New Year’s Resolution – Yea or Nay?
I’ve never been one for creating a New Year’s resolution.
Actually….I always say I’m not going to….and then I mentally think of improvements I want to make. So, I guess I’m a closeted resolutioner.
My main argument against the New Year’s resolution wave is that I think it’s ridiculous to wait until January 1 to make a change. If you want something, you do it. It’s truly that simple. But I am big on the practice of reflection and self-improvement so I guess if December 31st makes people want to improve their lives then who the heck am I to judge?
Change, regardless of reason, is a good thing. Correction: Positive Change. If you suddenly decide that you are going to be a raging ass then perhaps you should rethink your life goals. 😉
What exactly have I learned from my year end review?
Mostly that 2016 was horrible. I mean utterly wicked. BUT lessons have been learned and improvements have been made so I guess that it is best to look on that brighter side. Though I can say that for the first time in my life the thought of a new year actually terrified me. The thought of “what next” was scary because of all the heartache from the past year. If 2017 is a repeat I’m not sure how much strength I’ll be left with. I’m hanging on to the hope of brighter times. That sounds easy but can be difficult when you are in a state of grief, sadness or some other form of brokenness.
Because of this my thoughts of improvement continue around what I’ve already been putting into place.
I need to take care of myself. I started 2016 on zero sleep, no exercise, completely filled with stress and was basically totally worn out. I looked in the mirror one day and didn’t even recognize myself. I had aged significantly inside and out. I was exhausted and just going through the motions, trying to keep all of the plates in the air. I was “making it work” but had nothing left at the end of the day. Then add in a few highly devastating blows throughout the year and I felt broken. I felt less-than. I felt alone and isolated.
I didn’t want that for me, my marriage or my children. Thankfully my big breakthrough came this past summer when Annalise finally (at 18 months) started sleeping through the night). I suddenly had more energy and started focusing on my health and being more intentional in our home. It’s amazing how getting normal sleep ended up being the catalyst of change.
I started saying ‘no’. Something that I should have been practicing while I was exhausted and overworked, but something that is better late than never. I started carving out ‘me time’ several times a week to workout, take a bath or just watch a movie. I had energy to work on things that needed to be addressed and I had motivation to have more fun and more adventure. It’s awesome to see how little things add up to larger improvements. And truly these changes saved me. I don’t know how I would have made it through saying good-bye to my brother without my marriage and a secure home to lean on.
My goal is to continue on this path. I start 2017 more rested and can recognize myself again. I’ve learned it’s the small changes that reduce pressure and busyness. I’ve moved from daily ‘to do’ lists to weekly or monthly. We’ve started back up with regular date nights. I am making time for my hobbies and slowing down to really listen to the kids. Little changes in direction have created less pressure to get things done on a certain timeline and have given me freedom to listen to my body, to focus more on my ‘Big 3’ and to create better balance.
I call my top priories my Big 3 (Marriage, Kids and Health). It helps me to ensure that my top list isn’t 10 items long and when making plans or decisions I can compare them against my 3 to see where they fall. It quickly answers the – does this really matter? – question. How can I expect to have growth in other areas like my job or life goals when my core loves aren’t in top working order?
Less clutter, less pressure and less stress.
More relaxing, more fun, more spontaneity.
I know that 2017 will bring situations and changes that I can’t foresee. Things that could be great or things that could be devastating. I sincerely pray that anything encountered this year is minor, but I know that is relatively out of my control. What an odd feeling to know that you are going through life and are constantly only one action, phone call or diagnosis away from an entirely different path. That is why this year, I hope we all can focus more on our Big 3 and less on the things that truly do not matter. I hope that this year, regardless of what you face, that you feel the love and support that surrounds you.