What are the most common Resolutions Moms make?
– Stop overeating
– Stop yelling so much
– Stop spending too much (get out of debt)
– Stop being disorganized
– Stop overscheduling
JUST STOP! Are you hearing it? That repetitive “Stop” that’s being recited? What you are telling yourself is that you are a failure — failed at your diet, failed at parenting by losing your cool, and failed your family by being disorganized, overworked, and overspent.
Think about it — How can looking back on all of your faults throughout the year be positive and productive?
So, what if instead of focusing on our failures by making a list of things to stop doing, we change our vocabulary to reflect what we should be doing and commit to embracing ourselves and create a list of what I can do.
Here are some resolutions to think about.
A dear friend of mine created a Challenge earlier this year to all women. She called it the “Supermodel Astronaut Challenge” and created a pledge we all should take to stop the self-defeating speech we use everyday.
– Thinking and saying critical things about other girls/women
– Comparing myself to people on magazines, billboards, TV, movies, and even pinterest.
– Comparing myself to anyone else, because I don’t know their whole story.
– Allowing past failures, current disabilities, or other people’s unkind words or opinions to define me.
– Allowing my own insecurities to keep me from connecting with friends and family.
– Competing with other girls/women, even just in my mind, because it’s not a contest.
– Making choices for myself that lead to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
– Letting go of pointless grudges, because it prevents potentially meaningful connection with others.
– Showing grace toward others in word, thought, and deed.
– Reaching out to other girls/women and listening, sharing, and encouraging because we’re all in this together.
– Living authentically.
We all do it, with that self-deprecating voice in our minds. We criticize ourselves when we look in the mirror. When someone complements our hair, our outfit, or our smile, do we genuinely say ‘Thank You’ or do we brush off the complement and respond with a negative retort about yourself? (This old thing? or Ugh, I’m feeling fat!) Even as bloggers, how often do we compare our homes, recipes, and decor to others. Or even worse, comparing how much more successful another blog is than our own.
Instead, base your resolve to change from this defeatist viewpoint and Accept Yourself as you are today. Sometimes the best change we can make is to love who we are — how we are — right at this moment.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Being a Mom is hard and the one thing that is a constant is mistakes. I often get overwhelmed with the loads of laundry, dishes in the sink, homeschooling, and even my blog schedule. In those moments, I don’t like who I am, or choose to become. My temper is short, my patience is nil and I have pulled out the poor-pitiful-me sob story: “You just don’t understand!”
Practice Self-Grace every day. You’re doing the best you can. Use each little hiccup in the road as a teaching tool for your children. We’ve often heard the saying that little eyes are watching us and learning. If we are practicing self-grace, our children will follow our example and be less hard on themselves when they mess up. Teach them that although life can be messy, many lessons are actually learned from mistakes. One motto our family practices is to Strive for Progress, NOT Perfection.
Change Your Vocabulary
The Hunk and I have this discussion all the time:
It’s the idea of changing your vocabulary in order to change your thinking.
Try this approach:
Instead of Stop yelling, change it to Speak with Encouragement.
Re-word Stop Overspending to Be Budget Conscious.
Change Stop Overeating to Make Healthier Choices.
Think of the effect of hissing something in anger through clenched teeth versus stating what you are upset about in a calm tone. It’s like offering a cool drink of water instead of pouring out a hot kettle. Look out for the self-critic that spontaneously emerges from inside us and learn to silence that judge with a softer approach. In doing so, we might not only change our vocabulary, but may also even change our hearts.
“Our ability to choose one thought over another is one of the greatest and most powerful tools we have at our disposal. We’ve got to make worthy use of it, most especially when we’re talking to us, about us.“
Be Present and Interactive
The most important thing we can do for our families isn’t having an organized pantry or a perfectly decorated home. It’s being there for them, in the moment. It’s more than just a physical presence, it’s an interactive presence. How many times do we see this at restaurants: An entire family glued to their devices, not engaging or speaking with each other. Though physically together, they are mentally absent. We are slowly replacing the need for family interaction through our habitual interaction with inanimate objects. We’re missing out on moldable moments that can change the family dynamic.
Set aside some time to be involved, engaged, and present. Listen to your child describe their Minecraft world for the upteenth time, play in the floor with them, color with them, ask them what they think, what they like, and what they love. You will find that by investing in them, your children turn to you more in those stressful times instead of relying on peers to help them navigate difficult situations.
Also practice Being Present when you’re with friends. I remember a girls night out where one friend was sharing a tender struggle she was facing in her marriage. Suddenly another friend lets out an obnoxious guffaw to a post she was reading on Facebook, leaving the rest of us shocked (some outraged) and the hurt friend retreating. It killed that vulnernable moment and resulted in that person closing up and changing the subject.
Turn off the distractions and become a part of the moment. If you are hosting a party, book club, or coffee date, print out a sign like this one and place a basket in the room. Ask those to leave their devices in the basket and to join in with those who are here. Encourage others to Be Present, too.
Put Yourself on the List
Every Mom knows that we carry the bulk of the workload when it comes to running house and home and we are frazzled and frustrated by the unending mountain of work that we climb each and every day. We try our best to do it all and be all for the family while keeping the house running and kids fed, clean and happy, bills paid, pantry stocked and most likely managing the budget as well. In the midst of that chaos, the most often pushed off and overlooked individual is yourself. We’ve all seen the mundane tutorial when the flight attendant tells us what to do in case of an emergency. When the air masks drop, they instruct us to put the masks on ourselves first and the child second.
What an epiphany! If your life is nothing but a withdrawal from yourself, you will most definitely find yourself emotionally and physically bankrupt unless you ensure that you deposit into the account of YOU.
So what does that look like? It might mean saying “No” more often. Make a list of things you wish you had time for: Reading a book, taking a class, spending time with family, date nights with your spouse.
Then, take the time and find a way to achieve that. I run a home-based business, blog, homeschool, as well as try to keep our household up and running. Many times, my only investment in myself is to sit quietly for a moment and finish my cup of coffee. Sure I can take it with me and go, go, go, but that simple act of deliberately sitting still, just for me, is a reminder to focus on my day, get my mind thinking right, and preparing for what lies ahead.
Make these simple shifts as you approach your resolutions this year. Can shifting our viewpoint of self and purposefully autocorrecting that negative voice empower us to be better? A study from the Mayo Clinic seems to say so. The study shows that having a positive outlook results in less stress, lowers the risk of depression, promotes longer life spans, and even builds a greater resistance to fight common colds!
A renewed mind is this: An intentional pivot in your mind from glass half-empty to glass half-full. This simple transformation will change your entire approach to any Resolutions you make for the New Year.