Resolutions are Silly: Here’s What I’m Doing Instead

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Every year we try to make ourselves better people just because of the calendar restarting. There are tons of promises, goals, and resolutions made, most without ways to actually follow-through. And then you’re faced with all of the commercialization of trying to keep these resolutions. This is the time when everything from gym memberships to buying daily schedule planners to endless social media inspirational posts are front and center.

This is why I think resolutions are silly:

2018 was the hardest year I have ever had, even when it started with the best intentions with my resolutions. I actually committed to an entire Whole 30 cycle. I lost almost 20 pounds (yay!) only to gain this all back while recovering from a car accident (boo drunk driver). Then I just focused on feeling bad about the weight gain instead of focusing on the fact that a) I was able to lose weight and b) not being able to move for a few months would make most people gain weight.

I had hoped to outdo my own fantastic time management skills by making sure I was doing more for others. On top of my own responsibilities, I wanted to do more for others. I wanted to volunteer, send surprise “thinking-about-you” cards to friends, or just make myself available to help others more. Instead, I spent most of the year feeling like I was drowning in a never ending-pool of craziness. I could barely come up for air long enough to be a good friend/daughter/aunt/mom.

There were also some good intentions for getting ahead on big-kid financial decisions. I wanted to contribute more towards retirement, save for our next house’s down payment, find more of a work-life balance to enjoy more time around town as a family, etc. Instead, this year was spent dropping off loose change at Coinstar, strategizing how to stay out of debt, and learning how to accept help from family.

This is what I’m doing differently:

Why spend this year feeling like a failure? Why spend time feeling like all of these great plans were a waste of time? Forget that, this year, I’m taking it one day at a time. Instead of writing down all of these future goals and intentions, however measurable and attainable they could be, I going to spend the year writing down what is successful as it happens.

Tracking my days with little victories (i.e. the dog survived her unexpected surgery) will keep this year focused on the positive things that happen, even when they start out not so positive (i.e. the dog needed unexpected surgery.) If I lose weight — great; if I stay healthy in the face of really challenging situations — even better. The main goal for the year will be going with the flow of life’s unexpectedness while finding the good in each day. Even if it takes a magnifying glass to find it.

Writing down what goes well, even if it takes some George Carlin inspired humor to see the positive side of things, I know will make this a great year.

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Amanda loves supporting young children and their families as a doctoral student studying Infant and Early Childhood Development specializing in Infant Mental Health and Developmental Differences and through her work as a Judy Center Specialist here in Maryland. Years of working with young children and prenatal/postnatal mamas have given her hours of material that she is excited to share in her blog posts. (She had her half-Jamaican son born during a blizzard and traveled to the hospital in Uber. Just one of the fun stories she has to tell!) When they aren't exploring every playground in Silver Spring, her family loves discovering new ways to have fun together around town on their bikes. Likes: NY Pizza, Chocolate Everything, Trapeze, Aerial Yoga Dislikes: Calories, Snow

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is my mantra for this year as well. 2018 was a very difficult year, and 2019 hasn’t started out super great either. But by taking it one day at a time, I’m hoping to chip away the negative and focus on one small success. Even if it’s just washing the dishes. Thank you for sharing!

    • Awesome, I’m so glad you are focusing on the positive this year too! Yay for washing the dishes. Some days just adulting and keeping the kids alive should be the bar!

      Thanks for reading!

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