Is it just me, or have new years resolutions been getting a bad rap lately? I was thinking about it today and I decided that I love the New Year. When I asked myself why that was (yes, I do have convos with myself), I realized that I love the promise of starting again. A clean slate. Starting fresh.
It makes me hopeful.
There’s just something about the chance to change and do things differently. To turn the page on an entire new calendar and feel excited about the future.
As I was talking to myself, I pondered the point of goals. Since I’m not the biggest goal oriented person ever. I decided that I have goals to help get me to my destination. Just like a GPS got me to my childhood friend’s wedding last weekend. Goals lead me where I want to go.
And here’s the caveat.
In order to make goals work, I have to work.
So how do I actually get there?
The first thing is making sure my goal is something that I really, really want and am willing to bust my tail to get it.
Then, I take steps.
Let’s say I want to go to Costa Rica for Spring Break with my family. That sounds pretty sweet right now, as I watch the snow falling here in frigid Michigan. I can want to go to Costa Rica all the livelong day, but it’s not going to happen just because it’s what I want. It’s going to happen because I budget, save, buy airline tickets and actually get my booty on that plane.
In other words- resolutions are just a fancy way of saying – “these are the steps I need to take to get where I want to go, and I’m freaking committed to doing it.”
I looked up the word “resolution” in my favorite dictionary, Noah Webster’s 1828. In it, he defines resolution as:
Fixed purpose or determination of mind; as a resolution to reform our lives; a resolution to undertake an expedition.
The effect of fixed purpose; firmness, steadiness or constancy in execution, implying courage.
Oh Noah, you nailed it brutha.
Let me break it down.
One of my/our goals this year is to have more intimacy in our marriage. My man Noah says that intimacy is nearness, closeness- in plain English, we just want to improve our marriage.
These are our resolutions:
- Go on twice monthly dates and book them now, put them on the calendar and ask Steve’s sister to watch our kiddos.
- Spend at least a few minutes each day connecting (outside of work topics). We will go to bed earlier and spend time decompressing and talking before we go to sleep.
- Hold hands, make out, hug and just love on each other more. Whether it’s playing “footsy” under the table, or holding hands while we drive, eat dinner etc. We’re going to focus on displaying our affection.
These resolutions will help us get to our destination of Intimacyville.
So, the way I see it, resolutions are freaking awesome! They are like the under-appreciated friend you never knew you needed and kind of didn’t want, but decided to befriend and it turns out she gets you places….places you love to be.
So why the hate?
I think that resolutions have a bad rep because people misunderstand their purpose. They don’t realize that whatever they focus on actually grows! If you focus on your education, you’ll study more. If you focus on your career, you’ll work more. If you focus on getting pregnant, you’ll have more sex. People don’t realize that they’ve still got the powa!
When people look back on the past year and think about how they fell off the gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, fitness wagon, they feel like schmucks and failures. So they resolve not to make resolutions again. It’s a vicious cycle really.
I’ve been pretty ballsy about resolutions in the past, by posting them on the internet (kinda like I’m doing right now).
As you can read, one of my resolutions last year was to make our living online. A goal, which we are still working our ever loving arses off to accomplish.
So did I fall off the wagon? Sure. Some days. Did we accomplish our goal? Nope. Not yet. Do I feel like a failure? Sometimes. Am I going to give up? Hell no.
Just because things didn’t unfold like we had hoped or even worked so hard for doesn’t mean that we failed or should sit on the couch and eat a pint of ice cream and feel sorry for ourselves. It means we actually got closer than we would have if we had given up.
In 2011, my goal was to stop multi-tasking and be a better friend, mom, wife.
Did I rock that one off the charts? No! It rocked me! But if I was present for one more moment, or compelled to close the ole laptop and sit on the floor and play games with my son even one more time than I otherwise would have, I was the big winner! Like seriously!
We are so scared of “failing” that we are paralyzed with massive fear that keeps us from even trying in the first place. We write off resolutions so that we can’t possibly fail. Because God forbid that we attempt to set our minds to doing something that we don’t end up following through with.
Let me ask you a question: would you like for your present (or future) kids to see you try and fail? Or not try and not fail?
To sum it all up, if Steve and I don’t end up going out on twice monthly dates some months, or we somehow go to bed way too late and don’t mumble two words to each other a few times in 2014, our “resolutions” will not be in vain. Because we will be closer than we were before. We will have learned. We will have grown. We will have overcome many obstacles and at the end of the year we will look back and know that even if we weren’t “perfect” in our execution of our resolutions, we went down a road that we chose and are closer to where we want to go than before. And that, my mama, is pretty awesome.
So don’t be afraid to go after what you want, if it’s your pregnancy, your birth, your career, your marriage, your parenting, your friendships, your health. I promise you that even if you don’t get exactly what you set out to get, chances are, you will walk away with something you needed. You won’t come away empty handed.
If you would like a free download, click here for our “Birth Plan, Vision, Hopes (whatever you want to call it) Template”. Writing down preferences, goals and hopes for your birth is a fantastic way to get on the same page with yourself, your partner, your doula, your provider and your nurses. And a great way to start off this new year. Click here to get your download now!
Happy New Year Mama!