Our teen put us on the spot this year, insisting that we share our New Year’s Resolutions as a family. She’d been preparing hers for about a week but we adults only got about a 10-minute heads up.
Luckily, it wasn’t very hard to come up with what we are going to focus on in 2017. Both my husband and I tend to always be working on improving and at any given time have several goals on our minds. In fact, I hadn’t really been focused on setting resolutions because my goals are set for the New Year with several already in motion.
What was especially nice is that we had one of those rare peaceful moments to sit around the kitchen table and have a “grown up” conversation. The little man was tired after getting up early and eating a nice big breakfast so he wandered off to play quietly in his room. And the 4 year old was unusually calm as well.
Our 4-year-old daughter wants to paint more (well, she is four…).
I set a goal for the 2-year-old boy that he will be potty trained this year; he had no objection.
My husband went next. His first goal is to clear out some of our stuff. This makes complete sense to me because despite having a modest Christmas this year, the piles of new presents are still cluttering our spaces. Between that and the Christmas decor, it is easy to see how that makes him feel overwhelmed. Having young kids, we have amassed a ton of bits and parts that often get scattered throughout the house. This is incredibly unsettling to his sense of order and the weight of it blocks him from being productive. His second goal was a huge relief for me, which is to make this year be the year of finishing projects. I tend to give him a lot of leeway in regards to this aspect of his personality (starting things and not finishing) because I can live with a lot and it’s not what I want to define our relationship (think: nagging wife). But the things around the house that are not quite finished do wear on me after a while.
Our 13-year-old daughter was a bit shy at first but it was clear she’d spent a good deal of time considering her goals. Her first was to be true to herself. She explained that she’d felt as though she had let a lot of other people influence her decisions throughout the year and she wanted to change that, becoming stronger in her own opinions. Her second goal was slightly different, which was to learn more about herself. Or “discover herself” as she put it. She expressed that she would like to learn more about her likes/dislikes, favorite subjects of study, etc. Of course, I found quite a bit of irony in her goals given that she is 13 and embarking on the teenage journey of defining herself as an individual. Her father made sure to add in a note that while it is important to know yourself, we must be careful to consider other people in our decisions as well. And I made the point that her goals were probably the beginning of a lifelong journey as I am often still working on the same things.
And my goals. Well, you’ll be hearing a lot about my goals as I work through my Sanity Plan, but I wanted to commit to a couple of them to my family. My first goal is to complete my transition to a career in writing. More specifically, I plan to publish my first children’s book this year. My second goal is find ways to completely destress. Because quite frankly, I am just way too wound up all of the time. I believe most of the work I accomplish in this area will be directly related to my sensory diet and finding the right formula for truly letting go in the moment. Similar to my step-daughter’s goals, this will likely be a lifelong journey.
I’m glad she brought it up because it provided us the perfect opportunity to have an honest conversation and bond as a family. We were each vulnerable in our explanations for our goals and supportive of each other in our efforts to make improvements. It gave me new insight into the things that she is thinking about and struggling with. And I will be making an effort to check in on our resolutions throughout the year.
What are your resolutions for 2017? Do you find it helpful to set resolutions?