It’s that time of year again—the time where everyone, moms included, make New Year’s resolutions with every intention of keeping them. But how often do those resolutions actually happen?
Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions are well known to be forgotten just a few short weeks after ringing in the New Year. After all, moms are busy!
However, a big part of the reason resolutions fail to happen are because they just aren’t realistic.
Resolutions become unrealistic for a variety of reasons: they aren’t specific, there’s no plan to accomplish them, they just don’t fit into the season of life you’re in.
While I’m more of a goals person than resolutions, I do think moms can make some worthwhile resolutions that are realistic for them.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
Is it worth making New Year’s resolutions as a mom?
Let’s be honest. Most of us make New Year’s resolutions with the best intentions. We have every intention of making this the year that those resolutions actually happen.
But then just a few short weeks later, we have the tendency to forget them. We miss a few days, and then we get discouraged. Before long, we’ve completely forgotten about them.
The truth is, resolutions are only as good as the plan you have to make them happen. That’s why I prefer to make goals instead of resolutions.
Goals inherently imply that there’s a plan to make it happen, whereas resolutions tend to focus too much on the end result with no indication of how to realistically get there.
So yes, I think it’s worth making resolutions as a mom. But only if you’re going to also make a plan of action to make it happen!
The kind of resolutions you actually need!
One other thing I want to touch on: too often we tend to make huge resolutions that result in drastic change. Honestly, most of us need simpler resolutions.
Don’t mistake simple resolutions as being less powerful. On the contrary, small, every day habits have a huge impact on our lives.
It’s the small things you do every day that make the biggest differences in your life. It’s those small choices that determine and change who you are and how you live. Don’t underestimate the “small” resolutions.
New Year’s Resolutions For Every Mom
With the power of “simple” resolutions in mind, here are some realistic New Year’s resolutions every mom can make.
At some point or another I’ve done well with each of them, though rarely have I managed to juggle all of them at once.
Be patient with yourself. Change takes effort and time, but it is entirely possible. Don’t overload yourself trying to juggle everything at once. Pick two or three resolutions and focus on mastering them for the year.
Drink More Water
Total transparency: I am literally the worst at this. I have such a hard time remembering to drink more water throughout the day.
But here’s the thing. When I do remember and drink plenty, I always feel better.
Most of us don’t drink water as much as we should. But your body needs it! Do yourself a favor and make it your goal to drink more water throughout the day.
Move At Least 30 Minutes Per Day
This is something I started doing early in 2020, and it has made a big difference in how I feel.
Getting enough exercise and movement is incredibly important for your health. But not just physically, either. Getting movement into your day can also help your mental and emotional help as well.
I’ve personally made it a goal to get some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. As I’ve gone, I’ve added on to my routine to include more.
And here’s the thing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal workout (although it can be). Just getting outside for a bit and going for a walk is enough.
Personally, my toddler and I go for a walk around the lake near our house almost every day that it isn’t raining. It takes between 30-45 minutes, depending on how fast we’re walking and whether we stop to look at turtles and wildlife.
At the bare minimum, it gets us outside for a little bit and gets some movement into our day.
I also like to do Pilates with Robin Long at The Balanced Life. Her workouts range from 15-30 minutes, which is more than doable for busy moms. And I always feel more energized after a workout. Highly recommended!
If I’m being totally transparent, this one may forever be on my New Year’s resolutions list.
I hate that I struggle with this, but I think that a lot of us do. I don’t try to yell, but sometimes my patience wears thin and I’m left with a short fuse.
And I always, 100% feel like scum of the earth when I do yell.
This past year or so, I’ve realized that this tendency has far less to do with a child refusing to obey, and a lot more to do with me.
It shows my own impatience. My own failure to care for myself, which in turn leads to more frustration and irritation.
Look, I know mom life is hard. I’m literally in the middle of it myself. But when we fail to take care of ourselves as well, our kids end up with the worst parts of us.
Figure out what triggers you to yell, and actively work to dissipate that tension in you. Make it your goal this year to yell less, and give yourself a timeout when you need it.
Be More Patient
Speaking of impatience, why not actively work to have more patience with your kids this year.
Much like yelling, this often has more to do with my own ability to function than it does my toddler. If I haven’t gotten enough sleep lately, or haven’t been exercising, or taking time to relax, I’m far more likely to be impatient and irritable.
One thing I’ve found to really help in the moment is to intentionally pause. Pause before you answer the same question for the trillionth time. Pause before you resort to yelling.
Learning to pause before you react gives you the time and ability to intentionally choose patience.
Be Kind To Yourself
Nobody is perfect. Not even you or me. One excellent New Year’s resolutions for moms is to choose to be kind to yourself in your imperfection.
Everyone tends to be harder on themselves than with others. And I think this gets worse when you become a mother.
