Every 365 days we do it. We make unrealistic resolutions — vowing to change ourselves drastically.
It doesn’t work — at least, it never does for me. Within a week, I’m back to where I began and berating myself for “failing.”
This year, I'm proposing some real resolutions for real moms (and dads) that might really work — and maybe make us just a little less stressed in the coming year. Here are 12 realistic resolutions for the New Year:
1. More “me” time. This is top of the list. It is so important that you find 30 minutes out of your day for yourself. If you aren’t taking care of yourself first, you can’t take care of everyone else.
2. Sleep more. Easier said than done, I know. But make getting more shuteye a priority in the new year. If you have a difficult time adjusting your sleep schedule (like me), start by going to bed just five minutes earlier, and slowly work your way backward. It also helps to start a healthy bedtime routine for yourself. An hour before bed, turn off the TV, put down the phone and pick up a book.
3. Pick up or re-discover a hobby. Arts, crafts, music, knitting, writing, dance — creating something helps ease anxiety and reduces stress. Maybe get your kids involved in learning this new skill with you.
4. Plan a trip. Near or far, short or long, car or plane — it doesn’t matter. Just get away. Planning a vacation increases happiness. A break from the routine will improve your mood.
5. Nix the negativity. Cutting back on complaining is a priority for me in 2019. My husband and I can too frequently get stuck in the negative of each day. While our partners are a source of solace and comfort, make sure the majority of your conversations aren’t dominated with complaining.
6. Say “no." I am a victim of taking on more than I can handle — and the burnout is real. Prioritize yourself, your family and cut back on the excess and unnecessary. Self-care is not selfish.
7. Do things the night before. I am a garbage human in the morning; I know this. I am cranky, I am tired, I lack any sort of motivation and I hate having to solve any problems before 8 a.m. How to combat this? Carve out 30 minutes the night before and make it a team effort to get ready for the next day. Pick out clothes and lay them out, pack lunches, sign permission forms — anything that will help make the morning run more smoothly and cause you less stress and anxiety.
8. Get rid of stuff. Most of us are probably hanging on to too much stuff. It's easy to let it accumulate over the years. I try and subscribe to the thought of “If I were packing to move, would I take it?” If you really don’t need it, either toss it, sell it or donate it.
9. Cook more. Your wallet and your health will thank you for this one.
10. Put the phone down. I am very guilty of not being present in the moment. Any easy solution is put the phone somewhere you won’t be tempted to mindlessly scroll; check it in, essentially. Get your significant other to do the same and help hold each other accountable.
11. Accept that you aren’t superwoman. This one is difficult for me, but understand it is impossible for you to be superwoman — and that’s OK. You physically, mentally and emotionally cannot be everything for everyone all the time. You are only one person.
12. Be kind to yourself. Most of us are doing our best every day for our families. Some days will be better than others. Remember to be kind to yourself.
Happy New Year!
Shea Saladee lives in Papillion with her husband, Brent, and their three children. She works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska Omaha.