We're more than halfway through January, and not a day has gone by this year that I think to myself, "I should make some sort of resolution." So I guess now's as good a time as any to get to it.
But I'm totally, completely, so not a resolution type of person. They feel too definitive, too rigid.
So I thought to myself: what could I do instead of a resolution? Are goals enough?
Yes. Ultimately, I decided goals were enough. Goals are powerful and personal and purposeful. But only if I shared them publicly so I can stay accountable. (Oh, and please help keep me accountable.)
These aren't rigid resolutions that I'll begin today, achieve one day and then file away as accomplished. They're goals that I'll work toward, that I'll hopefully meet and surpass and that I'll constantly work to adjust, so that I'm always working toward being the best version of myself for myself, for my husband, for Noam and for any future babies who we bring into our world. That's the least they deserve. That's the least I deserve.
And so, here are my current me, mom, wife, and life goals.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I find myself too often on my phone, buying something on Amazon or checking Instagram or responding to an email, while Noam plays right in front of me. It's tough to be on 24/7 - to be really ON - and sometimes I need a few minutes to sort of check-out, to do something else and be somewhere else (whether physically or just mentally). But when I'm with Noam, he deserves my time and attention. When I'm with my husband, he deserves me at 100% (or you know, 50% because he shares me with Noam but you get it). It's not enough to just be physically with them. I need to be emotionally and mentally. I'm positive they feel the difference.
A few things I'm going to do to reach this goal are:
- Keep my phone away. I've started keeping my phone in the kitchen over night, so I no longer feel tempted to check it at night or in the mornings.
- Set aside dedicated email/computer/work time. Instead of feeling like I should sneak in a few minutes here and there throughout the day and then feeling bad that I'm doing so, I'm going to set aside time to really focus on things I need to do. Hopefully that'll help me be more efficient (and therefore spend less total time on my computer) and set my expectations for when and where I accomplish my tasks.
I don't really mean help that old lady cross the street (although please, if you see an old lady, help her cross the street). The kindness I'm taking about is being kind to yourself. The kindness I'm talking about is doing unto yourself the way you hopefully do unto others. Do I call my best friend or my mom fat? No. Do I critique every bit of my friends' hair or face or outfit? No. Do I feed my family junk? We answer no to these questions because we are being kind, thoughtful and intentional about how we treat others. And we deserve this same level of care.
How am I going to be kinder? I'm going to start by what I put into my body and my mind. I ate so well while I was expecting and really, truly never felt better about my body as I did when I was pregnant. My goal is to return to that. It will be tough with the little time I have and it will be a work in progress, as all of this will be, but I believe what you get out is a function of what you put in and I'd like to get the best I can out of myself.
Then I'm going to be less critical of myself - less critical of the way I look, the number on the scale or how many followers I have - and respect myself far more than I ever have. I cannot imagine Noam growing up in a world in which he is taught not to be kind to himself. I need to set an example for him and it needs to start with me.
Practice Self Care
Noam will be six months old this week, and I can count the number of times since he was born that I did something intentional for myself. That is not to say that I haven't wanted to or that I haven't had an opportunity to, it's just that I don't for one reason or another. Maybe I thought I was being selfish, maybe I was too tired or hungry or cranky, maybe I was just uninterested in taking care of myself because 'that can wait.'
But taking care of myself is one of the most important things I can do to take care of Noam and my family. To be a good wife, a good friend, a good sister and daughter and, most importantly, a good mom - to be great mom and the kind of mom Noam deserves - I need to make sure I'm taken care of well. This isn't just getting my haircut (although my god did that feel good) or getting a massage (that would be nice), but it's about taking time to check in mentally and emotionally. To spend time breathing deeply or crying or talking to a friend or therapist - whatever I need to feel really taken care of, really solid, really safe.
This is an on-going goal and one that I'm sure I'll always need to have and work toward, but it's an important one and one that needs to be a priority.
This goal is kind of tied to my goal to be more present, but it's a little bit more of a concrete, tangible (but not actually tangible at all) goal.
One of my hopes for Noam is that he never sees limits or that if he does, he understands what to do with them. I want him to desire adventure and whole experiences and to really believe in the beauty of life and seek it every day, and the only way that's going to happen is if he begins to experience life right away. My job is to help him.
So this goal is to have real, whole life experiences. And I'm going to do that by getting outside as much as possible, by going places and meeting people and enjoying activities that stretch our muscles and our minds, and by doing new things that are maybe a little outside of our comfort zone or a lot outside of our zip code.
So, much like resolutions, these goals have been set and I'll be keeping them at the top of my mind to reach them. But, unlike resolutions, I know I'll never really reach them, and that's okay. Because reaching them means I'm not moving them and these goals, unlike resolutions, will constantly move - just a little further up, a little further away - the closer I get, so that I'm always working toward a better version of each goal and a better version of myself.