There’s just some natural inclination to beat ourselves up for our mistakes. To hold ourselves to a perfect standard that in reality we have no hope of reaching. And that’s okay!
Mama, you do not have to be perfect. You do not have to have it all together, all the time. Nobody does.
Make it a point this year to choose to be kind to yourself, despite your imperfections.
Grace Over Guilt
Can anyone say “mom guilt?” Mom guilt is an unfortunate reality for pretty much all moms across the board.
Usually this sense of guilt comes over things you do not have to feel guilty about. Maybe it’s feeling like you should be doing more for your child, or shouldn’t be taking time for yourself.
Maybe it’s accidentally bumping your toddler’s head as you try to get them into the car seat. (Hey, we’ve all done it.)
It might be feeling like you need to juggle all the things you think those “Instagram moms” are juggling. (By the way, they probably aren’t juggling everything.)
The bottom line is that as moms we tend to feel guilty about anything and everything, as if we should be doing a better job or should have chosen a different option.
Take this year to learn to choose grace over guilt. This is a saying that my Pilates instruction says all the time at The Balanced Life—and I love it!
Instead of giving in to guilt, learn to give yourself grace. Actively choose grace for yourself as you navigate motherhood.
Speaking of guilt, many times it comes from comparing ourselves to other moms. I think every mom I’ve ever met has struggled with this at some point or another.
We have the tendency to look at other moms, see the highlights of their parenting or life, and then compare it to our failures and worst days.
This is something I’ve been actively working on this past year. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
Maybe you just need to remind yourself that their life is not your life, and that it’s okay. Maybe you need to unfollow some people—that’s more okay, too. (Even if it’s me!)
Make this the year you stop comparing yourself to someone else’s highlight reel.
Get More Sleep
Getting more sleep is one goal I started at the end of 2020, and it’s made a big difference!
Too often we tend to stay up late in order to have time to ourselves. I get it—because I do it too.
As moms, we spend all day taking care of kids and the home. And when we finally get the little ones to bed and have a minute to ourselves, we tend to stay up too late.
Yes, moms need time to themselves. Self care and time to refill your cup is incredibly important. But there needs to be a balance in making time for that and getting enough sleep.
It’s hard, I’m not going to pretend it’s not. But, I’ve found that when I go to sleep earlier than I would otherwise, I actually find more spaces of time for myself throughout the day.
Rather than running on empty all day, get enough sleep and have the energy to feel good all day. You’ll not only get more done, but you’ll feel better and find more time for yourself in the end.
P.S. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep with a newborn, I highly recommend the baby sleep course Baby, We’re Home, Now Let’s Sleep! No crying it out, just helpful information to get your baby to sleep.
This is a pretty classic one for New Year’s resolutions. Do you feel like you’re always rushing around, trying to keep everything straight?
Or maybe your house always feel like a disorganized mess, and it’s stressing you out.
Why not make this the year to get yourself organized and reduce the stress in your life?
Right now I’ve been using Trello to plan out my week and to do lists, although I’ve also used and loved Happy Planners.
P.S. If you’re currently pregnant, The Pregnancy Journal is a great way to stay organized and keep track of things!
Be More Present
This is a big one for moms! I know all too well how easy it is to get swept up in the to do lists and endless obligations.
It’s easy to get too focused on the things that need done, and forget to spend intentional time in the present with our kids.
Why not try to implement specific times to slow down and just be present? I’ve started doing this, and it’s been so good for both me and my family!
It takes work to set aside all the distractions, but it’s so worth it.
Feed Your Soul
Do you take time to slow down and feed your soul? I know, this may sound a bit weird. But too often it’s something that moms neglect to care for.
Even if you’re doing awesome caring for yourself physically and mentally, what are you doing to nurture your soul?
Maybe this means finding quiet time to just be still. Or maybe for you it means doing the things that breathe life back into you.
For me, I’ve been enjoying the devotional Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus. Each devotional is fairly short, but filled with wisdom and the opportunity to pause during your day to spend a few minutes with Jesus.
Even though it can feel like life is too busy, it’s important to take a few minutes to slow down and take care of the most important part of you.
Read A Little Bit Every Day
If you’ve been around here for a bit, it’s no secret that I’m a big book lover. And I truly believe that it’s essential for moms to make time to read, if only for a few minutes a day.
Why not make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to read a little bit every day for the next year? Even if you only have time for a few pages per day, it’s a good habit to have and will benefit you greatly.
Reading can be relaxing, and helps you destress. It’s also the best way to keep learning and growing as an individual—even if you mainly read fiction.
If you need some book recommendations, you can check out some of my favorite books here.
What are your goals for this year?
I try to pick three or four things I want to work on for the year. Picking too many goals can make it feel overwhelming.
Focusing on just a few things can make it more manageable, and more likely that you will succeed in your goals.
What about you mama? What are some of your goals and New Year’s resolutions for this year? Let me know in the comments!