Perspective and Resolution

Are you making New Year's resolutions this year? Some years I make them, when the changing of the calendar year matches up with a need to change something (or things) in my life. Some years I skip the January 1 resolve, if it doesn't feel like the right time. I don't force it.

Sometimes a re-start feels more appropriate at my birthday (I'm lucky in that my birthday falls in June, offering a perfect split between the changing of the calendar year and the turning over of my personal new year). Other years, a shift may seem necessary on a random Tuesday in September. Who knows? Never I, so I try to ebb with the flow.

This year, embracing the new calendar year and the beginning of 2015 feels well timed and very appropriate for me. I'm inviting in a conscious attitude adjustment (it's kind of like conscious uncoupling, but not) and a One Goal Per Month plan instead of resolutions.

Throughout the past 20 months of the World's Cutest Human's' life (and maybe even the 9 previous while she baked), my usually sunny, grateful attitude slipped. During the transition from career woman to HouseMom, I lost my identity and it manifested in bitter, sour confusion mixed with guilt for feeling anything besides unadulterated joy.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my baby girl and wouldn't change my situation now or then. But I grieved for who I was, because I wasn't sure who I became. I've since worked through most of that, and am coming out the other side feeling sunny again.

I realized that it's all about perspective, once you are ready to be open to other ways of looking at things.

I mentioned my philosophy for 2015 in my last post: maximize and love what I have. Because I have a lot more than I need -- a dream life, really. So, when I start to look at my shower as a mini-spa treatment and my weekends as mini-vacations, instead of letting them go unappreciated as the everyday norm, I begin to see the many points throughout my days that are rich with opportunity and blessings. I just need to acknowledge each one, and once again be grateful for them.

As I move through this awareness into a new year, I'm channeling my regained optimism into manageable intentions that I will tackle one at a time.

Rather than a list of New Year's Resolutions to face all at once, all year long, I'm taking individual bites with my One Goal Per Month plan. I borrowed the basis of this idea from the book, The Happiness Project, and the premise is that I only address one habit that I'd like to shift each month. I easily had twelve of them. For example, for the first quarter of 2015, I will be working on the following:

January: Drink enough water every day (enough = 1/2 your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150, you should drink 75 ounces of water every day). Right now, I probably drink 1/10th of what I should. It's actually dangerous how little water I consume, which is why this goal is front and center, up first and top priority.

February: Enjoy a bedtime routine. Right now, it consists of brushing my teeth, yanking out my contacts and falling into bed. But I suspect that creating just 15 minutes for myself before I collapse into slumber to properly care for my face and body is going to make some pretty significant changes I'm not anticipating.

March: No phone at bedtime. The rule is that I can check it once after putting the World's Cutest Human to bed, and then it needs to stay downstairs/away from me for the rest of the night. No wireless device next to my head to distract me from falling asleep, to check if I wake up in the middle of the night, or to look at first thing when I wake up. Just rest and/or connection with my partner.

I will keep a calendar printed out for each month so that I can check off each day (I like the mental reward of checking off a list), or write notes when I don't succeed, so that I can learn what and where my roadblocks to success are hiding.

It will take the better part of an entire month to create and maintain a new habit, and incorporate it into my life on an ongoing basis (they are cumulative). But hopefully by the end of the month, I won't need to be as focused and conscious about them as I will at the beginning. Each one will just become a reflexive part of my life and my routines.

I took the month of December to reflect on all of this. The Love of My Life gifted me -- us, really, including the World's Cutest Human -- time away in his native Costa Rica from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. Which lent itself to a significant breaking of routine in itself, something I always find helpful when trying to make a shift like this.

The absence of the mental nagging need to clean the house, finish organizing the closet that will only take an hour -- two, max -- to do, yet I've avoided for seven months , and so on, freed up mental space to reflect. To set intention. And to think about what will be needed to make the kind of change I want to make for myself.

Now we're back and I'm ready to start. Preparation will be the most important starting point, I believe. So it's off to make calendars and notes for month one. I'll do follow up posts this year with any interesting insights that crop up from this project each month.

So, if you see me without water in my hand in January, give me a little wink. I'll know what you mean.

Happy New Year and new goals to each one of you!