Practical New Year’s Resolutions for Busy Parents

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This year, don’t make resolutions you’re just going to break! Learn how to end that trend by bypassing standard resolutions and make some even busy moms can keep!

It never fails. The New Year approaches and the most commonly asked question suddenly changes from “What happened on Lost last week?” to “So, what are your resolutions?” The answer, while often identified at that precise moment, is nonetheless delivered with the strongest of intentions and commitment. Until January 6.

Many resolutions are unsuccessful because they were not grounded in reality from the beginning. After all, it’s hard to lose five pounds when a chocolate fix is required each afternoon to keep us sane until bedtime; it’s challenging to do a better job with the finances when the family isn’t getting any smaller; and some toddler antics about which we vow to remain more calm just plain are irritating!

This year, bypass the standard resolutions. It’s time for a few that we just might be able to keep.

30 Minutes

We’d all like far more time than this, I’m sure, but it shouldn’t be too hard to schedule just 30 minutes to focus on ourselves each day. Use this time to take a bath, read a magazine, take a walk, do yoga, return email, or just sit quietly in the dark. It’s important to designate a portion—even if it’s only a small portion—of your day to yourself. After all, if you don’t make yourself a priority, you can’t expect anyone else to either.

Delegate One Task

Running a household requires a lot of time, not to mention energy. From keeping clean clothes in closets to maintaining a stocked fridge, by the end of the week there’s little time left for other (more pleasurable) activities. This year, choose one less-than-pleasurable task that robs your free time and delegate it. If you must buy time by hiring someone to complete the task in the short term, do so. Some suggestions: hire a cleaning service every week or two, have your groceries delivered, or skip weekly trips to the post office by using the Postal Service’s Click ‘n Ship service.

Sort Mail

I don’t know about you, but by Fridays there are so many separate stacks of mail around my house it’s a miracle we aren’t hit with 16 late charges each month. Additionally, there is probably about a tree’s worth of junk mingled in with those stacks. According to Beth Randall, owner of Joe Organizer in Plainfield, Illinois, people should eliminate as much as they can from their mail. She suggests, “Contact the Direct Marketing Association to get removed from their distribution list.” 

Beyond that, Beth proposes a daily mail organization strategy. “After you collect your mail, stop by the recycle bin or garbage and throw away all the junk. Respond to invitations immediately, then record the information on your calendar and throw out the invite. All other mail items should go into a categorized file box for ease in paying bills on time and locating items when you need them.”

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