New Year’s resolutions are hard. Every year I seem to begin January 1st with great ambition. I set my goals, I make my lists, I purchase all the healthy foods, and I mark THIS year as “my year” to be the best version of myself. Then, typically without fail, try as I might, I slowly stop waking up early to read my Bible or skip a day or two of exercise. I eat one too many meals at fast food restaurants or lose my temper with my kids for the 100th time. I find my resolutions becoming less attainable and as a result let go of any progress I have made. This year I’m doing it differently. This year I’m choosing not to make resolutions I can’t keep and instead, I’m opting into positive life rhythms that will help me grow and flourish as I continue to grow into the “best version of myself.” I’m going to celebrate my victories, grow from my losses, and bask in the chaos.
Celebrating my victories seems like an obvious first step, but it’s something I haven’t always been great about. Often I enjoy any victory I achieve but then almost immediately question how I could have done it better. Could I have achieved more? What will my next, greater accomplishment be? While continuing to reach higher isn’t a bad thing, I’m realizing I’m missing out on enjoying the sweet moments of success. I have done some great things in the past and brushed them off as not good enough. This year, no matter how small the success, I am going to relish it.
Growing from my losses definitely seems to come more naturally since I often second guess myself and my abilities, but instead of being hypercritical, I’m going to see the losses/misses/mistakes as a way to adapt and grow. From my days of teaching second grade and always preaching “failure leads to success,” you’d think I’d be a pro at seeing failures as steps in my path to success, but I often let them pull me down or make me feel incapable. Our society doesn’t preach this mindset. With social media often portraying perfection, it is hard not to see every mess up as a step in the wrong direction. I say, not anymore. I’m choosing to push that negativity away and set my mind on growth—one failure at a time.
After three years of motherhood and as a work-from-home mom, I have learned that some phases of life just aren’t butterflies and rainbows. There’s a lot of mess cleaning, laundry folding, butt wiping, and dish washing that happens again, again, and again. As busy as I’ve kept myself with various jobs, hobbies, and exercise communities, none of those monotonous, mundane tasks seems to get any easier. However, if I’ve learned nothing else from the chores that constantly seem to pile up, it’s that they’ll always be there. It’s okay if my house doesn’t look perfect because I had to hold my baby on a fussy day. It’s okay if it’s a frozen meal for dinner because my toddler needed more attention one afternoon. It’s okay to blast music at 4:50 p.m. and stop for a dance party so I don’t resort to screaming at my kids. The chaos is a built-in factor of motherhood and this year I’m choosing to embrace it.
I know I will achieve something great this year. I know I will also fail. I know I won’t be the “perfect” mom/wife/chef/housekeeper, and instead of choosing to try to fix those things I’ve previously seen as broken by adding more and more to my plate, I’m going to relish the moments I find myself in. I’m going to be okay with the dishes sometimes piling up, with hitting snooze because I just can’t wake up early one morning, and with not achieving everything I’d hoped to accomplish in one day. I am full of flaws, and for what seems like the first time in a long time, I’m perfectly okay with that.