It’s a new year, and many of us are making new goals and resolutions for 2018. I’m a planner, and I love to make goals and encourage my kids to come up with resolutions (although they rarely do).
But all this talk of resolutions made me think, are some resolutions made to be broken? The Statistic Brain Research Institute posted some interesting statistics about New Year’s resolutions in January of last year. Among some of the more intriguing data, it reported that 41 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, but only 9.2 percent feel they are successful in achieving their resolutions. In contrast, 42.4 percent report they never succeed at their resolution. Not the most encouraging news!
The statistics also lay out the top 10 New Year’s resolutions that Americans made in 2017. Here are a few:
- Lose Weight/Healthier Eating
- Life/Self Improvements
- Better Financial Decisions
- Do more exciting things
- Spend More Time with Family/Close Friends
- Work Out More Often
- Learn Something New
- Do More Good Deeds For Others
- Find a Better Job
Despite the less than stellar success rates of keeping resolutions, I still think there are a few that military spouses, in particular, should make this year that aren’t exactly on this list.
Feel What You Feel
Military spouses are often praised for their strength and resiliency, but sometimes in the process of an unexpected deployment or PCS, we forget to feel what we are feeling. Give yourself at least 24 to 48 hours to adjust to any new change. Cry, complain, do what you need to do until you are ready to pick yourself up and look for the good. My husband and I have this running joke that anything we said to each other between midnight and 5:00 a.m. when our kids were babies could not be used against us. When I shared this with a friend, she said they had the same rule from the moment the orders came through until the boxes were delivered. If you’re struggling with change, you may find comfort in Amber’s honest look at an unwanted PCS: https://military.momcollective.com/mom/final-not-home-latest-transfer-broke/
Organization is something every mom wants, but it can be hard to master. If you’re juggling multiple kids’ schedules and your own, it can be easy to get behind. As a busy mom of four kids in four different schools, I get it. A few things that have helped me along the way include going through papers as soon as the kids get home from school, color coding everything from plates to calendars, keeping individual folders and clipboards for permission forms, homework, etc. and packing snacks and lunches the night before or planning to get up early before the chaos of the day begins. If you need something to keep everything in one place, check out Jen’s recommendations for planners for busy moms: https://military.momcollective.com/mom/5-planners-every-mom-every-budget/
Prioritize Time By Yourself
As moms, it’s easy to put the needs of everyone else in front of our own. It’s also easy to lose ourselves in the process of raising kids. Do you make time for yourself? I talk to a lot of moms who are not sure what that would look like. What do you love to do? Try remembering things from your past and carve out some time to pursue those interests. For me, that thing is writing. For others it might be art, reading, or playing a musical instrument.
Put your own oxygen mask on first or you will be no good to anyone. Rachel gives a great pep talk on taking time for yourself: https://military.momcollective.com/air-force/need-time-away-kids-will-not-feel-guilty/
Find Work You Love
Keeping up with a career can be hard when you move around frequently. Thankfully as the world becomes more and more technology driven, there are many opportunities for military spouses to work remotely or start their own businesses. There are also scholarships available to military spouses wanting to further their education. Don’t give up on your career just because you move frequently. Consider looking at alternatives where you can keep one foot in the career pool. Many spouses like Gretchen have found a way to stay connected to a career they love: https://military.momcollective.com/work/working-part-time-best-worlds/
Give Yourself Permission to Quit
I always thought quitting was a bad thing. Because of that, I played sports longer than I would have liked and worked at jobs I hated. Don’t get me wrong, there’s something to be learned from perseverance and hard work even when things aren’t comfortable, but there’s also a point when enough is enough. Are you involved with an opportunity that frustrates you constantly and leaves you feeling burned out? Think about stepping away for a while (especially if it’s just a volunteer position). If you have a friendship that’s draining you, think about taking a break to regroup and reevaluate. Janna shares some good advice about when to cut ties on a friendship: https://military.momcollective.com/friendship/failed-friendships-when-to-cut-your-losses-and-move-on/
Did you make a resolution this year? We’d love to hear about it!