Do we even pretend that we’re going to stick with our New Year’s resolutions anymore? The gym membership you didn’t use since last February and the blender collecting dust on your counter say that you know better. So instead of setting more impossible goals for ourselves this year, we resolved to find some rules busy moms can actually live by. Here are some tweaks to make your already rich and fulfilling life even better.
If you cook it, you can eat it.
Forget about diets this year. Instead of making carb-free protein snacks, spend time cooking real food for your family. Meal planning is the key. There are subscription services that will do the legwork or you can sit down with the flyers and your fave food blogs to plan the weekly dinners. But keep it real and also plan for nights out and convenience meals because you’re only human.
Declutter your brain
Hands up if have dozens of miscellaneous tasks you just haven’t gotten around to. These are things like booking appointments, home maintenance, filing, trips to Goodwill, calling an old friend, or clearing out the medicine cabinet. They are small enough to fall through the cracks, but still weigh on your mind. List them all and call it your 15-minute list. Whenever you have 15 minutes of downtime this month, scratch an item off your list. (Or take a day and get them all done if you can.)
Prioritize your priorities
Duh, right? Except the task that’s due tomorrow is always going to be more pressing than the goal you want to achieve in five years. As mothers, our own long-term professional or creative aspirations are often put on the back burner. Let’s start doing what’s most important to us first. I’m moving time allotted for my ‘personal projects’ from Friday afternoon to Monday morning this year.
Konmari some actual clutter
Busy families might never be able to go the full Konmari, let’s face it. But thanks to her method that stresses keeping only things that spark joy, I now relish the chance to get rid of stuff instead of agonizing about what to keep. Another year, another heap of clutter to clear out.
Do more free stuff
Here’s my big money resolution. Stop spending money on stuff they are giving away! Go to the library more often. Check out local community listings. Take local day trips to walk around different areas. Make your own fun.
Plan your summer
This is a legit resolution! Because when it’s cold and dark and you are resolving to work harder and smarter, you should also resolve to take a break when the days are long and the nights are warm. Besides, as parents, if you don’t get your vacation-booking, summer camp-registering, little league-choosing game in gear now, it’s going to be another summer of camp Netflix and we can’t have that.
What’s the number one most important thing on your life? Of course it’s your children. So enjoy spending time with them. Let the dishes slide, play hookey every now and then, and have fun. It could be board games, video games, bike rides, toy trains, or a giant tickle fest on the bed, whatever you like. But don’t do it for them; do it for you.
Something for you every damn day
This year you get one thing every day. Claim it and never feel guilty. It can be a different thing every day and you don’t need to decide now. Go to the gym, have dinner with friends, get your nails done, have a cleaning service in, eat a chocolate croissant, read for pleasure, watch a movie, take an extra-long shower, or whatever. Every evening, remember to ask, ‘Have I had my thing yet today?’
When you’re sending your kids to school with lunch bags full of stale crackers and raisins, and the car breaks down, and your computer crashes, and the dog pukes all over the kitchen and it’s not even noon, it’s such a gift to be able to laugh at yourself. Laughing because you are filled with joy is even better, so do that too.
Eat more pizza
I can’t remember which friend made this her New Year’s resolution a few years ago, but it has stuck with me. When all else fails, you know this is something you’ll be able to achieve. And, really, there is very little in life that can’t be made better with pizza.