It’s the New Year, the time for setting resolutions and goals. Some thrive and are truly excited about this time of year and the prospect of new commitments. Others feel stressed and overwhelmed. I sometimes find myself feeling both. I LOVE setting goals and accomplishing them, but the sheer number of possibilities for goals sometimes overwhelms me and leaves me feeling more stressed. Last year I felt like I found a good balance and approach to this time of year and setting new goals.
As I have listened to many people talk about their approach to goal setting and the New Year, one perspective that I heard a few times and really resonated with was:
Choosing goals and new commitments that would ADD to my life, not take away.
I loved this concept and felt it really aligned with the balance I found last year. I have a pretty good idea of what I want my life to look like, so for me the New Year is more about resetting and realigning.
I focused my goals and new commitments on things I wanted to be intentional about in my life. I wanted to be intentional about taking care of myself and making sure my days ran smoothly. What goals would help me to take the best care of myself? I also wanted to be intentional about having fun!
Recommitting to Routines
There’s a lot of debate and discussion about schedules (especially when it comes to taking care of our kids, am I right? Sleep schedules, feeding schedules; should we do them, should we not?). But I think there is a difference between a routine and a schedule. A routine can feel like a schedule, until it just becomes a part of who we are and what we do. The beginning of the year is a perfect time to reevaluate and recommit to routines that make your life easier!
Last year, I implemented some new routines with my kids. On paper, it looked like a lot of “stuff to do”. Morning routine, after-school routine, nighttime routine…a LOT of routines. But here’s the thing, we worked really hard for two to three weeks, meticulously checking off the boxes. Then after about three weeks, I noticed that all of this box checking had simply become our daily life. I didn’t find myself constantly asking my kids if they had finished their routine…because it was a routine.
Over the course of 2020, we slipped away from our routines we established the first three or four months and it really started to show toward the end of the year. I’m recommitting to these routines and keeping them going throughout the year.
I hope to help my kids recognize that having solid routines can give you a map of how your day looks, ease feelings of stress and anxiety, have more productivity, and also time for rest and play.
Adding More Fun
A few years ago, I started making a few “fun” goals. I called them “fun” goals because I couldn’t think of a better name. Last year, I decided I wanted to have a skincare routine. Before then, I basically had no skin care routine. I bought a few things, learned a bit about my skin, and now I can say my skin care routine is one of my favorite things to do each night. It’s not too exciting, it’s still probably pretty basic to some, but it makes me happy and it’s fun!
This year, one of my “fun” goals is to wear earrings more. Yep, that’s it. I have gotten out of the habit of wearing earrings the past few years. It’s not consequential to my life but I think it will be fun. And it will make me happy, thus adding something good to my life. So if you have any fun earring suggestions, send them my way.
For my kids, I’m going to frame this as something new they want to try or learn. There are so many lessons to learn from just setting a goal because it’s fun or you want to! It sets you up for a pattern of life-long learning. It also teaches us that it’s not all about getting stuff done but having fun along the way and finding joy in the journey.
Trying Vision Boards
This is something new I want to implement this year. I want to see if this style works well for me or anyone in our family. We’re going to make them a combination of words, pictures and drawings. I hope to find a place in their rooms for them to display them, so they can remember their visions for the year and add to it as they have new visions for themselves.
The “goal” (haha) for this way of goal setting is to be able to have a place for maybe the “one and done” things we want to accomplish or more unique and specific goals that don’t have an obvious category to fall under. I could see this being easy to adapt from a young child all the way up to a teen, and for me, an adult!
Setting goals and how we go about accomplishing them is different for everyone. I think what is key is to make sure your goals and resolutions are ones that add to your life and make it more full and enjoyable, so they leave you feeling energized and happy! If the goal is something you want, but the current process is making you miserable, reevaluate how you’re doing it and see if there is a better way. It’s important to remember that we are all enough exactly as we are, goals and growth and change can simply add to our life experience!
How do you approach goal setting? What routines work best for you or what fun goals do you have planned this year?