New Year’s Resolutions With a Purpose

new year's resolutions list

We’re all guilty of it – setting resolutions for the New Year that we surely intend to accomplish. Buuuut, things get in the way like babies, kids’ activities, work deadlines or potty training. By the time NYE rolls around again, we’re hoping our glass of bubbly clouds feelings of defeat and disappointment. Cheers to a New Year (of unaccomplished goals)!

Maybe we should just skip the New Year’s resolutions? Instead we could coddle our bruised egos a little more and avoid the self-loathing all together. Sounds nice, but while this easy way out might make for a free spirited NYE 2015, it’s hardly the best path for personal growth.

Even if you’re not a self-help junkie, setting New Year’s resolutions is a great teaching opportunity for your kiddos. I want to teach my son the importance of setting goals to motivate, encourage and provide direction to him throughout life. As a budding two year old, his direction is limited to “up, mama” but soon enough he’ll be a lil’ man who’ll benefit from designing a life he loves.

Instead of skipping New Year’s resolutions this year, take a few minutes to transform your goals into ones that you’ll actually achieve.

Start by linking your resolutions to a deeper sense of purpose. Goals linked to a purpose provide us meaningful clarity about why we want to achieve a specific goal. We’re more likely to achieve a goal when we can envision, imagine, and connect with how life will be after our goal(s) are reached.

she designed a life she loved

We often set goals such as:

I want to exercise.
I want to get that big promotion.
I want to lose 10 lbs.
I want to eat healthier.
I want to quit coffee.
I want to complete a triathlon.
I want to grow my business.

While these goals may be exactly “what” we want to achieve, we’re missing the “why.” 

The “why” is the key ingredient, the real motivation, that drives us to take steps everyday towards that goal. The “why” picks us back up after a setback and keeps us marching forward.

A perfect example is the unspoken goal “to be the best mom I can be for my kiddos.” Everyday, you get up, smile, give hugs, share love, teach, take care of, feed, listen. You take steps and make strides daily towards this unspoken goal of being a great mom. Even on the toughest, most chaotic days, you keep going. Your purpose is clear. He’s right in front of you. Every step you take towards this goal makes his life bigger, better and more beautiful.

Take another goal you have for this year and make it count like motherhood.

Why do you want to exercise more? What will be different about your life? How will exercise create a better life for you? Can you imagine this life?

Without a clear purpose to our goals, the dishes, the dog and the deadlines will trump your commitment to yourself. You have the power to go deep, to find that clarity that will take you through the toughest days and the biggest setbacks. You, mama, have the power to achieve your New Years resolutions with a clear PURPOSE driving you to New Years Eve 2015.

Tell me in the comments, what are your New Year’s Resolutions and why do you want to achieve them? Be brave and say them out loud!

Preparing for Healthy Holiday

Happy Holidays. That’s a command – not a statement.

“I love it when the holidays hit and I’m so stressed out from purchasing gifts, cleaning, decorating and cooking!” Said no mom. Ever.

Stress holiday womanThe holidays are supposed to be wondrous. Families gather, delicious food is shared and bountiful blessings are bestowed on those who seek the true meaning in gathering and gift-giving. But all too often the stress of visiting with, ahem, less-than-perfect family members, financial obligations and errands has you wishing some of the holiday magic could send you elsewhere. Like to the nearest spa.

So here’s what I’m proposing for this upcoming season: Put yourself at the top of your list. Nourish your body properly, rest well and take care of your emotional health during this season and you’ll experience more fa la la’s than arrghs!

If you’re stressed, cortisol increases, which means so does your appetite . . . and your desire for sugar, salt and fat. Ugh. However, keep your cortisol calm and you’ll keep the crazies in check. Sound like a plan?

keep calm and love holidays

 

Here’s how:

  1. Make way for workouts: Schedule these in and don’t flake. Cardio workouts relax tense muscles and release endorphins perfect for stopping stress. Even just 10-15 minutes a day can do wonders for your stress level (and your metabolism)
  2. Meander to meditation: Whether you take a yoga class or sit still in your living room, you’re going to stop, think and breathe in a way that can radically reduce stress.
  3. Bust out a healthy breakfast: Choose something with healthy protein, lots of fiber and good carbs, such as steel-cut oatmeal, eggs or a smoothie. Bonus points if you buddy-up to blueberries.
  4. Suss out the sugar in your day: Be mindful of what you’re snacking on. Choose things like nuts and berries, crispy kale chips and apples with peanut butter, instead of “chocolate covered” something. Check that morning latte too, it could be the downfall of your entire day!

One final note. The more relaxed you appear, the better time your family will have. And that’s the whole point of the holiday season. Enjoy. Revel. Love. Repeat.

What steps are you taking this holiday season to stay relaxed and healthy? Tell me in the comments what are your biggest challenges, what’s worked for you in the past. Mama, I want to support you!

Embracing the moments we have

Be present rainbow

Embracing the present moment, so we don’t miss the rainbows

This week I am dedicating my post to a friend. I want to highlight the importance of being in the moment and really appreciating the people you care about.

A friend and colleague recently lost her eight year old son unexpectedly. From the heart-felt stories at his celebration of life services, I learned that Josh was a one-of-a-kind kid, the sweetest, most light-hearted, strong-willed boy you can ever ask for. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because his mom is an amazing, determined, loving mother who fought for her son to heal since the day he was born. I can’t even begin to imagine the sadness and pain she and her family are facing. My heart is heavy and my spirit dampened as I think of the void they will feel forever. I’ll be sending strength and love their way until that emptiness is filled with beautiful memories of Josh and his short, but highly impactful life.

The services that Josh’s family organized to celebrate his life were breathtaking and uplifting. We will forever remember such a sweet boy and his loving family. During the ceremony, Josh’s dad asked that every person take more time each day to enjoy one another, spend time as a family, embrace each other’s company and live in the moment. Hearing this request from a father who has no more moments with his son was heart-wrenching. Living in the moment is something I work on everyday. My heart breaks and my eyes cloud immediately when even considering living a single moment without my precious son. This father’s request hit me deeply. It’s time that I make every moment count. If not for me, for Josh’s family.

Baby Steps to Embracing the Moments

Here are a few things I’m working on this year to honor Josh’s life, to be present for the moments and embrace the time I have with my own family now. Not tomorrow, but today. I know these are only baby steps to a long journey of transforming how I embrace life going forward. Godspeed Josh.

  1. Scheduling more time for just being together. No plans. Just us.
  2. Breathing. Taking a breath to remind me to be present.
  3. Creating simple meals so there’s less time with Big Bird and more time with me.
  4. Smelling my little guy more. His hair. His little body. I wish I could bottle it.
  5. More hugs. I know as my son gets older this will be tough so for now I’m squeezing him as much as possible.
  6. Taking time during errands to have fun together.
  7. More mental pictures. If I stop and say to myself “remember this moment forever,” it usually makes me stop and be present.
  8. A quick phone pic everyday to remember the little things.

How do you live in the moment and embrace the present? What sort of family rituals allow you to soak up every bit of life we have? Tell us in the comments!

P.S. My friend has set-up a foundation to keep her son’s spirit alive. It will be dedicated to helping animals. You can learn more here.