Happy 2014, gorgeous friends! Now that you’ve had a chance to get through the craziness of the party night and the ugh of the hangover day, how are you feeling?
I know you’re busy so I took the liberty of making some resolutions for you. You work hard, you take care of your family, but how much time do you spend taking care of you? We’re going to talk more about this stuff in the coming months, but here is what I want you to do this year:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
In the words of Teddy Rooseveldt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Everyone is doing the best they can with what they’ve got, so stop worrying about what others have and set about cherishing what you’ve got. What you’ve got is pretty awesome, isn’t it?
2. Delegate invisible tasks
You know the ones, the little jobs that take up your time and brain space every day that nobody else in the house seems to know exist : the doctors’ appointments, netball sign-on, the carpool roster, getting school supplies before school goes back, organising cleaners to come Wednesday instead of Thursday because you have that thing on that you also organised…Having all of this going on has the same effect on your brain as when your computer needs a good defrag. Hand over some of these tasks to your partner, if you have one. It’s not only your responsibility.
You know that feeling you get from a great night’s sleep? No? You need at least seven hours a night (no more than nine, but as if that’s a problem for any of us, right?), unless you have a tiny newborn type that insists you hang out and party all night. You have special dispensation. Everyone else, you are more likely to make better food choices and get up and exercise if you are well rested. You are also more likely to have the energy to chase your professional goals and be a nicer person.
No woman is an island, and working mothers need all the help they can get. Chat to people at work, people at playgroup, people at school…everywhere. You never know who you might meet and how they might be able to help you – job opportunities, lifts from school to soccer training for the kids, introductions to others who might be able to help you. Loads of us still feel a bit awks when it comes to networking but we shouldn’t. Wouldn’t you be happy to help someone out if you could? If it helps, think of it as making new friends rather than networking, and go in with the mindset of finding ways you can help others. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities roll around.
5. Ask for help
Get the help you need when you need it instead of waiting for things to reach Bruce Willis movie proportions first. I’m talking about your tonsils, your mood disorder, your car with the clunky noise, your incontinent cat…But mostly I’m talking about you. See someone who can help so you can keep going. Simple, but how many of us are great at it?
6. Eat food that looks like food
Forget diets and shakes and giving up a particular food group. Prepare and eat food that looks like what it is. And make sure a decent percentage of that is brightly coloured and crunchy. That’s it. Fantastic health results guaranteed for you and for your family. And stop pandering to fussy kids. Serve them good food and give them the opportunity to reject it for a while. They may not ever like mung beans but if you keep offering them fish fingers for every meal, that’s all they’re ever going to eat. Real food is just as easy to prepare, it sets a much better example, and you’re less likely to take the easy way out and just eat fish fingers too.
7. Be present
When you’re at work, be at work. Don’t plaster your desk with photos of your family or talk about the consistency of little Buffy’s poos in the tea room while waiting for the kettle to boil. When you’re at home, be at home. Forget checking your emails and just freaking finger paint (you know, and prepare meals, clean, do the shopping, and all that other stuff). Feeling guilty or like you should be somewhere else helps nobody. Martyrs may elicit sympathy from everyone for a while but they don’t get ahead and nobody thanks them for their sacrifices.
8. Do something for you
Stop waiting for permission to do something for yourself and take what you need. Like those oxygen masks that fall from the ceiling in the plane, you need to look after yourself so you can take care of others. That includes a night out, a nice glass of wine, a pedicure, a long shower, a meditation retreat, a massage, an hour in a hammock with a good book…stop laughing, I mean it. Make a deal with yourself to do something just for you at least once a week. It can be as tiny as a coffee date with yourself to read the weekend papers in peace, or as big as a few days away with the girls.
9. Move your rump, no excuses
Seriously, do I need to say this one? Whether it’s half an hour of dedicated sweating a day, or finding ways to make your everyday life more active, your body, your brain and your family and friends will thank you for it. You’ll look better, you’ll feel better and you’ll think more clearly. Champagne Husby also assures me when I exercise I am no longer a psycho hose beast. Bonus.
10. Set goals and make plans
You know what they call a goal without a plan? A wish. What you want is a goal or two and a clear plan of every step you will take to achieve them. Then tick off every little step and congratulate yourself on your accomplishments. Tell friends, involve your partner if you have one, get everyone around you invested. Then follow through and get shit done that you know will make your life better. Because your life will be better. And better is good.
What do you think? Do any of these ring true for you? What are your goals for 2014?