No-Guilt New Year’s Resolutions

Instead of setting yourself up for failure with lofty new year's resolutions, give yourself the gift of self-care for the new year. Here are some ideas.
I’m still noodling over my New Year’s resolutions. Most years, I’ve either gone with the trite and inevitably unsuccessful (lose weight, get organized, blah blah blah) or the resigned and realistic (“Resolutions are pointless–I’m boycotting them this year!”)

Last year, I was four months pregnant at the New Year, so my resolution was to have my baby. Specific, achievable, and measurable. Check! Cassie was born in May, and I’m quite proud of my first-ever resolution that actually came to pass.

So it’s another New Year, and I’d like to go 2 for 2. But this year’s completely different. This is my first New Year as a working mom. While I’m tempted to resolve to drop some extra pounds, get a promotion at work, be the world’s best wife/mom/friend/etc., I know I’d be setting myself up for disappointment. I would try to make big changes all at once, get frustrated when exhaustion got in the way, and end up feeling guilty for failing. Who needs that?

I need something to shoot for that’s both achievable and worthwhile. Something that will effect real, meaningful change in my life. At the end of this new year, I want to be able to look back at the year and say, “I did it! Yay, me!”

So here’s my big revelatory resolution: Take care of me.

I know, it sounds pretty crazy, right? It’s right up there with running a marathon or getting out of debt. But seriously, we working moms have a horrible track record on this whole self-care thing. I habitually put myself last on the priority list. Everybody gets clothed, fed, cleaned up, hugged, listened to, encouraged, and soothed before me (I’m not just talking about my daughter, either).

But that’s not a sustainable model for ongoing success. I can’t be my best for others if I don’t take care of myself. If I don’t exercise regularly, I won’t be able to enjoy chasing after and playing with my daughter. If I don’t decompress on a daily basis, I can’t come up with killer ideas at work. If I don’t enjoy a nice evening out with my husband once in a while, I won’t be able to maintain the kind of relationship I want to have.

So I promise to do something each day (even if it’s only for 10 minutes) that’s all about taking care of Susan. No guilt allowed. It might be eating a frou-frou $9 salad for lunch instead of a Burger King value meal. Reading my Book Club book before bed instead of putting away the dishes. Going out for a Saturday afternoon all by myself.

All these little pro-me choices should add up to a happier, healthier, less guilty new year–not just for me, but for all the important people in my life, too.

What’s your resolution this year? Post it here–you’re more likely to follow through if you tell the world about your intentions. (And if you don’t follow through, WMAG will love you anyway, just for reading.) Happy New Year!

8 thoughts on “No-Guilt New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Sue, dang. You read my mind, gf. I was just thinking about this yesterday when I went out shopping for a few hours. By myself. I started feeling guilty in the middle of my trip, so I hurried myself and rushed home. But when I got home I realized something. Even though I was gone, by myself, for just a few short hours, I came back refreshed. And ready to play with O with a renewed vigor. I used to hang out by myself a LOT before I had Owen. And that might sound weird, but I enjoyed it. So maybe that will be my resolution. Hang out by myself more.

  2. I resolve to be more patient with my little one and appreciate the limited time I have with her little self. She won’t be little for long! I need to give my all at work, but I need to be able to leave work where it belongs and give her my all, too.

  3. I’ll start with cleaning out the 4,893 emails from my inbox. Then I’ll resolve to take more mommy timeouts. Over the break, I actually painted my nails for the first time in years. It was a nice little indulgence. 2007 will be the year of nice nails!

  4. This sounds about like the sanest New Year’s resolution I’ve ever read! You definitely made me stop and think with this post — even those of us who aren’t Moms could take this one on and feel good about it!

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  5. just4ofus says:

    Good resolution! You have to take care of you and have YOU time. I think that is why my goal of running last year stuck. I enjoy it b/c of the obvious weight loss benefits, but it is done JUST FOR ME. I do it ALONE. Plus in the evening when I run, I get to see in people’s windows as I run by! SO it is great for being nosy too!
    Find something you can do regularly for you!

  6. My resolution is to play more w/my kids. I’m very guilty of immediately going into task mode the minute I walk in the door and it’s all about getting things done. So – I am going to make a real effort to get down and play – savor and enjoy my children – they’ll be big and won’t want anything to do with me soon enough;)

  7. Julius Seizer says:

    All worthwhile resolutions… I actually wrote some resolution tips on my blog which you might like to take a quick look at when you get a moment.

    Resolutions can work – if you know how…

    Have a great 2007,


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