Maybe we’re still mesmerized by the magic of the holiday season. Maybe we’re still in that notorious Christmas sugar coma. But for some reason, many of us moms mistakenly see January 1st as a magical switch we can simply flip on to leave behind all of our flaws and bad habits and become everything we want to be in a day. While goal-setting can definitely be a healthy and helpful practice, most of us go about it all wrong. Here are eight goals you should keep off your list and some tips to help you make your resolutions realistic and reachable.
1. Lose 20 pounds.
Although it can be tempting, avoid making a goal that’s too steep. Instead, go for something more realistic — like losing five pounds. Once you’ve gotten there, you can reassess and make another goal to lose more. You’re much more likely to stick to your goal if it’s attainable.
2. Be a better mom.
A good goal to be sure, but it’s too general. Think of a specific area you’d like to focus on — like setting aside five minutes of uninterrupted one-on-one time with each of your children every day or focus on making eye contact with your children whenever they talk to you instead of being distracted by your phone or whatever task you’re working on. Whatever it is for you, make it specific.
3. Never yell at my kids again.
Again, a worthy goal, but when you make an ultimatum like this, you’re likely setting yourself up for failure. Habits are hard to break, but they certainly can be broken. Try breaking up your goal into smaller increments. Say, no yelling for three days. Or, simply try to catch yourself every time you do yell. That will help you be more aware of the problem and cause you to pause and think before you let it get out of hand.
4. Keep my house spotless.
Unless you have a housekeeper, scratch this one off the list. Instead, conquer smaller chores on a daily basis. Commit to something like 10 minutes a day of cleaning or organizing something. If you clean out one junk drawer, that’s no small feat! The baseboards can wait.
5. Go on a romantic date every week.
The weekly date goal is admirable, and needed (oh, we know). But romantic? Come on. You know you’re going to end up buying diapers at Costco or picking up a present at Target for your little one’s birthday party. Allow yourself room for creativity. Even if you can’t go on an official date every week, find other ways to be alone together. After the kids go to bed, plan a romantic night in with takeout and a movie, or even just some uninterrupted adult conversation. Check out The Dating Divas blog for a plethora of creative date ideas.
6. No more sugar until next Christmas.
Sometimes, it seems easier to drop a bad habit cold-turkey. But you’re just going to end up beating yourself up over the slice of Magleby’s chocolate cake (or whatever your sugary weakness is) someone handed you at a celebration. If you’re a bit of a sugar addict, start with limiting yourself to one treat a day, no ifs, ands or buts. After you’ve mastered that, try progressing to one treat every other day. Eventually, you could commit to one treat a week. Just make sure you plan ahead — social sweets pop up everywhere! Take a tip from Clean Simple Eats and break out your calendar to decide ahead of time what your “cheat days” are going to be, so you can stay on track.
7. Send out New Year cards.
Christmas has come and gone, and so has the opportunity to mail out Christmas cards. New Year cards are a good fallback, but keep them from turning into Valentine’s Day cards by going with a digital card. Bonus: They’re much less expensive and environmentally-friendly than their cardstock counterparts. We love Pro Digital Photos for their variety of unique designs.
8. Go to the gym every day.
If you’re a mom, you’ll need to allow yourself some wiggle room for things like sick kids, last-minute blowouts and the like. Try committing to hit the gym three times a week. If you get there more, great. If you need to squeeze in a quick home workout or burn some calories sledding with your kids instead, that counts too. Cahoots Fitness, for example, is centered around busy moms and offers a two-times-a-week membership option (childcare included).
Need some more clarity on New Year’s goal-setting? Check out these articles:
- 5 reasons your New Year’s resolutions will fail (and how to avoid it)
- 8 New Year’s resolutions to make as a family
- Happy new you: 5 tips for resolutions that stick