How Are Your New Years Resolutions Coming?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been almost a month…do you remember what your New Years resolutions were?

Have you made huge changes in your life? Little changes? No changes at all?

If you haven’t thought about your resolutions since January 3rd, don’t worry – you’re not alone. That’s why I thought I would check in to see how things are coming along.

I tried something a little different this year: Instead of a list of goals/resolutions/changes I wanted to make for 2018, I thought of a word I wanted to focus on. Sort of like a theme word for the year. This felt a little more do-able and interesting than what I’ve done in the past. Stuff like:

  • Save more
  • Meditate more
  • Eat more vegetables

Those sorts of goals just get boring after a while. Instead I have picked a theme for the year – a word I can hopefully reflect on through the year. I’m hoping it provides some inspiration and guidance as the months tick quickly by. Sound interesting? It’s not too late to pick a theme word of your own! Here are some ideas:

  • Quiet
  • Present (as in engaged and aware – not people need to give me more gifts (though that might be a good one too 😉 )
  • Genuine
  • Flourish
  • Joy
  • Particular

You get the idea. Happy New Year!

 

New Year…New You?

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Happy 2017!

I’m not a huge fan of New Years resolutions. But I do think that the start of the year can be a good time to reflect on where we’ve been – and where we’d like to go. We all know that losing weight and being more careful with money are top goals for many. But I think other, more introspective goals are more interesting, impactful and do-able.

Taking note of things like:

  • How you spend your time – and who you spend it with
  • The words you use when talking about yourself and others
  • The way you interact with technology and social media
  • The roles, obligations and jobs you have – and whether they are still a good fit

Considering these and other aspects of life takes a little time and energy – but I think it’s worth it!

I wrote an article over at Produce for Kids about how to make changes that last.  My favorite tip from the article?

Make personally-meaningful goals. We can’t all care about everything. It’s not realistic to expect ourselves to be: never-cheater eaters, marathon runners, ultra-savers, perfect parents, top-notch employees, garden club honorees, award-winning volunteers, Pinterest stars…you get the picture. Instead of trying to be everything everyone else tells you that you should be, focus on being what you want to be. Not only will your goals be more meaningful, you will be more likely to meet them.

Here’s the whole article:

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New Years Resolutions That Work

I always make New Years resolutions.  Some years they are pretty serious and challenging, other years they are more light-hearted and fun.  Either way, I think using the first couple weeks of January to take stock of where you are, where you’ve been and where you would like to go is a good use of time.

Like everyone else, my New Years resolutions often include things related to healthier living.  These might include resolutions involving nutrition, exercise, home management (financial matters, tidy-ness, etc).

But I also like to include resolutions involving my social well-being and relationships.  This might mean taking a look at how I spend my time and who I spend it with.  Am I spending my time as wisely as I spend my money?  Are there relationships that need to be re-kindled?  Others that need to be changed or ended?  Having a healthy, fulfilling social life (and that means very different things to different people) is a huge part of overall mental health, so it should be a part of our New Years resolutions too!

Sometimes I add a professional goal to my list of resolutions – some years it just feels important to make some changes, and some years things have been humming along just fine.  Either way, January is a great time to ask yourself: “Am I where I would like to be professionally?” or “Where would I like to be at the end of the year and what can I do to get there?”

Lastly, I like to add at least one (sometimes more) resolution involving my hobbies.  Some years it has been as simple as “find a new hobby” other years it has been more refined (like the year I resolved to learn to crochet).  This year I have resolved to write down all the books I read (I read 2-3 each week so it feels important to keep track!).  Regardless of what it is, avocations – or hobbies – are another important part of overall mental health so they need to be included too.  Plus these resolutions tend to be a lot more fun – and easier – than going vegan or working out everyday.

Regardless of your resolutions, remember to keep them reasonable and do-able for your best chance of success!

What are your resolutions this year?

 

 

What Makes Your Family Unique?

As we launch into the new year, many of us are taking stock of who we are, who we want to be, and what we want out of 2013.  In addition to looking at

I would love to see this family's list about what makes them unique! Photo via ABC News Blogs

I would love to see this family’s list about what makes them unique! Photo via ABC News Blogs

ourselves as individuals, why not take a look at our families too?  No matter the make up or size of your family, it can be useful to define who you are and what makes you unique.

I recently sat down with my family to answer the following question:

What does it mean to be a Smith?

Of course I had some of my own ideas, but what was really fun was hearing what the other members of my family had to say.  One of my favorite answers? Being a Smith means having fun together.

So what makes your family, your family?  Not all families are the same.  What are the priorities in your household?  Some ideas might include:

  • Being respectful of others
  • Playing games together
  • Treating others with fairness
  • Taking care of the environment
  • Laughing everyday
  • Keeping a clean, organized home
  • Being thankful for each other and what you have
  • Participating in religious activities together
  • Exercising and being mindful of health
  • Taking part in new adventures
  • Watching movies
  • Learning about different people and places
  • Reading together
  • Trying out new foods and cooking together
  • Telling jokes and stories to each other
  • Traveling together
  • Serving others in the community

Try spending some time coming up with a list of 5-10 qualities that make up your family.  Post the list where everyone can see them, and work the list into your life.  Being clear about who you are can help with making decisions and defining priorities (including how to spend time, money, and energy).

Happy New Year!