New Year’s resolutions are always the rage for at least a couple weeks after the new year begins. They can be anything from eating healthier and exercising to trying a new clothing style. Most people say they will commit to new year’s resolutions, but end up giving up before the spring starts. The reasons include not having enough time, not enough money, or enough strength to stay committed.
It is even tougher for parents to stick to any type of new year’s resolution. Whenever there seems to be a free moment, something happens with a child and the resolution gets pushed to the back of the mind and forgotten. Parents put their children first, especially when their children need anything. This makes it difficult to do anything outside of necessary commitments.
I may not have a toddler, only a two-month-old, but there still seems to be little extra time. I come home from work, have supper, spend time with my wife and daughter, and It is already bed time. It feels like there is no time for editing manuscripts as I do on the side, any time to rest, or exercise. But I need to find time to do these things. I have duties to do with editing. I need time to exercise as I haven’t really done any exercise since running the Indy Mini Marathon in May. Taking time to rest and relax is important.
It feels impossible to accomplish all of that in a day. All of it may not happen every day because there are more important things to do—like work and spending time with my wife and daughter. Portioning out time in the day can help, and planning tasks that need accomplished will provide clear cut direction. Calendars and planners are essential to completing everything that needs done. I like to write down events in my calendar and write every task I need to complete. It helps me stay focused and even if I don’t complete everything that day, I move over what needs to be done still to the next day(s).
Here are a few steps that I am using and think will be useful for you too:
1 Don’t dwell on everything that must get done.
It is too easy to become overwhelmed by all the tasks that need completed. Take a deep breath and think about something fun. It can be seeing your child smile or a family outing that happened recently (as long as it had a fun moment, of course). This will help bring your mind at ease just for a little bit to help you get started. Prioritize the tasks and take them one at a time.
2 Plan out your day in a written, tangible way
If you are anything like me, it is too easy to forget things. It doesn’t matter if it is extremely important, I have probably forgotten it. I can promise you (and my wife can too) that I have forgotten necessary items because I didn’t write them down. Use a calendar or a planner or an app of either, but write/type it out. I have written events in the monthly calendar and then in the daily/weekly sections written the exact same thing plus any specific tasks that don’t require being input into the calendar. As long as I write down all of my tasks and look at my planner, I will know what needs to get done that day and what can wait if an issue or unexpected event comes up. This makes it simple on what I expect to get done and will make sure I don’t forget anything.
3 Make sure to include me time
As I said earlier, it is extremely easy to constantly be doing something. It feels like there is always something, whether it be for work, family, or cleaning the house. It is important that we provide for our families with money to buy food, clothing, and shelter. It is also important to love our spouses and children on a daily basis. With all the people and jobs in our lives, it is easy to never end up spending time alone. But taking a breather and doing something alone that you enjoy can be relaxing and recharge your body and mind. Take a bath, read a book, go for a run, or watch a movie. Anything that provides the recharge time will be beneficial. It isn’t only to keep you sane, but keep you just a little bit healthier. That’s the point of most new year’s resolutions, right? To help us realize who we are and what we can do to improve our daily lives.
Take these steps, use them, and improve your life. You will feel like you have more control, feel healthier, and provide a better life for you and your family. Fulfill that resolution that you have been trying to finish for a long time, or complete a new goal. Follow these steps and you and your family will be thankful you did so.