Over the past few months, I’ve been chatting about my ongoing struggle to prioritize taking care of myself above everyone else (catch up on those posts here and here). I wish I could say I’ve perfected the art of self-care since my first post, but I can’t.
What I can say, though, is that I’ve gotten a lot better. And all of my New Year’s resolutions for 2019 are designed specifically to keep me on the right track.
New Year’s resolutions tend to get a bad rep; the stereotype is that most New Year’s resolutions are broken by March, but I believe that’s because there is a lack of a clear WHY behind them. The WHY behind my New Year’s resolutions – becoming a holistically healthy person – is SO crucial that I simply can’t afford to break my resolutions. My whole family is depending on me keeping my New Year’s resolutions, and so are my clients and friends.
Here are my five self-care New Year’s resolutions for 2019. Feel free to steal them for yourself if they strike a chord with you.
1. Go to the gym five days a week. Turns out, all the hype about exercise is legit. It’s good for your body AND your mind – who knew? (Literally everyone.) So last month, during one of our many discussions about my ongoing self-care journey, my husband and I made it a priority for both of us to make time for exercise. There is a gym pretty close to our house that is reasonably priced AND has childcare, so there is never an excuse to skip it. I might be cheating a little bit by calling this a New Year’s resolution since I’ve already been doing it, but we all know it takes awhile to build a habit, so I’m just counting these few weeks as a trial run. So far, so good. Five days a week might sound really ambitious – especially for someone who hasn’t had a gym membership in years – but it’s really easy to just have a schedule where I pick the boys up from school and go straight to the gym. Consistency is key for working out, but as all you parents know, it’s also really good for kids, too. Also? Since my kids come with me, they hold me accountable each day by reminding me to go to the gym when they get in the car!
2. Read two books a month. I set this same goal last year, and it was a bit challenging to make time to read that many books, but I did it! It forced me to make better choices with my time (picking up a book instead of scrolling through my phone, for example) and – bonus! – I got to read a lot of really great books last year. So, I’m repeating this one with the secret hope that I could maybe up it to three books a month. (Taking book suggestions now!)
3. Decrease my screen time on iPhone. There’s been some debate about Apple’s software update that pings you with your screen time stats each week. Some people think it’s obnoxious, but I’m one of those people who are so thankful for it. Ever since the update came out and I saw the horrifying number of hours I spend staring at my phone each week, I’ve set the goal to decrease my screen time each week.
4. Learn and practice piano. I took piano lessons as a kid but ended up quitting after a few years when I got a boring teacher. (Kids, right?) So I’ve played as a self-taught musician the majority of my life. The piano bench is one of the only places in the world where I can fully shut off my brain, so I want to lean into that this year. A friend of mine is a professional piano teacher, so I asked her if she had any room in her schedule for an adult student. She was so excited to start teaching me! Consider this your official invite to my spring recital.
5. Be open and honest about where I struggle. When I first opened up about my inability to care for myself (and, consequently, my workaholism) I was really scared of what people would think of me. I was afraid I’d be judged and mocked, but the opposite has been true. Everyone I’ve opened up to about my struggle has been so supportive and understanding, and they’re all rooting for me to get better. My plan is to continue being open about this, including celebrating my successes and mourning my failures, with the hopes that it’s all part of my quest to grow.
I’m really excited and hopeful about all of the positive changes I’ll see in myself through these resolutions. Likewise, I’m eager to see how my family will respond to me getting healthier. But I’m also inspired to be an agent of change. I hope my commitment to prioritizing self-care will encourage other people – moms in particular – to do the same, so that we can transform an overworked and unhealthy society, one resolution at a time.