Transitioning between jobs, friends, or even years is usually accompanied with a sudden desire to do things differently — and, if possible, better than the time before. A new year is upon us as is another opportunity for us to, yet again, try to better ourselves and our choices. What have you considered improving in the next year? Are your goals personal or professional? As a band of moms, we have collaborated on a few resolutions and goals for the next year and found five common themes in New Year’s goals — but not only do we have themes, we ideas how to actually accomplish those goals:
Don’t Say “ I Will Spend Less Time on Social Media”
The Social Media Addiction is Real (especially for bloggers!) It is amazing how this problem affects everyone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what gender you are or where you are from, everyone is known to ‘spiral’ on social media. In some ways, the natural shift in our society towards social media is natural; but if this is something you are trying to reduce, start with small goals. Find a way to resist the urge once a day. Whether this means putting your cell phone away in a drawer for an hour or two or going on airplane mode, this realistic goal will give you a place to start. My sister also takes periodic respites from various platforms by deactivated for an amount of time. For many, including my sister, the all-or-nothing tactic can prove to be cathartic and therapeutic. Also when using media, be mindful of what you are posting, check out our post on Social Media: Friend or Foe for what we mean.
Don’t Say “I Will Lose Weight”
Instead, consider starting with being more mindful of your weight. What this means is that instead of weighing yourself obsessively or subconsciously avoiding the scale out of fear, setting periodic times to check your weight is the first way to face the facts. Whether it is even 3 or 4 days or on a weekly basis, being mindful will subconsciously stay with you as you move through your day — in turn, helping you lose weight.
PS Of course, studies have shown that tracking your calories on platforms such as My Fitness Pal will help dramatically. But always remember that the key to this method is to stay committed!
Don’t Say “I Will Eat Healthier”
Instead, commit to eating a salad with dinner each night. This is an example of starting small, especially if salad isn’t already a part of your diet. Such a strategy will not only taper your appetite, it will also help you get your greens and fiber! This modification is easy to add to your diet, especially with the tasty ready made salads now available at most local grocery stores. Our favorite is the Sweet Kale Salad available at Costco (see some of our other Costco favorites here).
Don’t Say “I Will Spend More Time With the Kids, Family, and/or Friends”
Be specific about how you plan to do this. Consider starting with phone-free meal times or designated phone-free zones in your home such as kids rooms. Also, by announcing these goals to your family, they can help keep you accountable (I know my kids love to tell me when I have broken the rules).
Don’t Say “I Will Be Less Stressed”
This could be one of the most difficult on the list. We often think our stresses are out of our control. We can perceive our stress as something that happens to us but in fact, we can control our stress. Begin by creating a plan, and starting small. We don’t want to sound cliche but meditating (AKA just not thinking about anything) can be a useful way to tackle stress. Downloading helpful apps such as HeadSpace or SimpleHabit can be a great first step. Set daily alarms on your phone to check in with yourself and meditate! There is a reason why meditation gets a lot of hype and it’s because it works. Just three minutes of peace and quiet can keep you focused for the rest of the day. It’s true, I have been mindfully meditating several times a week for years — and it definitely took some getting used to. The advantage of using this strategy is that you can do it anywhere, it requires no materials, and does not take a lot of time.
Don’t Say “I Will Be More Positive”
This one is also hard, especially if you have young children or complexities at work. BUT instead of focusing on how to see the glass half full, if you pay attention to how often you see the glass half empty, you will inadvertently start seeing things on the bright side. By tallying your complaints each day, you will become more aware of your negative tendencies. Doing so can hone one’s optimism and avoid negative thinking. Don’t believe me? Just try it!
Hopefully one or some of these resolutions resonate with you and hopefully you can find a way to incorporate these suggestions into your life in the coming year.
Thanks for your support this past year. We will continue to develop our content in a way that is meaningful to you in 2018, stay with us!