This year, I’m starting fresh! I’m going to eat better, put myself first, organize my overflowing closets and spend more quality time with my family.
Sure, these resolutions sound great on January 1st, but when you’re a totally worn-out mom of teenagers (or a mom with kids of any age, for that matter), finding the energy to start anew can be overwhelming.
As a mom of three who’s big on making solid New Year’s resolutions, I’m a firm believer that aggressive resolutions are the ones we typically ditch by February. Smaller, more manageable resolutions – tiny tweaks in our lives – are the real resolutions that hold the power to positively change our lives.
As a mom who feels just as worn out as you do, here are a few simple New Year’s resolutions you can make (ones you can actually keep) to reclaim your energy, your stride, and your happiness.
12 New Year’s Resolutions Every Worn-Out Mom Should Make
#1 Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks
As Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently put it, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” And, that couldn’t be truer! Most people are so consumed with their own lives that they don’t have time to micro-criticize yours.
Make a resolution to stop worrying about what others think and stop being a people-pleaser. Trying to measure up in others’ eyes is an energy-zapper both physically and emotionally. Instead, focus on what’s right for you, your children, and your family. Nothing else should matter.
#2 Let the Damn Dishes Pile Up
When I was a young mom, I never (and I mean never) went to bed with the kitchen a mess. I always felt I had to load the dishwasher, wipe down the counters and sweep up the crumbs on the floor before I went to bed. Not anymore. It took me a while, but I finally put things into perspective and boy, am I happier.
Let those dishes pile up in the sink! It’s ok if you’re not caught up on laundry or the beds aren’t made. You don’t have to have a perfect house to be a great mom. (Trust me, your kids probably won’t even notice.)
#3 Pass Pet Responsibility Off to the Kids
We love them as much as our kids, but let’s face it, our pets are a ton of work. This year, cut yourself some slack and pass the pet responsibility off to your kids. They’re old enough (and fully capable) of taking the dog for a walk and giving him a bath, feeding the cats before school or sweeping up the sea of pet hair on the kitchen floor.
Chances are they suckered you into getting the pets in the first place, so maybe it’s time your kids took on (at least some of) the responsibility of caring for them.
#4 Nix Negativity
Let’s be real. Staying positive in a world that’s determined to knock you down is challenging. It’s not easy, but you have to wake up with the mindset that positivity is a decision.
You have a choice to be bitter or better, hopeful or negative, angry or calm. Or course, life has a way of throwing you curveballs every now and then and there will always be something in your life that isn’t perfect, but instead of focusing on the negative, stay positive by keeping life in perspective. Focus on everything that’s good in your life, practice gratitude and steer clear of anything (or anyone) that brings you down.
#5 Listen to Your Body
Now that we’re slightly older parents with teenagers those little aches and pains are more frequent than they used to be. Most of the time it’s just overexertion, lack of sleep or just plain stress. But, what if it isn’t?
We’ve reached the age where we need to carve out more time to relax and de-stress. Above all, we need to listen to our bodies when something doesn’t feel right or normal. So, make an appointment for that annual physical! Sometimes, the slightest positive shift in our health can make all the difference in the world.
#6 Put One Foot in Front of the Other
Simply put, get moving. As a mom of three, I can tell you finding the time and energy to hit the gym isn’t always easy. Honestly, there have been times I’ve practically fallen asleep on the treadmill. But, I always feel better when I do.
Staying active – whether you decide to walk, join a gym, start swimming, join a Yoga class or anything else that interests you – will keep stress at bay, minimize anxiety and boost your self-confidence. Plus, the upside is you’ll feel a whole lot better in that bathing suit this summer.
#7 Stop Overreacting About Everything that Irritates You
Our kid’s rooms are a disaster, the credit card statement shows another random charge we never made and our kids couldn’t pick up a dish if their life depended on it. Yup, it’s all frustrating. But, if you keep dwelling on all the little stuff (none of which really matters in the long run) you’ll drive yourself absolutely crazy. Stop overreacting about all the little irritating stuff. Force yourself to let it go.
#8 Spend More Time with Friends
Nothing can re-energize us more than a reprieve from the daily grind of our lives. Plan a lunch date with your girlfriends, call an old friend from college to catch up on the latest, or go on a double date with your husband. Whatever you do, break away, laugh a little, and have a little fun!
#9 Learn to Cut Corners (Yeah, It’s Ok)
You don’t have to make cupcakes for your kid’s team. Store-bought is fine. You don’t have to cook dinner every night. A frozen pizza won’t kill the kids once in a while. And, you definitely don’t have to cave into your teen’s requests to drive them all over God’s earth.
If you’re a mom who’s always doing your best despite how exhausted you are, maybe it’s time to cut a few corners and let some things go. The sooner you realize you can’t do it all, the happier and more energized you’ll feel.
#10 Force the Kids to Do More for Themselves
How much time do you spend doing your kid’s laundry, cleaning their bathroom or running their errands? Sure, you want to help them out when they need you, but chances are half the stuff you do for them they’re perfectly capable of doing for themselves.
Back off a bit this year and let them do more for themselves. You might just find you’ll have a little more time to take care of yourself and enjoy some much-needed free time.
#11 Take More (No-Guilt) Naps
As a mom of teenagers, there’s a pretty good chance you’re either peri-menopausal or in full-blown menopause. The hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and insomnia can take its toll and leave us feeling exhausted before the sun even sets.
This year, take the pressure off. Be your own best friend and indulge in as many guilt-free naps as you need to stay refreshed throughout the day. Even a 20-minute power nap can make all the difference in the world.
#12 Eat for Energy
Most of us enter into the New Year with a pile of resolutions centered on our health. The unfortunate part is that by February most of us resort to our old ways.
This year, take a different approach and focus on healthy foods that will help you get through the day with energy to spare. In other words, eat for energy. Ditch energy-zapping foods like sugar and white flour and instead munch on foods that will jumpstart your energy and reduce fatigue. For a list of energy-packed foods click HERE.
What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.