Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Confession: I am a bit of an overachiever. I am an all-or-none kind of girl. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to go all out or not even start. Whatever I commit to doing, becomes not just something I do but something I'm passionate about. So New Year's resolutions are a tricky thing for me. Usually I just don't make any because I haven't had time to meticulously plan out how I'm going to carry them out. And if everything doesn't go right on day one then I'm thrown into a downward spiral of depression.

This year, however, I've had so many ideas about ways that I'd like to change/improve life that I'm tempted to actually call some of these goals "resolutions." I'm going to try terribly hard to be relaxed about these goals and not freak out if they don't go exactly as I planned but also to stay committed to getting back on the horse, so to speak, should it buck me off.

Here's the thoughts that have been running through my head:

1. Floss everyday. I am really so very bad about flossing. At the same time, I hate going to the dentist, and I have this weird notion that getting a cavity somehow makes me dirty or disgusting or something. I seriously feel so guilty when I get one! So, along with perhaps making homemade toothpaste without evil additives and fluoride, I know I should be flossing much more often.

2. Take my make-up off every night. This is something else that I NEVER do. I pick off mascara clumps in the shower but other than that, I very rarely clean my face well. Is that gross? Probably. I while back I heard someone say that each night you don't remove your makeup adds like 8 days to your skin or something. I rolled my eyes and thought, "I NEVER take off my makeup and I'm fine!" But recently I've been noticing some little wrinkles around my eyes and an uneven skin tone, and I figure a skin regime is in order. I'm also not proud of all the freckles on my arms that are the result of not wearing sunscreen. Could I possibly get in the habit of wearing sunscreen each time I go out?

3. Eat better. This is definitely an area where my all-or-none personality comes out. I think diet, sugar-free soda is totally stupid. Syrup with fewer calories? Idiotic. 100 calorie snack cakes? Pssssh. Junk food is junk food people! Let's not try to fool ourselves into thinking we can make it better. If you are going to eat crap, go ahead and eat the good crap. Go ahead, have that preservative-loaded, artificially-colored, one-million calorie piece of heaven. OR. Don't. And this is where I fail. Because the more I research eating healthy, the more it seems there is to learn and I feel totally helpless. Things you might have once thought were healthy are so not. It's not enough to eat vegetables from a can because the can has been coated with BPA and the vegetables inside are probably genetically modified anyway. I even read recently that baby carrots are bad for you (which may or not be an internet hoax). So we must buy fresh, organic fruits and vegetables which also carry a free trade agreement label. Some people suggest we should not even ever cook food. I could go on and on with food problems; everything to do with proper nutrition seems downright hard. There are so very many problems with the food that we Americans eat daily, it's no wonder we're all unhealthy. And yet we don't try to change our diets, we look to the medical community to "heal" us with drugs that carry even more dangerous side effects! So, is there a clean eating for dummies book I don't know about? Anyone want to just make out a grocery list and menu for me each week? Because this is something that I'd really love to do but just don't know where to start.

4. Decrease media usage. In our house we have two smart phones, two iPads, one Kindle Fire, two laptops, one personal computer, and a desk top computer. We are constantly surrounded by technology which is not necessarily a bad thing until you let it rule your life. My children beg from morning until night to "play my game" meaning my Kindle. I've finally turned out notifications on my phone for things like Facebook and email because checking them constantly was severely interrupting my day. Even without constant notifications, I've found myself checking in online whenever I get a little break--when I'm waiting on Jackie in the car when he runs into the store for something, when the kids are playing on the playground. I warn the kids all the time that watching too much of their beloved TV will make them dumb, but it seems I need to take my own advice and do more things to actually stimulate my brain. I need to retrain myself to reach for a book at night instead of endlessly perusing Pinterest. I used to love writing and never do it anymore. Even if it's just completing a word puzzle or Sudoku puzzle, it'd be better than zoning out in front of a screen! So I'm going to come up with some specified media limits for me and the kids. I will not use the TV or Kindle apps as babysitters, and I will seek to stimulate my brain in healthy ways.

5. Read more with the kids. My kids LOVE bedtime stories and all too often I brush them aside because it's late, and I'm tired and really, really just long for a quiet, still house. It's a lot easier to send them to bed with a movie to drift off to sleep to but that is not what I want for our family. I want to begin not only reading but reading longer books to teach them to stretch their attention spans. I think in order to make this a habit, I'm going to have to get better about bedtime routines. I seem to do pretty well keeping our day in order until Jackie gets home from work, then it's as if I just clock out of my management position and let things go all willy nilly. We then sit in the bathtub until the water goes cold then everyone runs wild (just ask my downstairs neighbor!) until I lose my mind and force them to lay down. Then I'm all like, why do my children never sleep well?! I've just got to find the resolve to do the things I need to do even when getting started and sticking with it is difficult.

6. Come up with a family mission statement and pray over it with Jackie every day. I really want us to be more clear with each other about what we expect from each other and the members of our family. I want us to be unified in our parenting approach and to remember to focus on our individual roles in marriage because I truly believe our ministry starts at home.

So there you have it. I pretty much need a total life overhaul! Ha ha. Is anyone else making resolutions this year? Do you have any tips on how to follow through?

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