Happy 2017! Holy crap it feels like last year was about 1,752 days long. But now it’s in the past and it’s time to look forward. On to bigger and better things!

I’ve never been a huge resolution person. I start goals when I see fit and I change or erase them when I can tell that they’re not working for me. And now that I have children, it seems like I hardly have time to pee, much less sit and ponder what I’d like to accomplish in 2017. But it’s doable! And I think that writing – and sticking to – a set of resolutions can be good for body, mind, and soul. Especially as a mom.

Here are some of my tips for setting realistic resolutions.

When you have a moment to breathe, or smell some hot coffee and relax for a second, think about your life. I’m serious! Think about your personal 2016: what were you most proud of? What made you angry, upset, or stressed? And think of your self-perception: what do you love about yourself, and what would you like to improve on? This will be a great starting point as you start to put those feelings and intuitions into actions.

We’re looking to help you be a better you, not make you into a different or new person.

I have named my years ever since I taught a very special, very amazing young lady in 2011 who really helped shape me into the woman and mother that I am now. We named that year “The Year of Hope” to help her work through some things. It was like our theme and we referenced it often. Years later, I still love this idea: I’ve had the Year of Grace and the Year of Peace since then, and continue our little tradition now. Thanks Dorothy!

This year, I am thinking that I will either have patience or positivity as my theme. Both of those adjectives refer to how I’d like to improve personally, as well as how I view the world. I typically pick out the theme for my year first, because it has special significance for me; however, it might make sense to have your resolutions or goals first, and then pick a theme last.

I love to have larger-than-life goals for the long term, but they can seem overwhelming and unrealistic unless you break them down. So I end up with my year’s theme, followed by macro goals, and smaller goals underneath that. How are you going to check off that big goal? – what do you need to do, and how will you go about doing that? For instance, if you want to run a 5k by the end of 2017, you need to set smaller markers and break down how you would go about training.

We all love the feeling of having completed something, and getting to check something off. This helps to make sure that you don’t end up with resolution burnout!

It’s up to you on how many different resolutions you’d like to have. Many people do just one, and then break down a step-by-step of how they can achieve that. You could try to be healthier in what you eat, or quit smoking, or save up a certain amount of money. I personally like to have various goals going, to keep me focused. However I’m super Type A personality, and have lists upon lists that I keep track of. So to each their own!

It’s also not a bad idea to have a smaller resolution which is quirky or fun, like checking something off of a bucket list or planning a vacation. I’m working on a new tattoo design (they’re so addicting, aren’t they?); I’m thinking that if I meet some of my bigger goals, that I’ll get the tattoo as a reward. How’s that for motivation?

You don’t have to tell anyone what your resolutions are. I’m private about my goals because I’m only holding myself accountable; I’m not looking to get more likes on Facebook or high fives from anyone. Sometimes it’s difficult to admit that you want to lose 60 pounds, because that means you’re 60 pounds overweight. If it helps to have an accountability buddy or a workout friend, for example, go for it and tell the world what you plan to do. But otherwise, don’t stress about posting anything. Having a list somewhere in the midst of your daily life, like on your bathroom mirror or on the dash of your car, will work just fine.

Could one of your goals be to do something new? I’m really hyping the self-care for myself in 2017, and I’m going to try tooth powder and a few other natural health and beauty remedies for the first time. If you journal or do any kind of logging, it might be fun to see what you think about it at the end of the year!

Finally, be honest with yourself. Are these goals doable? Do you even care if you are successful? If you’re not really interested in losing weight, you don’t need to pretend that it’s important to you. In the end, these resolutions are for you and you alone. So don’t worry about stereotypes or what other people think you should do. Whether it be something off-the-wall, completely new and different, or finally achieving something you’ve wanted to for years, 2017 is the year to do it!

Tips for Resolutions for a Realistic Mom

  • Give your overall year a theme, like The Year of                        
  • Design one or more big goals, then break down how you’re going to achieve those goals (and set small milestones!)
  • Consider adding a resolution which is quirky, fun, or new
  • Decide if it would benefit you to publicize your goals
  • Choose how/if you’d like to journal your goal progress
  • Be honest with yourself and choose meaningful goals

If you’d like to share your resolutions from the past or present (or if you have any suggestions or feedback), I’d love to hear from you! And a happy new year to you and yours!