The new year has come and with it comes conversations about New Year’s resolutions. There are some very intentional folks out there who set aside time to think over the previous year and set goals for the upcoming year. There are other individuals that are more whimsical and just wing it, putting together a list of things on the spot when someone asks them what their New Year’s resolutions are. Typically, resolutions focus on health, finances, and relationships and often are very lofty goals that almost no one accomplishes. In fact, one source states that only 8% of people accomplish their list of resolutions!
It is easy to be fatalistic about new year resolutions given the low level of success. I admit that I am often the first to scoff at the idea of making a New Year’s resolution but I don’t want to minimize the need to set goals. As parents of children impacted by special needs, our resolutions may need to be more down to earth and have a different focus but in some ways it can be even more important for us.
So without further ado, I want to give you some ideas for New Year’s resolutions with a twist.
• This year, on those days I am seriously stressed, I am going to eat the WHOLE bar of dark chocolate with my coffee!
• Once a month, I will soak in a hot bubble bath with my earphones on so I can’t hear my screaming child (please note that said screaming child is safe and no harm will come to him).
• Instead of joining a men’s basketball team, I will set up the trashcan across the room and perfect that jump shot with my child’s diapers.
• If married, I will regularly take an evening out by myself while my spouse stays home with the kids, and I’ll encourage my spouse to do so as well.
• Each week, I will look for something to laugh about. This may come from my own life or it may require googling a funny video or comic.
• I will put together my own special music playlist on my smartphone or iPod that I can jam to when I need a break.
• I will stay off social media during times of high societal stress (elections, etc.) and will not follow those people on social media who drain my energy.
• This year I will download a fun audiobook…and actually listen to it.
• I will watch a movie of my choosing and not my child’s.
• I will get a massage at least once this year.
• I will try something new that I have always wanted to do but never have.
You may have noticed a theme with the above resolutions. Not to say that you won’t want to have other resolutions but this year, I want you to give yourself permission to look after you and do some things you enjoy without feeling guilty. Our tendency is to always focus on our children and their needs but if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be there for the long haul with our children.
Let’s be real, with everything on our plates as parents of children impacted by special needs, the odds are not real high that we will achieve our new year resolutions. However, the first step in accomplishing something great or small is to set a goal. Michael Hyatt shared in a recent training that he provided that when we write down our goals, we are 42% more likely to achieve them. Look at the list above, what are two or three things you can set as your goal for caring for yourself this year or are there other things you can do? Now, write them down and put them somewhere you will see them.