I’m in a writer’s group with my friend, Meagan Francis of The Happiest Mom. I love everything she writes, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let her share her words over here today. They fit perfectly with our month-long theme here of goal-making…
We’re almost halfway through January. How are your resolutions holding up?
Have you been exercising? Eating better? Is your closet organized, your calendar streamlined?
Or are you struggling a little to fit those new goals in? Maybe you’re feeling anxious, like there’s something you know you “should” be doing…you just can’t remember what.
Too much doing…
Like many of you, I’ve been plugging along on several important goals during the first weeks of 2012, and yes, I’ve made some progress. But I’m also getting a little weary of so much doing. How can I possibly maintain this burst of energy throughout the year, to keep doing the things that are most important to me without burning out?
Then the other day it occurred to me: how can I expect to make room for those new goals until I axe some of the stuff that’s getting in the way?
Try not-doing, too.
One of my tips for being a happier mom is making a “don’t-do” list: letting myself off the hook for the things I don’t really want to do (but feel like I should) or just can’t make a priority at the moment. Those “should do’s” and “want to do…someday’s” have a way of taking up valuable space in my psyche.
And just like it’s hard to focus on what you want to do right now when you’ve got lots of “someday…” and “maybe…” goals swirling around in your head, it’s almost impossible to find the time to commit to high-priority resolutions when you’re still spending time, energy, and resources on activities that aren’t as important to you.
The trick is that sometimes those important goals have serious competition. For example: I want to save money, but I also really want to fix up our house. Which do I want more? In the long term, saving is more important, so that means I have to cut back on some of the house-related spending. I simply can’t meet both goals at the same pace and the same time.
Photo by o5com
That’s why I need a “resolve NOT to” list. It reminds me that any goal worth pursuing requires some sacrifice, and helps me whittle away at the things that are most likely to get between my family and our highest priorities.
• My goal is to have relaxed time, at home, with my family most weekday evenings. So I resolve not to take on any recurring evening commitments between 5 and 7 p.m.
• My goal is to increase our monthly savings rate by 100%. So I resolve not to take on any new home-renovation projects until we’ve met that goal.
• My goal is to get eight hours of sleep each night. So I resolve not to watch Chopped on Food Network, which comes on at 10 p.m. (Oh, okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme. I’ll only watch the reruns on the weekend.)
How about you?
Are your evenings feeling too rushed to squeeze in that nightly home-cooked meal you resolved to make every night? Or are you staying up late chatting on Facebook, leading to mornings too fuzzy to even consider that 6 a.m. run you planned on?
Whatever you’ve resolved to do, if it’s starting to feel impossible, there’s a good chance that something less important is standing in the way. What might you resolve not to do?