For many of us, the New Year brings reflection, hope and often a long list of New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately most of these resolutions don’t seem to make it past the month of January!
Someone sent me this video with an adorable little girl delivering a great reminder for the new year! Why is it that kids often have a way of reshifting our focus and giving us a different way to look at things?
A few years ago I decided to ditch resolutions all together and nip the resulting pressure and guilt in advance! Let’s face it, us moms carry too much of that anyway! Instead, we sit down as a family each January to make our individual bucket list for the upcoming year. We each pick 3-5 goals and activities we want to add to our lives in the upcoming year. It makes the year feel exciting and adventurous instead of looking ahead to the New Year’s daunting blank slate!
Here are a few tips for setting your family’s own Bucket Lists each year:
- Visualize. Think about where you want to be this time next year. What milestones, adventures, vacations, traditions, challenge goals, etc. do you want to look back on?
- Make a list. Write down your ideas and tune in to how you feel as you write down each one. Hint… the ones you feel excited or a little nervous about as you write them down are often the “right” picks!
- Narrow Down. Highlight the 3-5 that gave you that nervous excitement in your gut! You know the feeling… trust it!:)
- Write it Down. Write those ideas down someplace you can look at each day. The yellow notes pages in your iPhone, a journal, your daily planner, a piece of paper posted on the fridge… whatever makes sense to you! Congratulations, you’ve made your 2018 bucket list!
- Make a Plan. Now, use the momentum of the New Year to start researching your goals and jot down a brief plan and timeline. Make a pin board on Pinterest to save links, request travel info, search websites online, join an email distribution list for that vacation destination. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, just pick the method that works for you.
- Just Do It. If you find something you like, do it! There will never be a perfect time or a time you’re not busy! It’s not too early to buy those plane tickets, click add to cart on those dream concert tickets, register for that marathon, etc. Follow Nike’s advice and “Just Do It!” Your 2019 self will thank you this time next year!
- Create Family Bucket Lists. Help your family come up with their own bucket lists. For young children 2-3 bucket list items is plenty. Make it tangible for them by asking them to pick (1) someplace they want to visit, (2) one new activity they want to try and (3) something they want to improve this year. As a warning, be prepared for these to go a little “off the rails” sometimes… like that time my youngest added “learn to talk to animals” to his list! Just try to embrace it…
- Have Fun! Celebrate as a family the little and big wins along the way!
So what things made your 2018 Bucket List? This year my bucket list is focused on family:
- Marry the love of my life. I can’t think of anything better than this and being able to crawl into bed together each night and finally having our blended family all under one roof!
- Institute Family Fridays. I want our family to spend time each Friday doing something together, minus cell phones and distractions. Our kids are tweens and teens and somehow that makes it more difficult to slow down and just enjoy being together.
- Go “Off the Grid.” Technology is everywhere and I love it because it makes my life easier in so many ways but I need to refocus this year and institute a little self-imposed technology detox. So from 8-10pm each night, I’m putting my phone and computer away and focusing on being present and nurturing relationships with family and friends.
- Workout Twice a Week. Running and working out are like Xanax and Prozac all rolled into one for me! Without it, every stress at work or disagreement at home feels bigger and harder than it really is. Working out helps me let go of stress, worry less and be more present with my family. It’s the best kind of self-care for me and I need to make it a priority again in 2018.
- Celebrate! Life is short and sometimes I have a tendency to get so caught up in trying to control things and make sure everything is “just right” for everyone else (moms, I know you can relate!) that I forget to celebrate all the things that are going well. This year I’m going to focus on celebrating the good, big or small – sending birthday cards, RSVPing yes, taking the kids out for a fancy steak dinner, sending flowers, and buying cake and prosecco just because!