3 Steps to Keeping a New Year’s Resolution

2015Welcome, 2015! We hope you are full of love, joy, and peace. We hope you hold surprises that enrich our lives and make us better people. We hope that you help us grow into the people we want to be.

Each new year brings hopes and dreams and those well-intentioned, oft-abandoned resolutions. As I think about what I want to accomplish and how I want to grow, I’ve come up with three tips to help us stay the course in 2015. I hope this short list helps us both!

1. Be Realistic – Choose a resolution you can achieve.

Begin for success. Our resolutions often set us up for failure. There is no way that your house will always be clean, that you will never have dirty laundry, that you will always be nice to that person, that you will work out every day, or that you will always eat clean. Stuff happens that derails our good intentions. We get sick. A kid gets sick. A friend needs us. The car breaks down. Instead, set a more realistic goal: I will dust and vacuum and clean the bathrooms each week. I will fold laundry within a day of washing it. I will find something to love about that person. I will work out four days a week. I will add more fruits and vegetables to my diet. These can happen. This type of resolution can reduce stress and eliminate the requirement of a perfection that we can’t attain anyway. Be realistic and find success!

2. Make a Plan – Develop a strategy you can sustain.

Plan for success. Our resolutions often lack the execution. How are we going to accomplish our goal? Many times we have no idea. We throw out a dream or ideal we have, but don’t think it through. If you want a clean house each week, when will you do what? If you want to stay on top of laundry, what is your schedule? If you want to find something to love about that person, how will you interact with them in small doses? If you want to work out four days a week, where, when, and how? If you want to add more fruits and veggies to your diet, what new recipes or meals are you going to try? Having a well-laid plan reduces the stress of implementation. Make a plan and find success!

3. Get Help – Enlist a support system you can appreciate.

Unite for success. Our resolutions often lack support. No man is an island. We all need help. Share your resolution with your spouse, family, friends, coworkers, or support group, whoever you want to help you, cheer you on, and hold you accountable. If you want to clean house, what can your family do to help you? If you want to avoid Mt. Saint Laundry erupting, what can your kids do to make it easier? If you want to find one thing to love about that person, who can you tell to keep you level-headed when he or she is not being so lovable? If you want to workout, who are you working out with? If you want to add more fruits and veggies, who can you involve in the menu planning? Using the resources that surround you is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and recognition that we need community. Get help and find success!

I pray that you and I find success in 2015!

May we choose your resolutions wisely!

May we grow to be better people!

May our growth inspire those around us!

I’d love to know what your New Year’s resolutions are. Please share in the comments!

Mine are:

  1. Finish my read-through of the whole Bible with my iPhone app.
  2. Be the type of mother I know I should be by spending more time with my boys each day.
  3. Maintain a cleaner house by making a cleaning and laundry schedule.
  4. Buy a house by budgeting like a crazed lady for the down payment and closing costs.
  5. Work towards publishing a Children’s Education resource by writing three sample lessons and connecting with a publisher.
  6. Post more days on my blog than I don’t. (Hold me to this.)
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Top 10 Reasons Being A Parent is Exhausting

10. The nagging and prodding necessary to get your children to do something that should take 60 seconds.

Get your jacket. (You get your socks, shoes, and jacket and return to find your child without a jacket, but playing with a car.)

Monkey, I asked you to get your jacket on, so we can leave. (You gather your purse and keys. Your child is still without a jacket, but now has two cars racing.)

Monkey, I’m not asking again. Put your jacket on. We are leaving. (You got get his jacket and put it on him. He immediately beings to whine.) 

Mom, I wanna do it myself. (Mom pulls her hair out!)

Dad and toys9. The endless search for missing items.

Mom, where are my shoes?

Are they by the door?

No.

Did you look in your closet?

No. (Goes to look and returns.)

Were they there?

No.

Where did you last have them?

On my feet.

Funny. Where did you take them off?

By the couch.

Look there.

They’re not there. Brother must have moved them. I’m going to get him. (Fight ensues. Mom breaks up the fight and begins to look for the shoes. They are not by the door. They are not by the coach. They are not visible in the closet, but if you move the jacket huddled in the corner, there they are.)

