Yesterday was filled with everyone on my timeline commenting on how their 2017 went and how 2018 is definitely going to be their year. I recall reading these at the end of 2016. Initially, I laughed a little bit. I mean after all, how many times are people going to say the same thing about every single new year.
The answer: probably every year.
Then I got to thinking to myself that maybe that’s not such a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a better year than the year before. In fact, that should kind of be an innate goal for everyone, right? To continue to improve and live your best life – whatever that might actually look like. My original thoughts stem from the fact that we see this all the time. People go into the new year and they make these resolutions. Gyms are geared up to collect memberships for people they’ll see maybe 4x before they quit and are just paying monthly for a service they don’t use.
I’m guilty of all of this, so don’t think I’m dogging you. I am sitting right next to you doing the same thing.
Last year I did the word challenge instead of a resolution. I wanted to be intentional with my actions, thoughts and words in 2017. I don’t think I followed through with it all the way, but it was in the back of my mind every single day and at work. I was intentional with what I did. It didn’t mean that I didn’t fail – I did. It also didn’t mean I accomplished everything I was hoping to get done.
I’ve strated to try and reset my mind on these types of things. You don’t have to wait for the year to turn a different digit in order to change yourself. There are things I have been steadily working on the past few months that I’d like to continue and even some things that are much shorter term.
For example – I have meal-planned successfully for almost 2 weeks. Laugh, because 2 weeks really isn’t that long. But that is approximately 13 days longer than any of my other meal plans have lasted. We’re actually eating AT HOME. This is something we’ve steadily been working on for almost six months, but really probably longer. We’re actually doing it now though and we’re celebrating the fact that we’re saving a lot of money by simply eating dinner at home and ordering our groceries. Baby steps. This is small.
Over the past few weeks, I have been feeling better and I am getting out of this drained pregnancy rut. I hope it lasts, but in case it doesn’t, I have been doing everything I can to take some stress of Ryan, who has been keeping our entire house and cooking dinner and mostly doing all the hard labor childcare for Elle while I try to make it through a 40 hour work week. I am celebrating that and hoping to continue it. Baby steps.
I feel the same twinge of excitement when a new year rolls around, because it does feel like an inherent fresh start. I am trying to change my views in that I need to prove to myself that I don’t have to wait for a new year to make a big change in my life. I can do it now, in the moment, when I realize it. It’s empowering, really. I’ve also been giving myself a lot more grace in things – recognizing that I am not going to be able to stick to a budget the first month I make it, but I can make some cuts. Finding those small goals in my day to day life is helping me move forward in my goals because I am measuring them incrementally. In this moments, I am playing the short game and rewarding myself for those tiny achievements, recognizing that the fostering of these positive behaviors ultimately should and hopefully will result in my long-term goals.
I’m not perfect and I am definitely not going to do everything right in this, but I am trying. New Year’s always seems like the best time to come forward with resolutions, but I would challenge everyone not to think about it as a resolution, but instead to find those tiny, bite-size areas you really want to improve upon and work on those. Maybe instead of saying you’re going to work out every day, you start with working out once a week. If you make it more than once, you’re a superstar, but if you make it even once, you’re at least doing more than you did before. Then kick your goal up. It takes 21 days to make something a habit, but you have to start somewhere.