The New Year is upon us once again and we are gung ho about starting new things, making changes, having a better year this coming year. We vow to end bad habits and begin good ones, truly intending to fulfill the desired goals we have (or will shortly) set for ourselves.
These well-meaning pledges, although declared with genuine hearts and deeply felt emotion, typically last anywhere from three minutes to three months, depending on what was declared and whether you are attempting them on your own or with a support team.
According to TIME.com, these are the top 10 most commonly made – and broken – New Year resolutions:
• Lose weight and get fit
• Quit smoking
• Learn something new
• Eat healthier and diet
• Get out of debt and save money
• Spend more time with family
• Travel to new places
• Be less stressed
• Drink less
Although admirable, and certainly reachable, personal experience as a single mom dictates that a few equally attainable and realistic resolutions, that have been left off this list, should be shared here:
• Stop cussing…so much.
Single parents do not have partners as sounding boards. So we either use our kids (which we really should not do) or we learn to keep our complaints and stresses to ourselves. We aren’t really allowed – or have time for – many vices. Cussing is easy. It releases stress, costs no money, and is only limited by our lack of picking good R-rated pirate movies or using a Thesaurus. But, we can try to pick some less harsh sounding words. My new one, and you can blame the cute, animated Christmas movies for this one: nutmeg. It doesn’t pack as much of a punch as my favorite 4-letter word, but that’s just a new habit waiting to be created.
• Stop speeding…so much.
When you are one parent and you and your kids all have to be in three different places at the same time, posted speed limits become more strong suggestions than absolutes. But, you can work on leaving a few minutes earlier and staying under the nine miles over the posted speed limit. It’s all about boundaries.
• Less is more…more or less.
I have unequivocally determined that cleaning is bad for my health. By the time I get to clean, there is more dust and pet dander than a rescue zoo in the Sahara. My allergies are so bad after only an hour that I’m cleaning the sinuses more than I’m cleaning the house. So maybe less clutter, and more regular bouts of dusting and vacuuming?
You’re right. Baby steps.