-somethings to their mid-30’s and somehow slipped quietly into their 40’s. Yet, no one but me knows their story. What kind of example am I setting for my kids? And, more importantly, what kind of life am I living for myself?
As a mom aiming to instill fire and passion, I first need to self-ignite. Let’s eliminate the urge to wait for the flip of the calendar to make changes. I long for my kids to embrace their beautiful lives while seeking growth. Let them leap off their worn paths to forge new ones. They need the maturity to find comfort in who they are and not to unleash changes that someone else imposes on them. That kind of maturity won’t develop for quite a while; however, the foundation needs to be continuously fortified from the start. And the things they love about themselves? Those are the paths they should blaze down at full speed to see if they can manage to fly.
THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR DREAMERS
There’s no shame in dreaming, in fact, it’s from dreams that goals emerge. The depth of our potential is infinite when we push ourselves. We can wish for our lives to be different, but a path strewn with wishes ensures disappointment. Remember blowing out the candles on your cake as a kid? You never did wake to a million dollars or a pony in your backyard, did you? Wishes without action often evaporate.
Let’s teach our children that the second they feel unfulfilled is the moment of action. May they learn not to shelve their dreams. This generation seeks immediate gratification, let’s gift them the value of working toward long-term goals.
There’s a reason New Year’s resolutions fall flat, but once we adjust our mindsets to make every minute a new beginning, we intuit our potential. As a mom who often gets entrenched in the piles, the to-do’s, and the somedays, I need to be the example. Who knows the path I will ultimately end up on? I hope that it will always be a few steps ahead, taunting me to follow.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Celebrate this new year, but not only as it rings in; pour resolve into each day. Break long-term goals into manageable actions and close the gap between who you are and who you could be. Be vocal about your goals and champion your kids to discover goals of their own, ensuring the discussions lead to initiative. Talk up your career aspirations as a family. Working after the kids are in bed to maximize family time works for many, but allow the kids to see your work, too. Be transparent in your goals and the steps you’re taking to reach them. Be vocal about your health and fitness goals; include the kids in physically challenging activities. Create an environment where setting and knocking out goals, both short and long term, is part of your family culture.
Let New Year’s represent another day of putting your best self into action.