It’s 2017 and I’m not talking about the beginning, but being halfway through the first month—even as some people are still sending Christmas gifts belatedly.
New year’s resolutions offer an opportunity to change. It’s a time to reflect on the year that was and renew our lives through the coming months.
I’ve always liked the idea of New Year’s resolutions, as they give me the chance to evaluate my priorities and commit to improvement and growth.
Kids, unlike adults, don’t seem to need to make resolutions to grow and bloom into amazing little human beings with each passing year. They appear to mature so naturally, it leaves me quite amazed.
But I suppose it’s all part of human nature and development, combined with, as parents would like to believe, parental guidance and love.
But, as proven by the popularity of New Year’s resolutions, it is not just the children who need guidance but ourselves, as well. After all, a happy, well-adjusted and healthy parent is necessary if we want to raise children successfully.
It has been quite a while since I sat down and tried to commit to a list, but maybe this year is a good time to go back to tradition.
Two weeks late
This year, I’m two weeks late, which has inspired the first item on my list.
1) No procrastination. I like getting things done—planning, organizing and checking things off a list, but admittedly, I also have a tendency to check them off at the last possible minute. This year, I want to make sure I don’t waste moments procrastinating which, in the end, causes me to lose precious time with my family and loved ones.
2) Lend a helping hand. Growing up with my grandmother taught me the value of always being ready to lend a helping hand or do things for the elderly. It’s been several years since she passed away, and though she is no longer around, I have decided that I want to adapt this attitude toward everyone we encounter.
Sometimes, there is a tendency to think that the only way to help and make a difference is through big, long-term actions. But no action is too small, and even the smallest of actions can go a long way. I hope that my kids will pick up the habit of always helping, as well.
3) Try something new. This is a tough one for a creature of habit. But if I expect my children to listen to me when I tell them to do this, I suppose I have to model it for them, and show them that even Mama has to try new things once in a while.
I have to admit, as difficult as it is to push myself out of my comfort zone, I have yet to regret any of the new (positive) things I’ve tried over the last few years. And there is a thrill and excitement on the things that I forget I could still engage in.
4) Want less, give more. I’m not sure who said it, but I have this on my phone’s screensaver, and if I had to choose just one thing to truly teach my children this year, it would be this. Can you imagine how simple and meaningful life would be if we could all truly live this way?
5) Slow down. I didn’t know the United Nations had released a report that measured levels of happiness in different countries —a list of the happiest people in the world—and Denmark has been landing in the top spot three times over the last five years. This has led to a sudden surge of interest in the Danish secret to happiness—which appears to be captured in one word: “Hygge.”
I don’t really know how to pronounce it, but I can tell you a little bit about this strange new word. Hygge appears to have originated as a way of battling cold, dark days through rituals that would bring warmth and coziness (lighting a candle, having a cup of hot chocolate) and a feeling of connection, such as sharing a meal and getting together with others.
Over time, the Danes shifted their attention from the actions to the attitude they developed through their rituals—of going through life unhurriedly and completely present. It meant enjoying moments big and small, even during the storms of life, and finding joy in everything around them and in all that they do.
We may not be able to say the word, but you get the idea.
Of course, I also have the perennial top resolution items on my list, such as exercising (hello, my old friend); eating healthier (this is also part of hygge, by the way); and patience (I need this. Now). When do those three ever leave the list?
There are also a few more items I would like to work on this year, but for now, I’ll stick to the aforementioned five. Hopefully, I can add more as I tick off one or two items.
Here’s hoping that at the end of this year, this list, and yours, as well, will have served as an effective guide to making 2017 the best one yet!