If you are like me, you have a bucket list tucked away somewhere. On my list are many, many things that I’d like to accomplish (and not before I die, simply before I get too old to do them and just want to nap all day or perhaps before my teeth fall out. My Grandma always told me steak was never the same after she lost her front four).
Among those things include random travel requests like “Go to Europe” and “Take a Disney Cruise”. Others are not so cut and dry. For example, ‘Write a novel” would mean I had to actually finish one of the three books I’ve started writing (and I WILL do that, just as soon as I shake a few of these kids off my legs for an entire week and land myself on a tropical island with no access to Facebook or Twitter).
My current favorite, “Move to a small farm where I can have horses, cows, and possibly a llama” is quite possible, but at this time slightly difficult to manage (for one, I cannot possibly conceive of packing up my current house after living in and cluttering it up for 8 years).
Although the bucket list is great, I don’t think a bucket list makes a realistic basis for your New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions should be obtainable, maybe even immediate. Let’s face it, if you resolve to lose weight and you don’t see an inch of that flab moving within 2 weeks, your chances of giving up are seriously high. You’ll find yourself with your butt hanging out of the pantry, stuffing bags of your kid’s Teddy Grahams in your mouth and sobbing. No, that has never happened to me. Maybe with Fig Newtons…..
So the solution to creating and keeping New Year’s Resolutions appears to be: Aim Low. As in things you can accomplish in your PJ’s whilst you sit on your couch without even having had a shower that day.
With that in mind, here are a few New Year’s resolutions that are quick, realistic, and might just have you feeling a bit more accomplished somewhere along the way this year:
Get more quiet time to yourself
Quiet: That elusive state where people aren’t yelling, playing video games, or asking you for a sandwich. Its a given that you will forego quiet when raising kids, and you won’t be pursue it that much because, a. Life is busy, and b.Nursing homes are quiet, and we want to enjoy our kids while we are all young and able bodied enough to enjoy them. Quiet can wait.
But a lack of quiet means a lack of thinking clearly. So even if you have to crawl into the corner of your closet (I’m a big fan of closets) for 10 minutes while the kids watch a video or you can go for a run without blaring music in your ears, just sitting still and being quiet will actually energize you.Then you can get back to the chaos with a clear mind.
Make your kids do more chores
I remember filling the dishwasher when I was about 12, thinking it was a really lame job. I held that belief until I got a job at the local drug store making cotton candy, and then, as I picked bits of cotton candy out of my shellacked 1980’s hair, I knew that filling the dishwasher wasn’t lame at all.
You might not think it, but kids do like to help out if it’s put to them the right way. Suggest little jobs like picking up the toys, dusting, or folding socks (I despise folding socks, so I get the kids to do it all the time. Otherwise, I leave everything in a huge basket and they have to pick through it to find socks for school). If your kids do more around the house, you have more time for other things.
Buy something you’ve always wanted
Time passes, life is fleeting, etc.etc.etc. Honestly, if you can afford to buy something you really, really want, why put it off? Maybe it’s a brand new camera with all the bells and whistles, or a new wardrobe that doesn’t involve t shirts and jeans with holes in them. Or it’s a year’s worth of plane tickets to somewhere sunny. If it makes you feel good, buy it. And if you can’t afford it, start plotting to find a way that you possibly could. When you finally do have whatever you want in your hot little hands, you’ll either feel really good or have buyers remorse anyway. At the very least, you’ll have accomplished a New Year’s Resolution so that has to stand for something.
See, it’s easy. Just set some realistic goals and get to work.
For me, I prefer to aim high, because aiming high will change your life. So hopefully by the end of 2012 we will find that the 2012 doomsday theorists have gone on to live where ever Harold Camping is currently hiding out, and I will be happily trying to figure out if llamas are really intelligent animals or simply just large, hairy poop factories like their goat counterparts. I’ll also have been to Disneyland at least 4 times and finished one novel and a short story that my daughter is desperately waiting for.
I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year that will exceed even your lowest expectations.