Are you one of those people who makes a New Year’s resolution, stays at it for a couple weeks and fall off the bandwagon? Every day of the year could be a day to start a new routine, kick a bad habit or to start something you’ve always wanted. Despite these facts, the start of a New Year is a recurring date that reminds us we can make new goals and with the right help, we can follow through.
Here are some of my tips to help you get started off in the right direction in 2019. The clarity gained by hitting “reset” can have transformative effects to our minds, our health and our families.
Clutter has a way of making us feel overwhelmed. So many people I know have a tendency to accumulate things. Is there really a point on hanging on to your child’s entire newborn wardrobe?
Pick a couple items that are really near to you and hang on to them. We tend to place tremendous value on things and fret letting go of them. The relief accompanied by purging things is clarifying. Here are some suggestions of what you can toss:
- Ttoys not used in a really long time? Toss ’em—donate to second-hand store or try to reclaim some money by consigning them.
- Food in your cupboards contributing to making you feel meh? Toss ’em±unopened dry goods can go to your local food bank.
- Do you spend most days thinking, “I wish I looked great, but instead I feel meh? Donate your clothes and if you’re environmentally-conscious like me, thrift for new ones! You’ll save money and you won’t feel so bad getting light wear out of them and re-donating them for a fresh style.
- If you’re holding on to lots of family heirlooms or memories, consider taking pictures of these items, filing them and donating the rest of the stuff. Letting go of some of the old things in our lives helps make way for the new.
Schedule a meeting—a very important meeting—with your partner.
Talk about what’s most important to you as a family. Set a family “mission statement” to discuss the most important feature of your family. Is it eating clean? Is it more quality time with family? Is it personal growth?
Define what your unique mission is and then work to achieve it. Is the piano lesson that your daughter dreads going to giving her life and meaning? Is it helping you achieve your mission statement? If the answer to these questions is no, then pull her out of it and explore something that gives meaning to the mission.
Don’t do things just because you think you ought to.
Read something that helps “reset” your mindset.
The self-help aisle at the book store might be something you’ve avoided for a while, yet there’s nothing like reading a book from start to finish to help reframe your perspective.
I think many would agree with me when I say the effect of reading a book is much more beneficial for self-improvement than just skimming random articles on the internet. (Check out goodreads.com for personalized suggestions about what books are up your alley.)
Incorporate small, daily affirmations or meditation.
As a parent, I’m (fairly) certain you’ve heard of The Little Engine Who Could: “I think I can, I think I can.” As a parent, you can either repeat the same words (without relating too much to a train) or you can be more specific.
Mantras are often really effective when we push out our negative self-talk with an affirmation. For example, sometimes I doubt myself as a parent, I’m too rigid, I’m not fun enough, my kids can’t just be kids and while sometimes realizations can help prompt change, sometimes these thoughts invade our space and prevent us from being the best we can be.
To counteract some of my “bad-parent” negative self-talk, I repeat to myself, “I’m an amazing parent,” “I am doing all that I can,” “My kids are so lucky to have me and my care for them.” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
To be effective, set aside at least 10 minutes a day to sit quietly and boost yourself up with positive affirmations.
It’s time to set your New Year on fire and make this the best year yet with clarity, vision and purpose.