8. The drama involved in the loss of a favorite toy.

Mom, where’s my plane with the six missiles and the broken wing?

I don’t know. Where did you last have it?

I don’t know. I can’t find it.

Well, pick another toy to play with. (And that is the absolute wrong thing to say!)

But Mom, that is my all time favorite toy. (Collapses on the floor.) It’s the coolest toy we have. (Begins to weep as you offer other options to play with.) I’d rather play with that toy than any other toy we have. We could give all our other toys to kids with no toys, if I just had that plane with six missiles to play with. (If only they would live up to those threats!)

7. The enforcement of rules that they should know by now.

When you take a bath, your clothes go in the hamper not on the bathroom floor. (We’re still working on this four years later.)

When you pee, you flush the toilet AND wash your hands.

Wonder Mom6. The crazy schedule

Morning Routine (See #9 and 10); School; After-school snack; Playtime; Homework fight; Dinner; Bath; Bed

Oh wait, we have to be at soccer at 5:30 unless the coach texts that the time has been shifted 15 minutes.

Wednesday night, somewhere between the Homework fight and dinner, let’s get to church.

Thursday night, U8 soccer double header, following the Kindergarten music presentation. Sure, why  not?

4. Cleaning up one mess only to stumble upon another.

Thank you for cleaning up the toys in the bathtub and putting the toothpaste away.

(La de dah)

$#!& Who colored on the dining room table?!?

3. Laundry, unending piles of laundry.

Where is my soccer uniform, coaching polo, Buzz Lightyear shirt, the pants with the cool pockets, the shirt with the french cuffs?

In the washer, in the dryer, in the basket I haven’t folded, in the basket I just folded, in your drawer. I have no earthly idea. Wear something else!

clock2. Filling the empty pits of their stomachs.

Dad, I’m hungry.

Son, we just ate 30 minutes ago. Weren’t the three plates of food enough?

They were then, but now I’m hungry. Can I have something else?

1. You know you will wake up and do it all over again!!!

Hit the snooze! Just a few more minutes!!!!

 

Crap-I forgot 5. That’s how tired I am!

I’m going to take a nap.

 

Prayer focus: those who parent

 

Microcosm Theory

Microcosm Theorymicrocosm theory (n.): the belief that particular days foreshadow those areas of life

Let me explain:

Let’s consider my honeymoon: We hopped B&Bs and tent camped in the mountains of NC . We ate at some amazing restaurants and also ate pizza at a picnic table. We lost $7 at a casino. I forget a dress and we had to backtrack to get it. Our car broke down and we rode in the back of a patrol car to the auto store for Coach to get the parts to fix it. We saw well-known historical sites and objects and found a few hidden ones as well. We slept in big beds with fire places. We were in love!

So how has that fleshed out in our marriage? We have lived in 4 different cities, in 5 different apartments and houses. And tent camped all over. (It’s about to pick up again now that the boys are older!) We are pretty darn good cooks, but sometimes we resort to corn dogs and mac n’ cheese. We haven’t been back to the casino, but I still lose small amounts of money on lottery tickets when the jackpot is huge. I still lose things and Coach still helps me find them. Our cars continually break down and Coach is continually dealing with it. (Though, to be fair, we have not seen the inside of a patrol car since then!) We have continued to travel and explore our great world. We sleep in a California king bed every night, had a fire place for a while, want another one! And we are still very much in love!

If I apply Microcosm Theory to January 1, what does 2014 have in store for me? Sleeping in. Yes please! Reading. Love it! Snipping some PS3 hostiles with Coach. Isn’t our bonding so romantic? Fussing at my kids for not listening. Uh huh! Working in the yard with my family. It was all fun and games until Coach got swallowed by a privet entwined with thorns. Then not so much. Cleaning the house, doing laundry, preparing food. Typical. Eating and talking with my family and friends. I do love my friends and eating! Playing games. For the record, I can tear you up in Sports Champions 2 bowling. I got 7 strikes in a row. Putting my kids to bed with prayers and songs. Best part of the day! And going to bed way too late. With my love!

2014 is going to be great!

So based on Microcosm Theory, what does 2014 have in store for you?