Every year, we all make the same mistake of setting new year’s resolutions for ourselves that are just that teeny tiny bit impossible to keep. Making self-improvement goals (like going on a diet or exercising more) can be emotionally and physically demanding for anyone, but when you have a little person on your mind 24-7 it’s even worse!
The easy solution is to bin the big resolutions. “Going on a diet” or “giving up drinking” can be intimidating following the celebratory festive joy and season of big meals and chocolate! So why don’t we try setting ourselves some smaller goals that will help us in lots of little ways?
Here’s our list of (doable) new year’s resolutions for parents. We hope there’s a few that will appeal to you. 💝
1. Plan a trip/day out that is fun for you!
We all often make sure to have plans that will keep our kids entertained. But what about us? This year, make sure you have at least one plan that’s going to have something there for you. Even if it’s still a family trip out, make sure there is going to be fun for kids and fun for adults too.
2. Stress Less about the mess
Marie Kondo knows what she’s talking about when it comes to organising a drawer or donating excessive amounts of clothes. However, what Marie Kondo never shows us is what happens an hour later when our freshly organised and neatly folded drawers has had a toddler has tumble through it.
So, let’s try to not pull our hair out when we see the toys strewn across the floor and let’s not bite our nails at the thought of opening a clothes drawer that we forced shut in a sloppily rushed panic. Let us tell ourselves that mess does not equal stress!
3. Talk less, Listen more
Busy busy busy! We’re all always rushed off our feet with a to-do list that’s as long as our arms. It can mean that we’re often rushing about and dashing from one point to the next. However, sometimes that can lead to us rushing through conversations or talks with our kids. And when they’re young, these can be incredibly formative moments!
So, let’s all try and take the time to slow down our pace a little. And when our kids want to talk, let’s try to let them talk as much as they can. Let’s listen as much as feasibly possible.
4. Family Activity Jar
Not sure what family activity to decide on this week? Here’s an easy solution!
Get everyone in your family to write down any activities that they want to do at some point inside a family activity jar (or hat, bowl, or any other vessel you want to use!). Do this throughout your week/regular routine. And then once you’ve reached the day when you are going to do something all together, reach in and pick one at random.
You’ll reduce disputes and keep things fair!
5. Look after your own health if you are feeling run down
This one sounds like it should be very easy to keep. But you and I both know that it’s not.
We try incredibly hard to stride through any illnesses and try to carry on like normal. But it can just make us feel worse and worse until we’re reduced to tears.
This year, let’s try not to do that. If you feel ill and feel like you need to take some time to look after yourself, then do that. Ask someone if they wouldn’t mind looking after your little ones for a day and allow yourself a sick day. Even super-parents need a duvet day and a hot water bottle every so often!
6. Smash your screen (time)
Something that we didn’t notice happening alongside the unfortunate experiences we’ve had during the pandemic is our newly increased screen time. A lot of us are clocking up more time on our phones, but too much time on social media (or using our devices in general) can have a big effect on our mental health.
Reducing the amount of time we spend with our phones would be a great place to start improving our mental health, and also help us sleep a little better at night!
7. Treat yourself once a week
Not being acknowledged as we’re doing our usual parenting acrobatics as a parent or guardian can sometimes leave us feeling a little bit invisible. All that work, and it usually goes unnoticed. It’s time that we started treating ourselves for all the hard work we do! Make sure to treat yourself at least once a week. Whether that’s with a takeaway, a pamper session, or just plain and simply, some me-time.
You deserve a treat too, mamas and papas!
8. Practice taking more moments of calm for one of your new year’s resolutions
Newsflash: Parenting is manic!
It’s time consuming, stressful, and none of us knows what we’re doing! And while it’s going on, our own mental wellbeing is usually on the back burner and slowly being extinguished.
But taking a moment of calm for yourself doesn’t need to take longer than 2 or 3 minutes. Whether you take a moment to write down your thoughts, do a quick meditation or take a walk, why not try increasing how often you check in with yourself?
Read more of our tips on how to be more mindful here!
9. Make plans for adult-only parent time
You love your kids to infinity and beyond! They are your tiny little human and you love them with your all. But we all need to take a break from even those we love the most. This year, make some plans that will give you a breather from the kid-pocalypse and have some adult-only time, and try to make it as guilt-free as possible!
10. Have more meals as a family
Sometimes the different timings from every person in the house can lead to differing meal times. Where we can, try to arrange to have more meals all together as a family. It will increase our kids (and our) mood so much more!
11. Make one of your new year’s resolutions trying something new!
What’s something that you’ve always wanted to try? A new food? New outfit? A new baby class?
Don’t hold back anymore! This is your excuse to give it a go, and if it turns out you didn’t like it? Well, now you know! Try out something new in 2022.
(Find a new baby class to try on Happity today!)
12. Call your loved ones more often
We don’t keep it a secret at Happity that parents often feel lonely. You simultaneously have someone always in your life, and yet no one to talk to. You’re not alone in feeling that way.
But, maybe it’s time we made an effort to change that feeling while we’re experiencing it. When you’re feeling a bit lonely one day, pick up the phone and ring up someone who never fails to make you feel better. Whether that’s a family member or a close friend! Make sure that you’re staying connected, and the isolated feelings that come with parenthood should hopefully feel a little lighter.
13. Make some new year’s resolutions to spend more time outside
There are countless benefits of making sure to get some fresh air every so often! Mind.org have said that being closer to nature can do some of the following:
- improve your mood
- reduce feelings of stress or anger
- improve your physical health
- improve your confidence and self-esteem
And that’s just to name a few!
14. Accept help from others
Reminder: accepting help from others isn’t a sign of weakness!
We all sometimes have those days where we wished we had 7 or 8 pairs of hands. So when someone offers their help your way, don’t be afraid to take them up on it. Whether you’d feel more comfortable with them taking your kids for the day, or simply helping with folding up some laundry.
People are more than happy to help!
15. The best new year’s resolutions involve no longer being your own worst enemy
If you’re going to make any big new year’s resolutions for yourself, try to make them about being kinder to yourself! Don’t put any heightened amount of stress on your shoulders, and try to find a resolution that’s in place for you.
Make a resolution to stop beating yourself up, comparing yourself to the picture-perfect family on Instagram, and feeling like you’re not a “perfect parent”.
Being a parent isn’t easy. You should be proud of every achievement you’ve made day by day with your kids. Make sure to remind yourself of that throughout the new year.
From all of us at team Happity: Happy New Year! We look forward to helping you find your new classes this year 🎉