My bank account is small. My waistline is big. The time has come. It’s January 10, 2019, and it’s time (past time, really) to accept the end of the holiday season. It’s hard to say goodbye to mindless eating and careless spending, but it’s gone on long enough. Honestly, I’m not hating getting back into a routine as much as I have in the past. Calvin spent the holidays being passed from grandma to grandma, aunt to aunt, cousin to cousin so much that I don’t even know when my child is supposed to eat or sleep anymore.
It seems as though most people kick off the new year with resolutions, but I find this unrealistic. Starting a diet on January 1st?! The day of hangover breakfasts, collards, and black-eyed peas? No thank you! I need to settle back in slowly. Spending two weeks eating, drinking, and spending as I please can’t just come to a screeching halt. Let me take home some leftovers. Christmas cookies for breakfast, a salad for lunch. It’s all about balance. I’ll step back on my online shopping, but let me roam Target. I need to ease in.
I spent most years of my life making resolutions that never saw Valentine’s day. Most never saw Martin Luther King Jr. day, if I’m being honest. My first attempt at “Dry January” lasted until January 4th. Not bad, actually. My first successful resolution was two years ago. I set out to be on time. I vowed to be at least ten minutes early to work four out of five days each week. I gave myself one day to run a little late or even on time because, you know, life just happens, and I did it! I wasn’t actually sure why this resolution was the first to be successful until I kicked off the next school year by teaching my annual lesson about specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.) goals and realized I had unknowingly set a S.M.A.R.T. goal when making my resolution to be on time. That’s why it was a success.
I’ve been having my students make S.M.A.R.T. goals for the past three years, and I’ve seen a tremendous increase in student success. However, I never applied this successful goal-setting method to my own goals because….well, I don’t actually have a reason, just another example of my mindless negligence, I suppose. If you’ve never set a S.M.A.R.T. goal, and you sincerely want to achieve something, it’s truly worth trying. Break it down, and ease yourself in.
Specificity is key in successful goal setting. It’s also imperative when sending your husband to the store for ice cream. Low fat sorbet, Joe? Really? Who do you think I am? Where’s my Chunky Monkey?! It’s great to want to lose weight, get healthy, or be more present, but what exactly do you hope to achieve? Think about the who, what, where, when, and, most importantly, the why when setting your goal.
Your goal must also be measurable. Otherwise, how will you know if the goal has been achieved? I want to be more present this year, but how can I measure that? You expect me to keep a log? Please! That’s not going to last a week. Let’s be realistic. A simple “yes” or “no” can definitely be considered a measurement.
Speaking of realistic, let’s start making our goals achievable. You’d be surprised how often people set crazy unrealistic goals for themselves, only setting themselves up for failure (like “Dry January”). I’d love to lose 50 pounds and become a millionaire, but let’s all get real with ourselves.
Goals must also be relevant to what’s going on in our lives and to what we actually want. Do you really want to start a business, become PTA president, go vegan, and run your first marathon this year? Really? That sounds like a good time?
Finally, you should make your goals time-bound. Otherwise, technically, you have until eternity to achieve them, and who wouldn’t put it of ‘til then?
So, I want to be more present and use my time more intentionally in 2019. I want to spend more quality time with Calvin. I want to read more and have more confidence. It all sounds great, but who do I really think I am? I can’t do it all. I can’t be a perfect wife and mother and friend and employee and enjoy every second of every day. I just can’t, so I took these ideas and made myself three S.M.A.R.T. resolutions for 2019, and I really feel like I can do it.
2019 S.M.A.R.T. Resolution #1: Read at least one book to Calvin each day in 2019. – I chose this not only because I want to teach Cal to love reading, but because it forces me to turn off all of the devices, sit down with him, and be engaged. I like it because it often leads to us reading another book or snuggling or playing, which allows me to be present and enjoy the quality time I was seeking. So far, I haven’t missed a day. Although, one day we read a four page book of colors….I Still haven’t missed a day!
2019 S.M.A.R.T. Resolution #2: Read at least twelve books by the end of the year. – This started out as “Read at least one book per month,” but I realized that some months are just busier than others. I always claim that I don’t have enough time to read, but, let’s face it, if I put down my phone and turned off “90 Day Fiancè,” I could have already read War & Peace this month…. Then again, did you see Asuelu at the reunion? Poor, sweet, confused man.
2019 S.M.A.R.T. Resolution #3: Never say “no” to being photographed in 2019. – This is a big one for me. Whenever a camera is pointed at me, my immediate reaction is, “Stop! I don’t look cute!” I need to get over it! It’s not like every photo needs to be posted for the world to see. Maybe I’m not in my skinny sorority pose. Maybe my hair hasn’t been styled (or washed) in a few days. Maybe I could use a little concealer. WHO CARES?! I want to look at these moments as opportunities in which a moment of my life that I’ll never get back is being captured. I know I’ll look back at these photos and see myself in a precious time in my life. I won’t see the tummy rolls or the messy hair. I’ll see the joy, and I’ll cherish it. So, aim those cameras at me!
Each of my resolutions uses specific language, is easily measured, can definitely be achieved, is relevant to my life and my heart, and has a 2019 time-limit, and I truly feel they will make me better this year. Another personal goal of mine is to post here once a week, so I’m counting on YOU to hold me accountable. Mamas supporting Mamas!
Cheers to a new year,