Welcome to 2018! Maybe 2017 was rough for you. You might have felt yourself pulled in a million directions. Or perhaps you experienced that horrible sensation of being in a rut– moving neither toward nor away from your goals. Maybe your goals have shifted altogether. Well never fear, the new year is here!
The new year is a natural time to reevaluate what you want for your life. I’m not a huge fan of New Years resolutions. Oftentimes they can be pretty superficial, difficult to achieve, and/or lack an actual plan for success. By springtime, most of these resolutions will have been long-forgotten and replaced by your personal status quo. Human beings naturally resist change. Change can be scary. Even if your current circumstances are less than ideal, at least you know what to expect. Whereas, making a decision to change your life may include some unknowns and surprises. It’s a risk. This is the reason why so many people hold onto their dysfunctional patterns, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that its time to do something different.
First off, try to take a little pressure off of yourself. New Years resolutions, which we often share with others in lives, can feel like major commitments. Instead of saying that you plan to get straight A’s or cook dinner every night, start by taking inventory of your 2017: the good the bad and the ugly. Keep what works and consider changing what doesn’t. Do a progress report on the goals you’ve made in the past. Maybe it would be more productive (and satisfying) to keep working on existing goals instead of piling more on top of yourself. In the counseling field, we sometimes talk about acknowledging approximations of a desired behavior. Goals don’t have to be all or nothing. Maybe you didn’t meet your weight loss goal, but you did manage to lose a few pounds, drink more water, or eat less dessert. Those steps matter.
For us ScholarMoms, we’re sometimes juggling so many things that it’s easy to lose sight of our goals for particular domains of our lives. There’s parenting, school, work, relationships, housework, and so on. Life can become a matter of surviving from moment to moment and day to day. Before you know it, months have gone by. Don’t get me wrong, we all have to do what’s necessary to keep our heads above water. However, it’s important to have your overall vision in mind every step of the way. This year we will dive into ways to live better, all while meeting our own standards for school and home. Meanwhile I’d love to hear more about your vision for 2018. Tell me about it in the comments!