This year has been a year like no other, so let’s ring in 2021 with the start of a brand new tradition—the tradition of skipping New Year’s resolutions completely.
That’s right. No “wake up earlier” or “eat healthier” or “lose the baby weight.” Moms, we’re starting a revolution in the new year and it starts with skipping the resolutions. Here’s why:
You Don’t Need that Kind of Pressure in Your Life
Let’s be honest–this year has been a year, am I right? Remember when we couldn’t go to the store for a month? Or when we picked our kids up from school and never dropped them back off? Remember when we lost our jobs because the economy was free-falling and there was a global pandemic? Some of us even brought babies into this world with surgical masks over our faces. 2020 has not been a year for the faint-hearted. And yet, here you are, reading this article because you made it.
So first, let’s take a minute to congratulate ourselves for being actual rock stars, and second, maybe we shouldn’t add more stressors to our lives. 2021 deserves to be easier, for all of our sakes.
Because New Year’s Resolutions Suck
Can I let you in on a little secret? New Year’s resolutions rarely work.
I know, I know, but it’s the truth. Take the following scenario as an example: if you could choose between the occasional twinge of guilt you experience over drinking caffeine for another year OR fighting your love of caffeine for a couple of weeks and then breaking down and drinking it again, but now feeling like a total failure every time you have your morning coffee, which would you choose?
Something tells me you would choose the former. So, let’s start there, shall we? We don’t need more things to feel guilty about right now. We’re moms for heaven’s sake–we feel guilty for using the restroom half the time.
Because We’ve All Experienced Enough Growth This Year
New Year’s resolutions are all about growing as people and I’d wager that we all did enough growing this past year to last us a while. So in 2020, let’s just call it a rest and maybe focus on enjoying the year instead. It’s a solid plan.
Because You’re Doing Just Fine
How can I know this when I don’t know you? Because you’re surviving a global pandemic. Also, 2020 life is not an accurate reflection of regular life. Maybe you’re depressed, gaining weight, constantly losing your temper with your kids and your partner, and rarely responding to your friend’s texts. First of all, same.
Second, this is not a sign that you are bad at life and getting it all wrong. It’s a sign that life is a bit broken right now, not you. You’re stuck inside the house with your family all day every day, few of your usual coping mechanisms are available to you, and the only comforting thing you can do is eat carbs. There isn’t a New Year’s resolution in the world that is going to fix this for us, so what we all need more of is a moment to stop and appreciate how strong we really are. You’re doing awesome, mama.
Because There’s More than Meets the Eye
What are your resolutions anyway? Quit cussing, lose weight, save money? I get it, we all have things we don’t love about ourselves, but let’s get real–is cussing the problem or did you grow up in an underprivileged home and now struggle with feeling less sophisticated than other people? Do you really need to lose weight, or do you need to appreciate the body that’s been carrying your spirit like a champ for years by seeing a therapist about your self-esteem issues? Do you need to save money or do you need to address why Amazon is your favorite app? Could it possibly be a dopamine hit you’re using to stave off your depression and anxiety?
So often the bad habits that we hate ourselves for are symptoms of much deeper issues that need to be addressed, and by eradicating the symptom or attempting to eradicate the symptom, we are just ignoring the real problem, which will, in turn, manifest itself in a new, possibly worse way.
Because There’s a Better Way
Here’s the thing, I know some people really enjoy the challenge of self-improvement and if you’re one of those people, let me just assure you: there are healthy alternatives to New Year’s resolutions.
For instance, many people choose a word or create a vision board or set goals for the upcoming year. Choosing a word to guide your year is a way to simplify your decision-making as well as a gentle reminder when you find yourself tempted by old habits. My word for 2020 was “courage.” I did not become the bravest woman in the world, but having that word echoing in my mind throughout the year did help me find my voice when I wanted to be silent, and stand up when I felt like standing down.
Vision boards are helpful for similar reasons, and they also give you the rush that comes with envisioning your ideal life. And while goal setting might sound awfully close to New Year’s resolutions, the difference is that it allows you to work towards something tangible, unlike a sweeping declaration about becoming a brand-new person. Self-improvement can be very rewarding when it comes from a healthy, realistic place.
The truth is, we all have way too much on our plates to be resolving anything right now. Instead, if you’re a mom, let’s remember that you’ve done your best, you’ve kept other humans alive—during a worldwide pandemic, no less—and you deserve to ring in the New Year with your head held high.
How’s that for a resolution?
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