Goodbye Resolutions, Hello Real Life


As January 2018 comes to a close, how are you feeling about those New Year’s Resolutions, momma? 

If you are like me, you love the start of January and its shiny possibilities of newness. But by February our best intentions seem like they are not enough. I am here to remind you, mamma: YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Don’t measure your self-worth by whether you actually keep your resolutions this year.

I am not anti-resolutions; in fact, I am all about self-discipline (I’ve literally forced myself to complete several half-marathons and a full marathon); I know I can care for my family better when I am taking care of myself; I don’t want to squander the blessing I believe each day of life is or the unique gifts I was given. But I am trying to remember the difference between resolutions (defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something”) and expectations (defined as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future” or “a belief that someone will or should achieve something”). 

I am learning that when I place expectations on myself, my husband, my kids, my friends, and my year, I am so often disappointed and disillusioned. I tell myself there is something wrong with me (or others) if those goals aren’t achieved or that thing I thought should happen doesn’t. 

Have you ever felt shame or self-loathing because you felt like you didn’t measure up? 

We have no idea what the next day holds. As moms, our plans are changed all the time: a kid gets sick, a neighbor needs our help, or something comes up at work for you or your spouse. When life happens, which it always does, and our priorities get shifted, how should we respond? Should we believe we are failures if we didn’t “eat 12 clean meals” this week? NO! Do we still have value even if we didn’t get the laundry folded (from two weeks ago)? YES!

Mommas, let’s resolve first and foremost to treat ourselves with kindness as we make (and break) our resolutions.

Set yourself up for success, yes. Plan ahead, go to bed early, and remember every day is a new day. I love the idea of “progress not perfection,” which I first found on the Cultivate What Matters blog, along with many ideas on how to set realistic goals. Don’t put pressure on yourself to “lose weight” or “read 20 books” or “clean/organize a room a day” unless the “why” for doing those things is rooted in what really matters to you and not a need to prove your worth or to control things. Figure out what you want your life to look like when you are 80 and then tend to those things with daily, weekly and monthly habits.

I am doing the “word of the year” thing this year. My word for 2018 is “love.” I want to make my decisions and base my actions out of love. I am asking for grace to respond with love to the little (and not so little) people who sometimes “get in the way” of what I want to accomplish. I am also reminding myself to rest in the weightless, amazing grace my faith gives me and know that I am loved and enough no matter what I do or don’t do this year.


If you made resolutions this year, how are you doing with keeping them? Did you choose a word for the year? How do you decide what is important to you?