I can’t say that I’ve never had New Years Resolutions, but I can say that I’ve never made any that I was absolutely determined to keep. I’m not really a wait-’til-January kinda person; if I want to change something, I’ll change it at the time I feel like it needs to be changed. And there are several other things that I know would be better changed, but I’m just not on board with — like trying new foods or eating healthier (I’m as picky as they come). I need to work out and read more, like everyone else and their mom. I stopped going to physical therapy because the people there just started pissing me off and my strength and recovery have surely suffered some because of it. So yeah, I’d love to change that.
But resolutions like these aren’t just something you can do once or twice and put a check mark in the proverbial box; resolutions are typically lifestyle changes. And dammit, it’s really hard to change your lifestyle. Especially when you like your lifestyle. I, for one, like spending my free time doing something I enjoy. I’m not really wanting to trade it for time spent doing something that I don’t enjoy just because it’s “good” for me. I know, I’m a whiner, right? I agree.
Anyway, I was texting with my dear friend Summer when she mentioned that she cut sugar out of her diet, entirely, and has been feeling a lot better. It dawned on me that, as a family, we’ve been eating worse than usual and I’ve felt kinda tired lately. I wondered if I too could feel better if I changed my diet in someway, too. And in an instant, I felt overwhelmed and defeated before I even gave it an honest thought. I replied with something like, “ya, that’d be awesome but it’d have to involve me getting Willy on board too and I don’t see him giving up sugar”. To which she confessed it was only for a week, “to see how she felt”.
And that little seed sat in my head and just like other little seeds, it grew. And I came up with this: A new resolution each week. Because seven days is more manageable.
Sound like a cop-out? I agree, to some extent. But in my defense, I also know what I’m capable of and in the field of change, it ain’t much. I also think it will be nice to try different things and see the result; with the hope being that once we try it out, we may like the results enough to make the change stick. It will also give us a chance to try lots of different things, things we surely would not be able to commit to for an entire year because – well – we suck like that.
So Willy and I sat down and compiled various resolutions that we’re gonna give a try. We’ve written each one down on a piece of paper and have put the folded paper into a jar for us to pick out of each week. I’m planning on including a small update once a week, on our family portrait series. Here’s some of the resolutions we’ve come up with thus far:
Walk Jimmie everyday
We complain often about how hard of a dog Jimmie is to take care of. He’s got tons of energy. He has accidents often in the house. He chews toys. He, for lack of better words, goes crazy. But I’m pretty sure it’s also all our fault. Sadly, we don’t have the time – or make the time – to give him the exercise we know he needs. It’s just plain hard when you have two little ones. Then there’s times we’ve made the trek to the dog park only to realize that there’s no other dogs there and Jimmie’s left sniffing around different corners, but not expelling any energy. A walk a day would do him some good, I know it. He deserves it. We’re not the best dog owners at the moment and I’m tired of feeling guilty about it. This one, in particular, is a resolution that I hope sticks around.
No eating out
Willy cooks the majority of our dinners, which is awesome… but, you know how men are… they aren’t the best ::cough cough:: planners. So there are many times, it feels, that it gets to be that time and he’ll confess he hasn’t planned anything or doesn’t feel like cooking, and so, we end up going out to eat. I love eating out, but I think it’d be nice to save the money and eat a little healthier too. My goal with this resolution is to have better meal plans, especially since going out to eat will not be an option.
No eating dessert
This will be harder for Willy than it will be for me.
No spending money on personal items
Not that we are big spenders, because we really don’t buy a lot for ourselves anyway. But a week of conscious spending could do anyone good, I suppose.
Eat vegetables with dinner
I hate vegetables. I swallow them as whole as I can with as much water as I can. But, I know they’re good for me. So…
Clean up after putting boys to bed
As I’m sure everyone can relate, the house gets so dirty so fast. It makes my head spin. I find it hard to write and hard to create and hard to feel inspired when there is just shit strewn about everywhere. Every time we clean the house we vow not to let it get so messy again and then, by the evening, it’s messy again. I think if we did a small part, each day, it would stay cleaner a bit longer. I’m hoping this resolution can become habit, too.
