You know what I like about the New Year? It’s a natural time to start afresh and anew with positive things we want for our lives. As a working mom, you don’t need one more item on your to-do list. But if you’re thinking about making some changes or doing things a bit differently this year, making a New Year’s resolution might be just right for you. It can be something exciting, something to look forward to, something to make your life lighter, happier and more fulfilled.
Here are four suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that will start your 2011 with a fantastic bang.
1. I will take care of myself. I know, I’ve been putting myself at the bottom of my priority list. But starting now, I will put myself at the top. Not because I’m self-centered and not because I don’t care about my family or my work. But because I know I need to relax and renew and refresh myself on a regular basis in order to be the best I can be for all the other people in my life who count on me. I will make a list of things I enjoy and make me feel good and try to do at least one of them everyday—even when I think I have no extra time for me. They may be small things like calling a friend, flipping through my favorite magazine or taking a bubble bath. Or they may be more time consuming things like going on a shopping spree or having dinner with my husband—just the two of us. But I’m going to do something for me every day. Why? Because I deserve it.
2. I will focus on one good characteristic about myself every day. And each week I’ll come up with another characteristic that I like about myself. Think of the list of positive traits I’ll have by the end of the year—a list I can read to myself any time I feel down or blue! It may be hard at first because I’m used to looking at all the things I don’t do well and comparing myself to my neighbors, co-workers and friends who seem more perfect than I. So that means I’m going to give up the comparison game because it isn’t healthy for me and it doesn’t take into consideration the very unique person that I am. I can’t control the negative comments that come into my head about myself, but I can replace them—immediately—with positive ones such as, “I’m worthy,” “I’m a good person,” “I’m okay just the way I am.”
3. I will spend quality time with my kids and my husband every day. There may be days when we won’t have much time—on occasion, it may even have to be on the phone or email. But I will remember that it is the constancy of our time together rather than the minutes we spend that count. That means I can give up the guilt I often feel for not being able to spend 24/7 with them. I will tell my kids how valuable and precious they are to me and how much I love them. I will ask them about their day and then be still and really listen to what they have to tell me. I’ll be open to share with them too so we really feel the bonding that happens when we connect. And in the frenzy and fast pace of my life, I won’t forget that I am not only a mom and a career woman, but also a wife. I will partner with my husband to find time for the two of us to nurture our relationship on a regular basis because it is important for the well-being of me, of him and of our family.
4. I will embrace myself for doing the best I can do. Yup. That means I’ll be giving up the superwoman syndrome. Because I realize that I simply can’t—and don’t want to—do it all, I will learn to be okay with take out dinners and a messier house than my mother had. I’ll be happy to enlist the help of my husband—and I won’t complain about how he does it! I’ll outsource everything I can, just as I do at work. When I get confused and race around trying to get the laundry folded, the silver polished and the plant leaves dusted, I’ll remind myself of what’s really important in my life: my kids and my family. I know my kids don’t expect me to be perfect, and it wouldn’t even be good modeling to them if I were. I will remind myself that doing a good job—the best I can do—is good enough. And I’ll give myself a hug because on some days, just getting the job done at all is a remarkable accomplishment.