New Year, New Approach to Resolutions

How do you feel about resolutions? At this time of year, we all tend to pick a few things about ourselves to change for next year. Often I say I want to lose weight, eat healthily, exercise more, stop drinking….you get the picture. I feel like I make those annually–and also fail to keep them fairly regularly.

Today, I am thinking about new ways to think about resolutions. Maybe it will be how I approach each day. I’d like to come from a place of grace or curiosity, of joy or focus, of compassion or love. I find when I ask that question of myself in a situation, it helps me. So if I am annoyed or angry, and I stop to ask how I want to approach the issue, I can actually make a choice. I may still choose to yell or nag, but at least I’m doing it consciously! 😉

Another idea I like right now is to come up with resolutions about my parenting. A few ideas I have:

Say “Yes” More. I could try saying “yes” more to spending quality family time and doing things together. Maybe I do more things that my teens want to do.

Worry Less. I don’t want my worries about the world right now to drive my life or my thoughts. Instead, I want to find ways to encourage myself and our kids to explore what’s around us actively.

Listen More; React Less. I think listening for the sake of hearing is essential, as opposed to listening to respond. Sometimes it’s better to ask, “What do you think? What are you feeling?” than letting them know my opinions on their lives.

As far as personal resolutions, I have many ways I can improve, but again, I hope to come at them with a somewhat different tack. Instead of trying to make changes that allow me to fit whatever mold I should in my mind’s eye (and mirror) I’d like to shift how I think about it and myself. So I guess I’m making intentions instead of resolutions. Here are a couple of examples:

Connect More. Take steps to maintain and enrich my friendships, and stay connected with family and the community.

Find Balance. I find that balancing life, family, and work is challenging. I need all of them in my life to feel good, and often I go all-in on one and not the other. So for me, maybe that means I schedule my time–put exercise on my calendar, meet a friend for a hike or a glass of wine each week, go to a networking event regularly. I’m not that good at setting a schedule for myself…yet.

Choose wisely. I want to be conscious of how I am approaching the day, or an event, or a client or myself. I’d like to be able to ask myself, “Is this necessary?” I’d like to choose to meditate, stretch, and savor my coffee each morning. I’d like to make the most generous interpretations I can of others’ behavior. Basically, I guess I want to be present.

I read something this morning that Megan Markle (don’t ask me why) wrote for New Year’s one time, and it really resonates with me.

“For this new year, the only thing I aim to do is to approach life playfully. To laugh and enjoy, to keep my standards high but my level of self-acceptance higher,” she wrote. “My New Year’s resolution is to leave room for magic. To make my plans, and be okay if they sometimes break. To set my goals, but to be open to change.”

I’m wishing you all a very healthy, happy, compassionate, and magical 2020. Thank you for supporting me and for letting me support you in this parenting journey.

This post originally appeared on Parenting in Real Life. It has been reprinted with permission.

Dana Baker

Dana Baker is a writer, a not-so-perfect mom of two and a Parent and Teen Coach. Founder of Parenting In Real Life, Dana knows first hand the challenges of raising a child with anxiety as well as ADHD and some depression. She understands the ups, the downs and the downright uglies and offers a reality check and a dose of good humor in her advice from the trenches. Dana has been featured in RealityMoms, Grown & Flown, Parent.com, Thrive Global, and ADDitude. You can find more about Dana on Parenting in Real Life.