Resolutions. Ugh, it’s that time of year again. Every year I try to make a few resolutions; every year I keep essentially none. Not because I can’t commit, but usually because I don’t have time to fit whatever my resolutions are into my schedule. Yeah, yeah, I know, I need to “make time for me” and “take care of myself.” It’s not happening any time soon as I juggle a full-time job, three sons, a full list of activities, a long(ish) commute, and delighting readers like you with this blog. Last year my youngest son said his resolution was to eat more ice cream and go to daycare. Now that’s a resolution I could keep. I decided that this coming year, I need simple promises for myself that I can actually stick to and which, hopefully, can make a meaningful difference. Here are my five. Try them.
- GET UP AND MOVE. I’m not suggesting a new gym membership. I’m suggesting that I get out of bed every day and DO SOMETHING that gets me at least a little bit winded. It could be anything from rockin’ out to a favorite song at an impromptu family room dance party with my kids, to taking the stairs at work, to chasing a 4yo who doesn’t want to put his shoes on. As long as I do something, I feel better. I recently promised myself I’d find 7 minutes just a few times a week to exercise with a super-convenient 7-minute workout app. If an impromptu dance party isn’t your style, try this app and know that just 7 minutes later, you’ll be done and feeling good.
- BE THERE. Choose to spend your time on the things that matter, with the people you need and who need you. Again, I’m not suggesting you overhaul your schedule every week to make time to volunteer (though that would be awesome if you could!). I mean even the little things — like choosing to grocery shop with your child, leaving work early if you can to read to your son’s class, visiting your Grandma. It’s amazing how much energy I can draw from doing these things, and how a warm smile and some time spent together can fuel others’ days as well.
- BREATHE. I am so thankful that a radio show I listen to has an hourly reminder to take a deep breath. I can honestly say that when I hear that during my morning commute, it’s the only deep breath I take all day. So, this year, I’m making it an actual resolution, a promise to myself, that I will consciously decide to take some additional deep breaths during the day. It really helps! It calms me, while at the same time invigorating me. And it reminds me that the basics . . . like oxygen . . .are key to helping the body operate at its best. Another trick for breathing easy and finding some peace, if even for a second at a time — Cor Pendant. I love this stylish, wearable aromatherapy necklace, and I’m not even heavy into aromatherapy! Just knowing I’m armed with either focus, energy or calm essential oils around my neck for a quick breath if I want one is enough to keep me going.
- RIGHT-SIZE. We’ve been working with one of my sons on making sure he doesn’t have “elephant-sized reactions to ant-sized problems.” It’s a good exercise for all of us! I promise myself to right-size my reactions to stressful situations at work, difficult conversations with teachers or coaches, the frustrations of parenting, and most frequently in regards to the many things my husband does that drive me absolutely nutty. And, while we’re at it, if I’m calling this resolution “Right-size,” let’s throw in there that if you want to gorp on too much chocolate, the food industry should “right-size” the serving size, or I should feel fine about “right-sizing” my pant size to be one size up. (Note: 9 Hershey’s Kisses are one serving. NINE. I love that.)
- ENJOY. OK, so we’re getting up and moving, we’re prioritizing our activities to “be there” for the ones that matter most, we’re breathing, and right-sizing reactions. All of this is more enjoyable if we see the pleasure in actually living life. We really are only here for a fleeting moment. Take in the surroundings. Really — I mean really — listen to what your kids and parents and loved ones are saying. Enjoy the fact that you’ve had an opportunity to know them, and make sure they know what they mean to you. Taste the damn chocolate cake even if you’ve already had cheesecake today. Turn up the music in the car and sing your heart out. Dance. Whenever you can. I’ve been caught practicing tap dance steps in many corporate elevator banks in my lifetime, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Wake up and embrace the gift of waking up, and ENJOY your day. And if it’s not the best day ever, luckily there’s another one coming tomorrow.
Will you try these with me? What’s on your list of resolutions?