Starting the year with lofty ambitions for what we are going to achieve can be great, but I personally prefer New Year resolutions to be things I am realistically going to do.
As mums we are so busy that piling more pressure on ourselves to lose half our body weight by summer is just not going to make us happy.
So rather than resolving to arrive at work on time every single day (someone’s bound to ruin that one in the first week of the year), I’m proposing some realistic and achievable resolutions that should also make you feel great.
1. Be kinder to yourself
Above all things, us mums should definitely try to stick to this one. We are our own biggest critics, I know I am!
Remind yourself that you’re doing your best and that it’s ok to take five and sit down with a newspaper or good book.
2. Smile more
This is a tougher one as when you’ve had no sleep and the kids are conspiring to drive you completely mad with demands and destructive behaviour.
I’m not saying you should smile all-day, every-day, but remind yourself to laugh things off occasionally. It’s ok to cry, but remember the things that make you smile too.
3. Get organised with the housework
I don’t mean spend more time cleaning your house, I mean set aside chunks of time every day to do a series of small tasks.
If you can do 20 minutes focused on just one room a day, you will actually feel like you’ve achieved something.
I don’t know about you, but I’m so guilty of just moving piles of stuff from one room to another and never actually achieving anything with it.
4. Shake it off
Do it like Taylor and just shake off the negativity. This is a big one for me going into 2018. I tend to dwell on bad things, nasty words and worrying way too much when actually overthinking it is doing me no favours at all.
A great technique I read about was having a hairband on your wrist which you snap anytime negative ideas or worries get stuck on loop in your head. It can help to snap you out of it and reset your mind.
5. Make a daily positivity list
At the end of every single day write a list of around three great things that happened that day. You could write it down or just have a think about it while getting ready for bed.
They don’t have to be huge things, it might be that you managed to get the baby down for a half decent nap. They could be anything from something you did well, making a new friend, organising something fun for the family to do in the future or making a dinner that everyone enjoyed.
Whatever it is, focus on the good things that you have done or that have happened to you. It’s a great way to make yourself feel positive when you go to sleep at night.
6. Make a family activities bucket list for the year
They don’t have to be hugely expensive activities. Make the list a mixture of big and small activities. Mine will include things like a trip to Peppa Pig World, a holiday to Cornwall, a visit to an aquarium and a picnic somewhere we’ve never visited.
Put it on your fridge and enjoy ticking the items off as you go through the year.
7. Talk about the kids less
When the children are in bed or you’re out for a date night with your other half, try to limit the conversation about your kids.
I’m not saying stop talking about them altogether as that would be impossible. But make time to speak about things like your jobs, funny things that happened at work, your friendships and memories from when it was just the two of you.
It’s a good way to make sure you spend a bit of time just focusing on each other. Having kids does inevitably change the dynamic in any relationship, but it’s good to appreciate the time when it’s just the two of you (however rare that might be!).
8. Get a diary
We all have important dates to remember, whether they’re birthdays, anniversaries, work conferences or important school meetings.
Get a diary or a calendar to stick on the fridge. Be strict about adding dates to it as they come in. Start the year with all the usual annual dates such as birthdays. Try to look at your diary a month in advance so you can prepare for things easier. It’s far less stressful this way.
9. Let go of friendships that are bad for you
If you’ve got a friendship that’s been lagging for a while, is making you feel bad or has just gone toxic, don’t worry about letting it go.
Sometimes you need time apart to repair whatever has happened. Sometimes friendships can’t be mended. That’s ok. If a friendship is making you feel bad about yourself, it’s ok to take a step back either temporarily or permanently.
This isn’t about falling out with friends, it’s more about letting go of the friendships that don’t make you feel good and letting you go forward feeling more positive about the friendships that you do have.
10. Make time for you
This is tricky when you’ve got kids, a job and a ton of other things going on. However even if you only get an hour a week to focus on a hobby or pastime that you love, then grab it with both hands.
You could resolve to find a new hobby this year. Try a few out and see if one sticks.
Are you making a New Year resolution this year? What is it? If not, why not? Let me know in the comments below.