As the year draws to a close, it’s only natural that I start thinking of resolutions to make for the new year.
The new year naturally gives you the momentum to feel excited and think about the new things you want to add or change in your life… to make it better, of course.
I realized that very often, my resolutions come in the form of grand plans and reforms. Yes, I’m sure lofty ideas can do me some good by providing something to look forward to and strive to achieve reach. But all too often, the goals are too dramatic…
Sometimes life just happens, and we forget to take stock of where we are. Very soon, we are once again at the end of the year… realizing how fast the year flew by and remembering some of our forgotten goals…
So this year end, I’m going to do things a little differently.
I will bring closure and say a proper goodbye to 2018 by reflecting on the good and bad… to give thanks and also to reflect on the things and bad habits that had weighed me down.
Yes it takes a bit of courage to face them but clearing them will make space for the new habits, positive energy and experiences to come in 2019:)
Mindfulness – be conscious of our actions and decisions
A few examples on this.
Busy and being in a rush are 2 different things. Instead of just being in a mad rush to get things done, it’s important to remind ourselves that the process of getting things done is just as important, if not more.
In 2019, I will slow down, pay attention and enjoy the process of getting things done with the kids. Praising and guiding them along the way goes a long way in educating and building their character.
I will also yell less at my kids. There are so many occasions when I raise my voice at my toddler, only to feel guilty and angry at myself later.
What triggered my yelling? My own pent up frustration? My unreasonable expectations of a 2 year old behaving like a well-mannered thoughtful adult?
It’s important that I am more conscious of my own thoughts and emotions. Before I let my emotions get the better of me, take a fee deep breaths before I speak…
I started learning about meditation this year. I really enjoyed the calmness and peace. But honestly it takes some discipline to practice it on a daily basis. It’s so convenient to blame it on the lack of time due to the kids….
I will strive to wake up 30 minutes before my kids so that I can wake up and set the day, instead of waking up to screams or cries. Meditate, have a coffee and enjoy some me time.
By the way, that means I have to be more discipline about my own sleep time and routine. Less facebook.
One step at a time – making micro commitments.
I am going to make time for exercise. But what’s different this year is that I’m not going to set my target as completing a 15km run.
Well, that’s my resolution last year but it didn’t materialized. Why?
Something more important or urgent always seem to crop up. The trainings can wait. There’s still many more months, I can always start training for the run later. But soon, I realized I am too far from my target and lost my motivation.
So this time, my target is to run once a week for the first month, and increase it to twice a week the next.
It’s easier to make small commitments. Well, running once a week don’t sound too difficult right? And once I am able to build it into my routine, I can gradually increase my frequency and intensity.
While it’s good to have annual goals, I found the book, The 12 Week Year, very enlightening as it redefines the year into 12 weeks to improve on your execution and implementation.
Let’s get the clutter out.
I’m so used to a long to-do list. However, the longer the list gets, the more I procrastinate. It’s time to get the items that has been ‘stuck’ on the list moving.
Physical clutter also increases our stress level. There’s no need to be a ‘minimalist mom’. But there are many small steps that can be taken to de-clutter, such as clearing out expired foods or random containers in the kitchen, and throwing or donating old clothes and toys.
There are times when we may feel down. During these times, I think it’s even more important to think back about things that we are grateful for.
I have been struggling with headaches for the past 2 years. Finally this year, I managed to find out that it was my TMJ problems that was causing it. And I am really thankful for my physiotherapist who has been working with me for the past few months to improve my condition. More reasons to look forward to 2019!
It has also been a stressful year as my husband’s new job require him to be away from home more than half the time. I’m really grateful for my parents, who have been helping me out for on my solo-parenting.
Change a bad habit
Again, start small. Every month, I will identify a bad habit that’s causing me stress and weighing me down, or just something that I want to improve on.
According to the book, The Power of Habit, habits cannot be extinguished. To transform and change an old (bad) habit, you need to build a new routine to replace the old one in the presence of the same trigger/result.
Be kinder to myself and stop the self-blame
It’s easy for mamas to blame themselves. This is especially so when we are always trying to meet the needs of everyone. But remember, this is not possible. It is impossible for us to be everything that everyone needs all the time, so let’s cut ourselves some slack.
In 2019, I am going to be kinder to myself.
Motherhood is a learning journey. There will always be less than perfect parenting moments. So I will learn from such moments, move on and stop dwelling or feeling guilty over them.
In the past year, I realized I have forgotten to take good care of myself and overlooked my own needs, leaving me grumpy and burnt out. That’s not a good thing. In order to be a source of love for my kids, I need to well-loved and well taken care of by myself.
I will take better care of myself – mind, body and soul. It’s ok to make time for myself. In fact, I need to be deliberate and intentional about my time. I will take time off to reconnect with friends, and to do things that I enjoy… such as reading and diy crafts (other than kids crafts).
A happy mother means a happy family!
To a great year ahead!