As we face a new year with a fresh, clean slate, I find myself thinking about what resolutions I want to make for 2017. While many of us commit to making new year’s resolutions such as losing weight, getting organized and spending less, only 8% of people achieve their new year’s resolutions, with about one-fourth of those quitting within the first week. I’ve been reflecting on my previous year’s resolutions, along with my successes and failures, and I’ve decided to re-think how I plan my resolutions for year. That being said, these are the five resolutions I won’t be making.
1. I will not lose weight while sacrificing my health. I believe it’s always good to focus on bettering my physical health, yet I refuse to fall in to the trap of “skinny is happy." Instead of judging my success by the number on the scale, I will focus my goals toward my quality of life and overall health. Yes, I will take the time to work out and eat healthy, but also to set aside time to focus on me and my mental health. I am determined this year to take a balanced approach to fitness and diet. Gone are the days of crying over five more pounds, killing myself for just a few more burpees or comparing myself to the women in magazines. I am going to take care of my body, fuel it with what helps it run best (and it’s OK if that happens to be full-fat dairy or carbs!) and love myself along the journey.
2. I will not save money at the expense of neglecting generosity. I tend to fall into the “saver” category when it comes to personal finances. Yet I am learning there can be such thing as too much of a saver -- it’s called stingy. While I want to save money in order to support my family, I also want to use my hard-earned dollars to enhance others’ lives. If this means going a little over budget a few times in order to help a family in need, support a non-profit or treat friends to a gift that truly want on their special day, that is ok! I would hate to get to the end of my life with money saved but without the satisfaction of knowing I made a difference through giving.
3. I will not organize my life without giving myself some room for mess. Mainly, I refuse to stress out over having the perfect house. As a self-proclaimed neat freak, this will be a hard one for me. However, the question I will be asking myself this year when it comes to my home and my belongings will be: “Is my house welcoming -- do people feel comfortable when they are in it?” and “Do these things contribute to my quality of life?” If people are over for a dinner party and having a good time, there’s no need to focus on if the kitchen is perfectly organized or if the living room is pristine. The memories being made are much more rewarding.
4. I will not commit to learning a new skill that does not bring me joy. Instead I will focus on sharpening the skills I do have and putting them to meaningful use. In years past I have laser-focused on learning an out-of-the-blue skill (mainly one that was popular among friends or co-workers), only to be completely down on myself when I was unable to master it. I’ve come to the realization that I will most likely never run a marathon nor learn three languages. Instead, I will focus on the things I love and ways to improve them, such as writing, cooking and taking photographs. I’d rather spend time improving upon skills that give my life, and hopefully others, true meaning.
5. I will not attempt to be all things to all people. We all know as military spouses that there is a temptation to “do all the things!” I’ve found myself attempting such a feat in the past and it is beyond exhausting. With my career and now, a new baby, I’m unable to make every coffee or spouse social. I can’t be at every squadron event or volunteer regularly with special programs. However, I will happily be there when I can, and when I can be fully present in that moment. It’s not worth being at everything if I’m spreading myself too thin.
I am excited to greet a new year with new opportunity, yet I am committing to focusing on what truly matters! Tell us in the comments what resolutions or non-resolutions are you making this year. Cheers to 2017!