I’ve been tossing around ideas for my “New Year’s Resolutions” post for days now, and I’ve realized: This is a lot of pressure!
Lose weight, write a book, exercise more, eat healthy, learn to sew…
Does it ever end?
2011 will, no doubt, be a big year for us. Besides working on new career goals, we are planning to sell our home and buy a new one, have another baby (fingers crossed!!), get our finances in better order, and continue on our journey toward a more eco-friendly, made-from-scratch, “get your hands dirty” kind of existence.
I’m a little overwhelmed just thinking about it.
The new year also brings with it lots of inspiration for change on a personal level. Internal change. I’m seeing it everywhere: “New Year, New You!” But mostly from companies that are trying to sell me stuff to make me look better (translate: skinnier).
But I’m not one for exclusion, restriction, or self-deprivation, so I’m not making any of those “no more chocolate” or “Big diet starts on Jan. 1st” resolutions. For me, heading into the new year saying that I’m going to eat less, spend less–do anything less– is a recipe for failure. In relation to food, I believe that inclusion is the way to go–include all the things that your body needs, and there won’t be so much room left for the junk–and I really think that applies to most aspects of life.
So, what issues are big for me in 2011?
I’ve had a complex relationship with food and dieting for years. So, I tread lightly around it now. Do I want to lose 20 lbs? Yes. Do I want to fit easily into my tiny jeans, and “get skinny”? Sure I do. But, I stand firm in my belief that those things are secondary to the bigger picture. So, my goals for 2011 in regard to food are simple: I intend to continue searching for and learning about the best possible choices for my family’s health, and the rest will follow. Period. (Oh, and that includes learning some new recipes that include lots of beans. I’m all about beans in 2011.)
The fact that I’m not going to obsess about weight doesn’t mean that I don’t have a little work to do on my health and general fitness. I lost all my baby weight months ago, and I’m actually about 2 lbs lighter than when I got pregnant. But, that means nothing considering the fact that I am not in good shape after months of focusing solely on baby and getting back into the swing of my work schedule. I have zero core strength and my chronic hypertension is still a concern, so I need to get my arse moving. I’m planning another pregnancy so the motivation is hard to muster, but I want to go into it as strong as possible, so adding in some exercise (preferably in a way that will include Little Man) is key for me in 2011.
want need to write more. I work in advertising, and my writing there is very brand specific. I think the Brand Standards monster is eating my words, so I need to do a little more work on my own to maintain my own voice. That means utilizing the potential of my blog a little more, and recording more memories privately for my son so he has them to look back on later. Maybe I’ll even write a poem or two, like I loved to do back in college.
Actually, I could go on and on….I want to make sleep a bigger priority, take care of my health, work on keeping stress levels down, save more money, spend more time with my husband, make more time to simply play with my boy, go after more freelance work, read a new book of poems just because…but none of these things really have to do with the new year. Those aspirations are with me all the time.
It’s funny…as I write the things I want to focus on in 2011, I realize that they share a common thread. Whether I’m talking about food, fitness, finances or my own personal passions, the answer to the question of happiness and fulfillment always seems to come back to balance. It’s the hardest part of family life for me, because I tend to overshoot, overwork, overaspire, then feel massive guilt when I can’t do it all.
If I boil it down, my success in the new year can be summed up with one simple idea: Moving forward in a positive direction while maintaining a healthy balance. I want to actualize the things that make me feel productive and full, while still meeting the needs of those who need me.
Sounds a lot like motherhood, doesn’t it?
So, I guess my conclusion is that my goal for 2011 is to be (what I define as) a good mother?
14 months in, and I’m learning new things about motherhood every day. It just never stops surprising me with how complex it is.
Happy 2011, everyone! May it be your best year yet!
What are your goals for 2011? I want to hear the INCLUSIVE ones!! What are you going to do MORE of?