Happy New Year, GfEM community! We took a little break over the holidays but are ready to come back to 2017 fresh!
If you’re like most people, this week and time of year is all about focusing on goals and thinking of the possibilities of the brand new year ahead.
If you’re into making goals for the start of the year, keep reading to get an idea of how to make those goals fit within your role as mom.
As a mom, sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about putting anything else on my plate. I have a busy body never-stops-moving-or-needing-me toddler, I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant, and I run a photography business that never seems to slow down. I also have a husband, a house to clean, a personal blog, friendships to maintain, and seven books on my nightstand waiting to be read. Busy is a word that unfortunately describes my life all too well.
Whatever you have going on, I’m sure you can relate. We are all busy in our own way, whatever that may look like. We all have our own hardships and hang ups in life that make things less-than-perfect – and that’s okay.
So where do goals fit within these crazy-busy raising-littles days?
I believe it starts with our favorite topic around here: grace.
As I was journaling about the new year, goals for 2017, and what I wanted for my life right now, I wrote “I don’t want to set goals to add more to my plate. I want to set goals that make my life more enjoyable and easier to manage.”
While most of my early twenties I set goals that added to my plate – run a race, remember to drink more water, read a book a month, and so on – as I’ve gotten older and my time has been stretched thin, my goals have to line up with what I need. And that is not more on my to do list.
Here’s some ideas when thinking about your own New Year’s resolutions.
Do Something Purely Just for YOU
Have you always wanted to garden? What about start listening to podcasts? Get monthly pedicures? What is something you focus on that is just for you, mama? So often as moms, we focus on making our lives more manageable, making our kid’s childhoods more entertaining and magical, or maybe you put your spouse at the top of the list at times too.
When it comes down to it, no one is going to take care of you but yourself. And if you are supposed to take care of everyone else but your mom tank is constantly running empty… You’re going to end up out of fuel and everyone is going to be left stranded.
This is admittedly the hardest thing for me to put into practice personally. I still get tempted to believe the lie that I can “do it all,” that I am invincible and don’t need as much rest or down time as I truly do. We all need rest, grace, forgiveness, and some silence in our lives. If you’re lacking in giving this to yourself regularly, make a change now. You deserve to have that little something that gives you joy.
For me, I’m aiming to take one “coffee date” by myself a month. Partly to catch up on some work in an environment free of toddlers or anyone who could possibly need me and to get a good latte in peace. I’m also going to get a pedicure after because it’s something I keep telling myself I’ll make time and save the money for but haven’t been doing. It’s hard for me to justify that I need this and I could easily think of other ways to spend the money, but if it’s the one thing I do for myself for the month, I think that’s more than okay to indulge in.
Get Close with Your Creator
You know, the One who knows all of you – your hurts, your fears, your past, your hopes and dreams, your faults – and loves you anyway? If God is dead last on your list of things to devote time to, this is another huge red flag of motherhood that just doesn’t add up to a well-nourished mama.
I know how easy it is to put Him last, realize a whole day, week or month has gone by that you’ve meant to commune with Him in prayer, but it just hasn’t happened. Life happens and we let the time get away from us.
Thankfully, He is available 24/7, doesn’t require an appointment in advance, and will forgive you for any time that has passed since you last “met” with Him.
There’s so many great free resources to get a little bit of God in your day. From just cracking open your Bible to using an app like First Five or She Reads Truth, there’s something out there for everyone.
Set a Small Goal Instead of a Big One
It’s easy to plan really big, huge goals when you plan things in a vacuum. I often get carried away with any type of goal planning when I’m in my head and not accounting for real life to happen.
While there’s nothing wrong with big goals, either break them down into smaller ones so you can see progress better or just set a small goal anyway. One of my goals is always to read more. I have set yearly reading goals for the past few years, of wanting to read a certain number of books in the year. It can be overwhelming to think about reading ten or twenty books as a whole. It’s easier to break it down into a book a month or “let me just finish this one book.”
Breaking goals into bite sized bits always helps me see my progress more clearly and feel more accomplished when I do reach my goal. Since becoming a mom, it’s been a lot healthier for me to set small goals and plug away at things in more manageable ways than to go all-out for only big goals.
Adjust Your Expectations
Easier said than done (for myself especially!), but instead of setting a goal to have a cleaner house this year, why not turn the goal around and aim to be more content with things not-as-clean?
It might sound bonkers and somewhat anti-goal related, but if you’ve been working at a goal for a long time (i.e. keep the house cleaner) and it never seems to come to fruition, sometimes I find it better and more realistic for me to let that “goal” or desire pass. Some goals are still worth pursuing eventually, but maybe just not in the season you are in.
As tough as it is, I realize that I am limited and sometimes my goals are not even in line with what God wants for my life anyway. So that nagging thing on your to do list that never gets done? What if that’s God’s way of trying to tell you that maybe it’s you that needs to change, not the dirty floors? As a mom, I know I need more areas in my life that I can let go of and in this season, certain things are better if I change instead of trying to change them.
Whatever you may be working toward this year, I hope and pray 2017 is a year full of passion, smiles, healing, growth, cuddles, and rest.
Happy New Year!