So it’s that time of the year! You’ve got one day left, today! Are you creating New Year’s resolutions? I am. This year I’m aiming for good New Year’s resolutions, ones that actually might stick and make a difference (forget all that “work out every day” business, that’s toast!). I’m taking this as a opportunity to try to IMPROVE some of the many things around my house and in my life that could use some work! So here they are, in no precise order, from the big to the small, my list of New Years resolutions:
1) Reward Positive Behavior. According to my Aunt Simone and Uncle Will, devoted and experienced dog owners, dogs respond well to positive reinforcement and poorly to negative reinforcement and criticism, which causes them to withdraw and cooperate even less. (Dog lovers reading this, do you agree?) So when it comes to parenting, I’m going to try and adopt this technique of positive reinforcement, and rather than say “you’re NOT doing X”, I’m going to try and say “I know you are GOING TO DO X and Mommy is going to be thrilled.” Can’t wait to see how these positive reinforcement strategies will affect my household operations!
2) No More Empty Threats. Marc and I fall into this WAY too much. Here are some of the classics, issued when we were totally devoid of ideas for how to get our kids to do what we needed them to do: “We’re never taking you out to dinner again,” “you won’t be staying up late with your cousins,” “you’ll have to stay home from camp (or school, or a birthday party, or from whatever other event is in question which of course the kid will end up attending.) It’s inevitable that we don’t follow through with these empty threats. When I read these examples I see how ludicrous these empty threats sound, so no wonder my kids pay no attention. When we do stick to our guns, miracles happen so I’m hoping that this New Years resolution brings more miracles chez moi in 2013.
3) Equalize My Time Better With My Kids. As a mom of five, every night is anxiety-ridden for me as the older kids demand all my time for their homework, piano and talking about their day, whereas my two and four year olds can’t articulate that they need mommy to the same extent. I’m going to try and allocate certain nights to the girls where they get more of my time because even though they are less their own advocates, they need mommy too.
4) Spend More Time With My Mom and Dad. I love my parents dearly and I’m realizing how precious the time is with them as they get older. I’m going to try and make this a big priority and see them as much as possible, even if that means letting other things slide. If they want to see me, I’m there. Ditto my siblings, I have the best brothers and sister in the world and I am going to try to make a concerted effort to see them and their darling chitlins as much as possible.
5) Spend More Time With Friends. That 15 minute phone call or hour long coffee don’t take THAT long, and yet they change the way I feel about my entire life. I love nothing more than sitting down with friends I love and trying to help each other out.
6) Don’t Revisit Decisions. I tend to go over past decisions over and over and over, fretting that I didn’t make the right choice. It’s a wonder my husband even wants to talk to me anymore (God bless him, he’s so patient). Meanwhile, I take a long time to make decisions and try to make them for the right reasons, so once they’re made, I need to trust myself that I did the right thing for the right reasons under the circumstances and move on.
7) No Internet or Phone after 9pm. I am a recent convert to Facebook and Twitter and although it’s hard for me to admit, I definitely suffer from “social media addiction.” I constantly check in, fretting over my posts, particularly at the end of the day, when I need to be winding down and reading something that takes me away and helps me sleep better.
8) When With The Kids, Put the God Darned Phone Away. This one is going to be really tough, but I feel that it’s the right thing to do. What message am I sending if I am checking my Facebook page when I am with my kiddies? If it’s not work or a personal emergency, is this really more essential than quality time chatting with my kids?
9) Using my phone earphones. I have them, but I lose them, everyday, and then I stress that I’m getting brain cancer. Who knows whether cell phones are dangerous or not, but as long as I paid for those earphones, I might as well use them.
10) Attend ONE movie in the theatre. Marc and I have not been to a movie theatre since I can remember. So my realistic goal is to try to make it to ONE movie in 2013 — Les Mis. I hope to go before the Oscar’s.
Are you setting goals for the New Year? What is your list of New Year resolutions? Do you share some of mine? Comment below and Happy New Year!
Love, Melissa XOXOXO