Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution that you didn’t follow through on? Well, you’re not alone. You’re a mom with a million responsibilities and your time and energy are limited. If you’re motivated to accomplish your goals and make changes in the new year without all the pressure, Relaxed Resolutions may be the approach you need to make progress this year.
Why I Made the Switch to Relaxed Resolutions (And You Should Too)
The new year is here!
That means many of us are busy brainstorming our New Year’s Resolutions, and I am proposing a revolution.
The last few years have proven to be a challenge for us all.
So what I am encouraging is the idea that it’s ok to be gentle with ourselves as we create intentions and goals for the upcoming year.
Although we all have good intentions, the truth is that many of us will not be able to follow through with what it takes to accomplish the lofty goals or extreme limitations we typically put on ourselves when January 1st comes around.
In fact, according to Forbes, only a measly eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
Some people don’t meet their resolutions because they set unrealistic expectations early on or set too many of them.
Other common and totally valid reasons for not reaching our goals include:
- Illness or injury
- Work commitments
- Children’s activity schedules
- Lack of discipline
- More immediate issues take priority
- Burn out
- Family emergencies
Throughout adulthood, I’ve been guilty of this myself.
Some of my previous resolutions have included:
- Exercise every day
- Drink 64oz of water each day
- Run a 5k
- Give up sugar
- Wake up earlier
And while I had success for a few days, weeks, or months with each of them, I can’t say I diligently follow through with any of them consistently.
So, does that mean I’m a New Year’s Resolution failure?
If you look at it in terms of black and white, then yes, I failed at remaining committed to my goals, as so many of us often do, but I don’t like to look at it that way.
The truth is that while I didn’t stick to my guns 100%, I did make progress and still integrate many of those changes into my life on a more frequent basis than I did before, and isn’t that something to be proud of?
As a working mom, I’ve learned I only have so much to give, and I can’t give 100% of my attention, energy, or time to every single goal I set for myself.
That’s why this year, I decided to make the switch to a more relaxed approach when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.
There is no pressure to accomplish everything or be perfect.
Instead of setting ourselves up for failure by expecting to maintain the same level of commitment every day throughout the year when life is unpredictable and sure to throw curveballs our way at any time, let’s relax and set resolutions that we can feel good about.
I still have goals and want to make changes, but a different approach is more realistic for me and my lifestyle.
Progress over perfection, right?
That’s why I’m proposing an alternative way of setting intentions for the upcoming year: relaxed resolutions.
So, what exactly are relaxed resolutions?
What is a Relaxed Resolution?
Simply put, relaxed resolutions are a more flexible and forgiving way of approaching our goals for the new year.
The beauty of relaxed resolutions is that they allow you to set goals that are less daunting and more realistic for you to actually accomplish, which will motivate you to keep going and take your goal to the next level.
There is no pressure to change everything about yourself overnight or be perfect.
Relaxed resolutions give you the freedom and flexibility to gradually make changes at your own pace, making it more likely that you will stick with them.
This relaxed way of thinking allows you to keep working on your goal instead of giving up the first time you get off schedule or stop making progress.
Examples of Relaxed Resolutions for Moms
Traditional New Years’ Resolutions often make us feel like we have failed if we aren’t able to follow through 100%, which is the last thing that any modern mother needs.
With so much on our plates already, we don’t need to put any additional stress or pressure on ourselves via public proclamations of change.
So this year, instead of worrying about sticking with your resolutions every day all year long, try creating more relaxed resolutions that still allow you to make progress while reducing the feelings of stress, overwhelm, and self-defeat that you may associate with this annual tradition.
The best part is that any goal can be transformed into a relaxed resolution by a simple change in wording.
Here are a few examples:
- This year, I will work on being more patient with my kids.
- vs. I will never yell at my kids again.
- This year, I will put more effort toward physical fitness.
- vs. I am going to lose 25 lbs.
- I am going to eat fruits and vegetables more often.
- vs. I am going vegan.
- This year, I will seek opportunities to focus on the good in my life.
- vs. I am going write in my self-care journal every night.
- This year, I will be intentional about what I bring into my home.
- vs. I am going to declutter my entire house this weekend.
It’s easy to see how relaxed resolutions are much less intimidating, but at the same time, they still allow you to make progress in achieving your goals while encouraging you not to give up when life gets busy or when things don’t go as planned.
The beauty of relaxed resolutions is that they can be tailored to fit your specific needs and lifestyle, which means you are more likely to succeed.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of making a bunch of sweeping changes all at once, don’t worry, relaxed resolutions are here to help!
You can turn any goal you have into a relaxed resolution by simply changing the wording and expectations to fit your needs.
Some other relaxed resolution examples include:
• Spending more time with family
• Learning a new skill or hobby
• Becoming more organized
• Taking time for myself every day
• Reducing stress levels
By setting relaxed resolutions for yourself, you are not only allowing yourself to make changes gradually and at your own pace, but you will also feel an immediate sense of relief from the pressure.
How to Make Relaxed Resolutions Work for You
Now that you know what relaxed resolutions are and how to create them, it’s time to put this knowledge into action.
You may be wondering, “How does this work?”
The main idea is to make a commitment you can uphold and achieve without the pressure of failure or guilt that often comes with New Year’s Resolutions.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting and trying to achieve more and working hard toward your goals; however, it’s important not to beat yourself up when your progress isn’t what you want it to be because that will only serve as a source of additional stress.
This is why so many of us end up throwing in the towel and reverting to our old habits.
The beauty of relaxed resolutions is that you can always revisit the original goal and make it more challenging down the road if you feel like you are ready for that level of commitment.
Here are a few tips to help make your relaxed resolutions work for you:
• Be realistic with what you can achieve and give yourself time to make progress
• Write your goals down in a positive way that is motivating for you
• Find an accountability partner or group to help keep you on track
• Celebrate your accomplishments along the way, even if they are small
When it comes to relaxed resolutions, there is no wrong way to do things as long as you are working toward making positive changes in your life.
So whether your intention is to get in better shape, eat healthier food, spend more time with family or take care of yourself this year – just know that there are other ways to bring about positive change without the pressure and stress of traditional New Year’s Resolutions.
Start small and work your way up, allowing yourself the time you need to make progress without feeling guilty or like a failure.
The most important thing is that you make an effort and try your best, something that every mother should be proud of.