New year, new you! Right? Honestly, the concept of setting and keeping New Year’s resolutions can bring on more pressure than anything else—so why not rethink them? This month, Giselle Baumet talks through how we can focus on resolutions for emotional wellness, especially for parents, and how this can serve as a basis for reaching other personal goals.
Here’s an interesting fact. Humans have been making New Year’s Resolutions for over 4,000 years (starting with the Babylonians). And for over 4,000 years, many humans have beaten themselves up when they couldn’t succeed at their New Year’s resolution(s).
A study showed that 46% of Americans make resolutions at the beginning of the year, and that by six months, only 6% have kept to their resolution.
Blah, so is there a point to making New Year’s resolutions?
Yes! Still YES!
But, not just at New Year’s, though.
Making resolutions, whether at the beginning of a year or the beginning of a new month, is a sign of hope and can be a healthy challenge to reach a goal. When you resolve, you’ve given yourself the motivation to better yourself, to have a fresh start, and you’ve shown proof that you believe in yourself.
Most people make resolutions about physical health, but very few about their psychological wellness — even though our mind has so much to do with our physical health and emotional well-being, especially as parents.
If you’re a parent, it can be even more challenging to prioritize yourself, whether as part of a resolution or just normal, everyday life. But I promise that it is a worthy investment to make, and a more centered, balanced parent also makes for a more responsive, peaceful parent!
Try one of these resolutions for emotional wellness to better your mind and sense of well-being as a parent.
Do Something You Love
Find your happiness. What activity makes you happy when you do it? What fulfills you and makes you smile? What makes you feel energized, yet still at peace? That. Do that. And do it a lot.
Do Daily Check-Ins with Yourself
Do this every day. Ask yourself questions that help you see where you are mentally and, if needed, shift your mindset to one that positively benefits you.
- What am I feeling right now?
- Why am I feeling this way?
- Is the reason true?
- How do I want to feel right now?
- What would make me feel the way I want to feel?
- What step will I take today to help me feel the way I want to feel?
You can practice meditation in all phases of your life, anywhere, and at any time. But unfortunately, many don’t put time into meditation because they feel it will take too much time. And who has time when you’re a busy parent, right?
Meditation works. It reduces stress and anxiety and makes you happier. The reality is that you can practice meditation in just five minutes. Here’s a simple meditation for you to try.
Focus on your breathing, taking oxygen in from your nose, filling your belly with air until it rises, and slowly letting it out from your mouth.
Focus on the feel of your breathing, the sound of your breathing, the sound of you exhaling, the air as it fills your lungs and passes through your body. Focus on this.
As you receive this robust increase of oxygen in your body, imagine it filling your body one limb at a time. For example, each breath you take fills your arms with oxygen.
The next breath moves the air down your arm and into your hand, and the subsequent air fills your fingers. Then move on to your other arm. As you breathe in, you’re supplying powerful oxygen into your arm, exhale. The next breath fills your hand and your fingers.
Now, move the oxygen down your torso, your chest, down to your belly, into your pelvis, and down your legs. Keep breathing as you fill your thighs with air, down to your calves, and into your feet.
And as you breathe this way, you know you’re moving powerful oxygen into your body.
Now that you’re full of this powerful oxygen breathe in more until you feel that your entire body radiates with this fantastic healing oxygen. Slowly begin breathing at an average pace and continue your day full of power.
Voice Your Feelings
Be loud. Be heard even if it doesn’t make sense, and you don’t know what you feel. Let your thoughts be known to a friend you trust, your partner, or whoever else you think you can speak to freely. Feelings held inside can turn into resentment. But, on the other hand, freed emotions have a chance at being worked through and keep you moving forward.
Give Yourself Love
Love yourself as much as you love your child. Think of yourself as beautiful, unique, magical, and brilliant. The best thing that ever happened to you…is you.
Quiet the negative thoughts that tell you otherwise.
Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. You’ve only got one of you, and the Universe wants to see you shine. So say it until you believe it…and don’t stop.
Significantly few people can go through life, and through parenthood, alone. I know I could not. As humans, we need the support and assistance of others. Find it, seek it, get it. This could be at your church, community, mothering group, therapist, doctor, or postpartum wellness healer. Seek the help you need.
Now here’s how to keep your resolutions.
Let’s Get Real
Set yourself up for success by choosing resolutions that are within your reach.
Break It Down
Rather than one big resolution goal, break it down into attainable steps you can reach throughout the year.
Choose ONE Resolution
Make the beginning of a new year a time to evaluate what matters most to you and choose the most important resolution to work toward achieving in the New Year.
Reward Your Successes
Celebrate your successes! The big and the small victories are worth acknowledging in a way that keeps you motivated to continue.
Ask a friend or two to be your resolution accountability buddies. Get the support of your friends or partner who believe in you and keep you motivated.
Talk About It
Get excited about your resolution. Tell your best friend, online community, partner, and family. Keep it fresh and in your mind by discussing it with others frequently.
Visualize Your Goals
For some, visualizing your goals may look like writing them down and putting up notes for yourself at home, or creating a vision board that you keep at the office or home. For others, daily meditation may be intertwined with visualization that helps you stay forward-thinking.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Remember, you’re human, and you’ll make mistakes. And when that happens, remember to be gentle with yourself and not let it stop you from progressing. Please take it as a learning opportunity, not as a quitting stage.
The best resolution you can make for yourself is to prioritize yourself. Remember that you matter, so take the steps necessary to care for your wellness as your number one resolution. If you achieve your inner wellness, you’ve achieved it all.
Giselle Baumet is a Certified Life Coach, positive parenting educator, herbalist, aromatherapist, hypnotherapist, mental health educator, and more. She is also a Piper + Enza expert contributor. Learn more about her work at gisellebaumet.com.