I was talking with my sister over the weekend and was venting about how she was fed up with New Year’s resolutions. Floss! Workout! Drink less. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah — so boring and quite frankly, unappealing. What if we focused our energy on being happier and doing MORE of the things we love instead of adding or subtracting things from our life that supposedly make us better people? I have been working on this list for a while now, but never published it for some reason. I dug it up from my drafts file, spruced it up a bit, and I must say, I couldn’t agree more with my sister. In order to be the happiest version of yourself, you have do amp up the things that make you tick. Here are mine – it’s sort of my “rules for life” and it matched perfectly with what my sister was saying.
Resolutions for a Happier You.
Always be ready for an impromptu happy hour. You should always have a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge and a brick of cheese to break out at a moment’s notice. A frozen flatbread would just be an added bonus. No frills, just fun – these are the moments that make memories.
Pay it forward. Have a go-to meal that you can easily prepare for a friend when life get’s the best of them. This is mine. Easy, can’t-mess-it-up, comfort food. And no inner voice saying “I’d love to help, I just don’t know how.” Food helps. Trust me.
Break out the bubbly without hesitation. Celebrate the small feats often. A laundry room with no laundry in it. A day with out tantrums. A whine-free dinner. Life is short and sometimes moments and accomplishments are more special than we think.
Make time for things you think you don’t have time for. Like coloring.
Master ONE dessert recipe. I am not a baker. It may or may not have taken me 34 years to figure out how to make chocolate chip cookies. But I did it, finally (!!), and it’s liberating. I feel like a real adult now.
Put on your own mask before assisting others. The airlines have had it right all along. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, it’s really hard to take care of someone else. Say yes to barre class and babysitters, always.
Receive compliments as enthusiastically as you give them.
Actively seek the good. You guys, it’s half full, I swear.
Recognize life’s small gifts with jazz hands and a high five – an open parking space, no line at the post office, a complete night of sleep. All gifts. All worthy of celebration.
Learn from the old and the young. My 94 year old grandmother does things she likes and doesn’t do things she doesn’t like. Same with my 4 year old. “Nope, mom. I don’t wike it and I’m not doing it.” So often we do things out of obligation – why is that?
If it makes you happy, it’s worth it. A manicure, fancy coffee and cozy boots. They all make me happy and thus, they are all worth it. Same with these sort of things 😉
Let go of guilt. You are doing better than you think. If you don’t believe that, make a change and don’t let it fester.
If you are thinking a nice thought about someone else, say it out loud and don’t just think it. You might just make someone’s day.
Make meaningful connections daily. Everyone complains that life goes so fast – especially the child rearing years. I could clean my house 14 hours per day, work on this blog 10 hours per day, and wipe the counter top 15 times per day. A lot of times (okay most of the time) I get sucked into these things and let my kids entertain themselves, breaking up fights when necessary. I’m pretty sure this is why people say it goes so fast. Because when we stop and slow down and really look at our kids, they’ve grown 2 inches, say things that astound us, and we realize that, yes, it is going too fast. I make it a point to play with my kids everyday – even if for only 20 minutes. Sidenote: I only play things that I know I will enjoy and won’t have to fake – will I play Power Rangers? No. Will I wrestle? No. But will I have a catch? Read a book? Do a puzzle? Bake cookies? Color? Build a tower? Con my boys into playing hairdresser and brushing my hair? Yes. No shame. These are all things I can handle and all things that connect me with my kids.
Floss….but only, when the mood strikes.
Exercise… because you WANT to, not because you feel you should. Internalize that feeling of being done a workout – it’s more powerful than you think.
Give yourself a break. Break out the frozen chicken nuggets for dinner, let your kids buy lunch, skip the bath (they will survive), delegate chores (your kids are more capable than you think), and when you need it……. ask for help.
To everyone who reads this blog, have the happiest New Year and thank you, as always, for supporting my passion.
What else would you add to this list?