New Year, new you, right? If you’re anything like me, every year I promise myself that this is the year.
The year of investing in myself.
The year of being intentional in my relationships and with my time.
The year of doing more and doing less and losing this and gaining that.
With my daughter’s birthday on the 6th of January, it usually only takes about that first week of the new year staying up too late, looking at Pinterest, exhausting myself with All The Things I Should Be Doing to slip right back into my old habits.
But not this year.
Birthday has come and gone, I deleted Pinterest from my phone, I’ve channeled my inner honey badger, and am lighting a metaphorical smoke and kicking back.
This is the year of me. And this year? I really f@$*ing mean it.
Last year at this time, I paced back and forth waiting to hear if my husband had safely traversed some pirate-ridden waters somewhere, not yet halfway through the deployment that wouldn’t end.
And, like so many of you, I did all the things for all the people. I made care packages for my husband, sent regular updates to family members, hosted a party for the FRG, made dinners for people who needed it more than I did, volunteered at schools and kept my 2 children not only alive, but thriving.
And when my sweet husband came home last May, I was absolutely exhausted.
Lesson learned: especially when you’re flying solo, you have to take care of you. There’s no one else to do it.
In 2017 I’m taking a page from Shonda Rhimes’ book and saying yes. Not to everything as she so bravely and brilliantly did, but to these 10 things. I encourage you to do the same.
1. Health. For some reason this is always the first to go. It’s easier to order Chinese takeout or pizza or skip 16 meals in a row and just drink wine than it is to roast a chicken and steam some veggies.
I get it.
It’s way more logical to do laundry then hit the gym.
When you feel like you have no time at all, it’s easy to cut corners on your health.
But if you only say yes to one thing this year, your health has to be it.
Because if you don’t, this is the only number on this list that can kill you (except maybe #2). We only get one chance at life, let’s make it last as long as we can. Plus endorphins and confidence and all those things that come with doing burpees and not binge-eating ice cream.
2. Adventure. Get out of that rut. I agree there is nothing more therapeutic than a trip to Target, but branch out!
And not to a different store, I mean go on an adventure.
Find a hike near you.
Visit a trampoline park.
Plan a spouse outing to a ropes course.
The possibilities are endless, my friends. Mark your calendar for one adventure a month.
3. Spontaneity. For the ones who have every day scheduled in increments and blocks, every weekend from now until March scripted – even your “relax” time penned in – give yourself a break.
Do something spontaneous. Phone a friend for an impromptu spa day. Take a detour en route to the commissary to try that new coffee shop. Get that tattoo or piercing you’ve always wanted or sign up for that class that you’ve been thinking about but haven’t taken. Act now, think later.
4. Structure. For the free-wheelers who have no schedule, who live their lives in reaction mode – the ones who are constantly apologizing for forgetting, being late, dropping something – this is your year to get it together.
Buy a planner (and use it). Carry it with you at all times. Set yourself up for success and have a back-up: set alarms on your phone for the day ahead, 2 hours ahead and 30 minutes ahead in your phone.
5. A date. Say yes to your spouse. Skip the guilt of not putting the kids to bed and go on a date with your honey. Put the relations back in your relationship.
6. Playtime. We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of cooking dinner and doing dishes and folding laundry and making an appointment and your mind is going a million miles a minute when a little voice asks if you can build Legos. Or draw. Or play Go Fish. Or do anything.
It’s so hard, mama. I have been there, dad. You are trying to be all things to all people.
But this year, I am saying yes to playing. Turn that burner down to 1, put the clothes down, and give playtime your all for 10 minutes.
We can fail at 10,000 things throughout the day and these little people love us so unconditionally that 10 minutes is all they need. Say yes.
7. Outsourcing. Give up what you can. Whether it’s cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, buying things online instead of making an extra trip to the store, outsource everywhere you can so you can spend even more time on you.
8. Friends. They get you, which means they’re also the easiest to blow off. Can’t do it, maybe next week, let’s get together soon…you know the lines.
Setting a standing coffee date will do wonders for the soul.
9. Risk. It’s always daunting trying something new, but if we always chose what we knew, life would be predictable, sure, but it would also be boring.
Bet on you this year. Take a chance on your education, your business, yourself. You’re always worth the risk.
10. Passion. Find it. Whether it’s in selling leggings or pursuing a doctorate or volunteering or anything in between, find what motivates you and go after it with reckless abandon.
This is our year. Let’s get after it.