Make 2019 the Best Year Yet!

life, Mom Life

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 re-shifting 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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!
  3. Narrow Down. Highlight the 3-5 that gave you that nervous excitement in your gut! You know the feeling… trust it!:)
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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…
  8. Have Fun! Celebrate as a family the little and big wins along the way!


So what things made your 2019 Bucket List? This year my bucket list is focused on family:

  1. Make My Husband My Ride or Die. Last year was filled with lots of changes – new house, new marriage, new blended family, new office, new commute. While all of those are great changes, it’s easy to get lost in all the business. This year I want to read more, listen to podcasts and maybe even attend Rachel & Dave Hollis’ RISE Together conference so Joe and I can live our best marriage!
  2. Schedule Family Saturdays. I want our family to spend time each Saturday doing something together, minus cell phones and distractions. Our kids are t(w)eens and somehow that makes it more difficult to slow down and just enjoy being together. We’ve added technology limits to our days to help us focus more on each other.
  3. Grow My Business. The Modern Mamanista is officially turned two years old in October. It’s lots of fun but it’s had some starts and stops as we all juggle motherhood, day jobs and keeping up with it all. I’m carving out time each Sunday to better plan content, grow my business, and learn new ways to engage with you all better so we can be the best we can be in 2019!
  4. Workout Three Times 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 2019.
  5. Get Back to My Roots. As the years go by and the people closest to me celebrate birthdays into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, I feel the tug on my heartstrings to get back to my roots. I plan to collect photos, stories and names of family across the generations so I can pass these down to my kids. We started with Ancestry DNA last year for the kids to get started. I also want to resurrect some of the old family recipes and make them a part of our weekly menus. I have so many warm memories around my grandmother’s frosted butter cookies, watching her pull cans of her pickles off the basement shelves, watching my mom make her famous lasagna and more! I can’t wait to start digging at my roots in 2019!



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