It doesn’t take long from when the ball drops at midnight (or 11:00 if you are lame like me) in Times Square to realize the goal you have made for yourself–or the word you’ve chosen -already makes you feel like a failure. Even the Girl Scouts know we have given up and started selling cookies!
It is difficult to take a hard look at yourself barely two weeks outside of a new year to realize, hey, I still don’t have it together. I still don’t even have my life put back together from the holidays!
So this year, the word I chose was LESS.
It’s one I knew I wouldn’t fail at because less can always be achieved. I don’t have to worry about yesterday – I just have to do or be less.
In order to be less, you have to think of others more. You need to give generously and not focus on your selfish pleasures. Yes, we do need to indulge and do some serious self care as moms, but that is not the same as being selfish. For example, I tend to be controlling as a mom. I become so focused on what I want everyone else to do, that I find it hard to let things go and let others get what they want.
Less me. I am trying to think of myself less, and put less importance on the things that make me “high maintenance.” The perfect outfit. Flawless hair and makeup. Perfect manicures. What I want when I want it. My life is about more than what I want and those around me should know that.
Less stress. You know that project you can’t handle? You know the stress of all the things? The relationship that isn’t working? Close doors. Say no. Don’t go to the party. Seek help. Ask someone you love to help you and you can offer to help them in an area they need some relief. Everyone’s stress stems from different things, but we can all help one another relieve some of that together.
Less guilt. Freedom from my mistakes. Not making it through New Years Day without breaking my resolution doesn’t define me. My willingness to get up tomorrow and try again is what I allow to define me.
Less expectation. For the perfect house. Do any husbands read minds? The kids that are obedient and speak at a normal volume all the time (those are actually mythological). I need to lower what I expect out of those I love, and myself. There is something inexplicable about how I am able to forgive everyone around me for their faults, but mine seem out of hand. I need to forgive myself.
Less worrying. As a mom with kids with special needs and mental health concerns, it isn’t difficult to find myself panicking about something that I have no control over. There is no use in me driving myself crazy about my kids’ decisions. I can provide a nurturing, educational environment for my kids, but forcing them to make good decisions is not beneficial.
Less crap. I have 5 kids. They come home with so much stuff. We donate constantly and it still seems to multiply itself. It’s OK. They will live without it. In fact, most of the time they don’t even notice.
Less to do. I want to spend more time with my family and investing in my kids. More time just being home and being content. In my sweatpants. Laughing. Drinking hot cocoa. Playing games. And more laughing.
Less failure. More learning.
Once you break your resolution, re-evaluate your word or take a break from it for a weekend, and know it’s OK. You chose things to work towards, not to do perfectly the first time. Lower the bar.