It’s the New Year’s resolution time. What to do, what to do. What to change, what to change. Whether you vow to give up your vices (oh, 5 o’clock cocktail how I love thee) or really focus on taking on healthier habits (oh yes, I will work out 5 times a week), you are trying to make a change.
So good for you for vowing to make a change. Good for you for wanting to improve yourself. A couple of things to remember:
1. There are no bad foods. There are just inappropriate amounts. A diet is a temporary thing. If you’re looking to make a change here, make a change and make it permanent. A healthy lifestyle is an improvement that all of us could/should embrace.
2. Quality time = quality time. Don’t equate hours with quality. If you are not enjoying yourself, regardless of the time you’ve devoted to child x, it’s not quality. And, (sigh) they know it.
3. Focus on where you are now, not where you might be or where you were. It’s easy for me to say, yes, but really: Now is what matters. So make it count.
4. You might be better 10 pounds lighter. You might be better 3 drinks fewer. What I know for sure is who you are now, and what you are doing are both important and matter. And I’m proud to say I know and like who you are and what you are doing.
5. Remember what you love and do it. I’m not talking about any aspect of parenting. I’m talking about you, the individual, you the person you are BESIDES being a mom or a dad. One of the most amazing things that parents do is put their kids first and sometimes this means that they lose track of what they love and what they relish doing. So rekindle that joy and do something just for you.
6. Celebrate normal. Celebrate the every day. Not every moment can be spectacular nor awe-filled. Not every new thing will be amazing. Sometimes things are just normal, and this, too, can be more than okay. Remember this, too: these little moments of normal will change just as soon as the next phase rolls around. Without warning, without mention, suddenly your normal will no longer exist. So open your eyes and pay attention.
7. Celebrate your friendships. Celebrate the people who get your through the day, make you smile and hold your hand. These friends are by your side – literally or in spirit – for the big steps and the little ones.
8. The phone/ipad/computer will not be there for you when you are old and gray or when you need your hand held.
9. Move more. Get outside. Enjoy what you see around you. The more you do this for fun, the less you will have to do this as part of a regime. I personally love my work-out time, but I know that not everyone feels the same way.
10. Every single moment, interaction and thing has a positive side. You don’t have to be annoyingly Pollyanna-ish to focus more on what is good. It takes an effort at first, and it might feel unnatural, but with a little practice, you’ll get better and better at it until all of a sudden, you do it without even thinking about it. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing to habitually see things in a more positive light, am I right?
Remember this: change takes time. Change takes effort. Change is hard and uncomfortable. Change can feel like a new and uncomfortable skin, and it can take a while to get used to wearing it. Sometimes change is necessary. Sometimes, though, you are good just as you are.