No TV before bed / Read before bed
It’ll be a challenge… we kinda have our routine down… Hoping Willy can stay strong on this one. I better buy him some Astrology magazines.
Only music playing during dinner
Sometimes it becomes so easy to put a dumb cartoon on so we (meaning Willy and I) can enjoy dinner in peace. But it’s also nice when we tell them no TV and put a record on instead. So I’d like to do this for the entire week and see if we can’t kick that TV-on-during-mealtimes thing.
Willy’s hoping we don’t draw this out of the jar until football season is over. Again, this one will be a bitch for him, but fairly easy for me – I think.
Make bed everyday
How much better does a room look when the bed is made? I’m hoping this becomes habit, too.
Watch 2 documentaries
Because there’s like a thousand on my list that I’ve been dying to make time for.
Have the boys pick up their toys before bed
They’re pretty good about doing so when we ask them too. Sadly, we don’t ask them too all that much. Not sure why. I’d like to make a conscious effort at having them pitch in a little.
Have the boys help with at least one chore per day
Because they actually really enjoy helping out and it’s good for their little brain cells. Ideas I have thus far are making their beds, helping empty the dishwasher, vacuuming, and taking the trash out (the recycling bag is small enough for them to handle).
Drink the recommended 2-3 liters of water each day
I read once that everyone suffers from dehydration to a small extent. Kinda interested in if we’ll feel any different after drinking the recommended amount.
Go for a family hike
Want to make this more of a priority because I know we’ll all enjoy it, but we rarely make the time on weekends to do things like this. I want to change that.
Workout M, W, F
Because I’d fail at doing so everyday. I have a plan in mind for stuff I can do at home. Willy has a weight bench in the garage that he bought months ago and has never – as in NEVER – used.
Attend a yoga class
We want to do this together, so I’m hoping to find someone to watch the kids and maybe add dinner out onto it — yoga date night.
No checking our phones while on the road (red lights included)
It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even sit at a red light and do nothing. Having a little computer at my fingertips makes me want to utilize every second and it’s f’n annoying. I often think to myself, “gosh, what did people used to do when stopped at a red light?” — How about sit there, and wait, for a freakin’ minute. It’s ridiculous. I want to change this. And Willy’s the worst with checking his phone while driving, though he’d probably deny it.
Spend 20 min per day working on Hooper with his letters / alphabet
I’ve never had any sort of urge to homeschool my kids and I prefer them to be in school for my own reasons, but I would like to supplement his education with some education at home a bit more. Because I have the time and not doing so has been weighing on me. Especially because he’s such a sponge lately and seems to really enjoy learning ::cough cough — firstborn:: My mom gave him some great workbooks for Christmas and we’ve been using them here and there, but I’d like for it to be something he expects and can count on each day.
Read at least 3 books to the boys per day
I feel like a punk for admitting this, but I often tell them I’ll read to them later or tomorrow or when they wake up. Granted, those little manipulative boogers are usually trying to crunch it in right before their naps or before bed, so I feel like they’re just putting off sleep by asking. But, nevertheless, I feel bad every time I say “No”. So I want to carve out time during the day for reading.
Open and sort through mail everyday
Oh my gosh, don’t mail us anything… we are the worst. I’m pretty sure our mailman wants to buy us a bigger mailbox or knock on our door and kindly* ask for us to empty the darn thing. Our accountant just dropped us because apparently there was something Willy was supposed to fill out and return, but that never happened and resulted in an email telling us to find a new accountant. Not to mention there are piles and piles of mail that still needs to be sorted all over the place. It’s ridiculous. We’re horrible. This needs to change.
We obviously need 52 ideas to fill up the entire year but we figure we can always repeat what we have now, as doing each resolution for a second week would clearly benefit us. What are your resolutions this year? Do any of you have any ideas that we could add to our resolution jar?