I’ve never been great with New Year’s resolutions, but I still find myself daydreaming every January about what changes I might like to make. Vague, fleeting thoughts about getting in better shape, drinking more water, getting more sleep…the usual. But this year has been different.
Being a mom and wife and working outside the home, I’ve had to learn (mostly the hard way) about using my time more wisely. So I’ve decided to come at this whole resolution thing from a different angle this year.
Working in healthcare, we always tell patients who are struggling with addiction, weight loss, motivation after major surgeries, etc., that you can’t just look at the big picture. The long term perspective often feels daunting and impossible. Goals are more easily achieved by breaking up your actions into small, manageable tasks.
So, I’ve decided to break them up reallllly small. I can’t just look at what I need to do over the next year, or the next month, or even what I need to do tomorrow. Sometimes the most effective way to make change is to look at what you can do to reach your goals in the next 2 hours. Or even in the next 10 minutes.
I have this vivid image in my mind of where I want my family to be within the next year, the next 5 years, the next decade. But even so, weeks will go by and I feel like I’ve accomplished virtually nothing. The house feels unorganized, I haven’t written any new blog posts, I haven’t made any time to actually care for myself.
There are days (most days) when I get free time in very small increments. So my resolution this year is to recognize these moments and use them in the best way possible. (Step #1, resist social media..) A few free minutes one day might be best used working on the blog. The next day, I might have time to exercise for 15 minutes while my daughter eats her lunch and baby is sleeping. Another day, the best use of a few free minutes might be watching old episodes of Parks and Rec on Netflix. The point is, I’m holding myself accountable to recognize the time that I do have, however minimal, and use it for good.
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For most of January, I totally failed at this. I didn’t take the time to recognize the free moments that I do have. (Which made me realize the importance of showing myself some grace on those days that don’t work out the way I had hoped.)
As a reminder, the clock in our living room is my cue to think about what I could be doing to best serve the needs of my family and myself in that moment. It would be awesome if I could have an 8 hour day to work on the blog or finally organize my closet, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. I’ve got to shift my mindset..a few minutes here and there can add up to big changes. What are you going to do with the next 15 minutes?