For many of us, the beginning of a new year brings with it the inevitable pressure to improve ourselves. I used to get stressed out planning and sticking to my New Year’s resolutions, but not this time. My one and only resolution for 2013 is that I won’t make the same predictable resolutions, that I will be realistic about what I can achieve, that I will be kinder to myself and that I will bring joy to my family.
1. Losing weight. Now that I’m about to turn 35, I’m not obsessed anymore about my weight. I accept myself. I love who I am, and I have accepted that my being in shape is not about my still fitting into the clothes I wore are a teenager. Life is all about accepting that we all grow and change, and what really matters is how we perceive ourselves—that’s the real beauty we project. I’m not 110 pounds anymore and that’s okay! I don’t want to look like a 20 year old girl, but as a healthy and happy woman of 35.
2. Going back to the gym. Some people love it and need it, some don’t. I belong to second group and I will not feel forced to change my mind after living my whole life with this feeling. In 2013 I’m not spending more money on the gym, but instead I’m promising my kids and myself to dedicate one hour a day to walk around the block or play soccer with them, and keep us moving as a family, not only physically but all also from the bottom of our hearts.
3. Quitting something. I don’t smoke, drink liquor or use drugs of any type. So I’ll quit trying to be perfect. I’ll give myself permission to enjoy a glass of wine sometimes. I’ll work on learning how to relax, while accepting that slowing down on my dreams is not the same as giving up on them.
4. Being a better parent. I’ll stop comparing myself to other parents or discussing with others the way that I raise my children. I’ll listen to my heart, follow my instincts and I’ll feel proud and satisfied seeing my kids smile. Being the best mother should not be a competition but an award measured by the happiness of a child.
5. Getting an expensive degree. Every year I replay in my mind all those dreams that never came to life. I want to go back to school, get a degree and find a well-paying job, but that’s not the only path to learning. So in the process of adjusting my life to its own challenges, I’ll work on not blaming myself or feeling ashamed for making mistakes. Yes, I’ll learn something new every day, maybe not in the typical way other people do—like by taking a class online or going back to college—but I will. I’ll reflect and take advantage of the good and bad times that surely will be part of this New Year. I’m not postponing my dreams; I’m just working towards gathering the resources I need to make them come true.