I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. In years past, I’ve listed goals or experiences to tackle in the early months of a fresh year to jumpstart my mojo (finish writing that book, paint my daughters’ room pink, etc.) but no traditional resolutions are ever made.
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Why? Because resolutions that take away things like sugar, chocolate and the rest of the innocent vices that get us through life usually fade about a month in, and then we’re right back where we started anyways. I’m a realist, folks.
So, instead of creating limitations, I’m using January to add more to my family’s everyday life. As my kids grow, I’m realizing I need more of certain things, more extra care – for my brain, body and spirit. For the good of my family.
The things I’m aiming to get more of immediately?
1. Sleep. According to renowned pediatrician and best-selling author Dr. Harvey Karp, I’ve been functioning as though I’ve been drunk. He told me so himself, at one of the many family events we’ve participated in together in Los Angeles.
Karp says: Those who go through daily routines on six hours or less of sleep per night are operating with the same brainpower, perception and energy level of someone who is drunk. He’s right. So, one night per week (or, maybe more if I can pull it off) I’m hitting the sack at 9 p.m.
2. Milk. (No, I’m not a toddler.) This is purely for selfish, brain-power purposes – because my brain feels more muddy as I get older. Protein, especially in the morning, sets us up for sustainable success throughout the day.
One glass of milk has calcium, Vitamin D and tons of other nutrients we need that we’re not getting enough of (especially women) – phosphorus for natural energy, vitamin A for our immune system and vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue. The funniest part is that my daughters tend to drink more milk the more they see me drink it. (Parenting win!)
3. Time outside. It’s not easy when it’s cold (and L.A. does have sunny weather even though it’s winter), but I’m making a point of stepping outside of my home/work for a minimum of five minutes per day. It’s no secret that being outdoors is scientifically therapeutic. So why do I not do it when it’s so easy to do?
Walk outside, set a timer on your phone (but don’t look at your phone!) and literally breathe in and out while looking at the sky. Too esoteric? I’d be lying if I told you it wasn’t giving me more clarity each day. Add my daughters into this habit and suddenly they’re less cranky, too.
I don’t want to become a brand new person, but I am seeking a more grounded and healthy sense of self. I don’t want to become a whole new ‘me’ just because the calendar changes – I want to become ‘more me,’ if that makes sense. The greatest gift we can give ourselves is the awareness to feel content with who we are, as we learn, as we grow through experiences at our own pace. Wanting to become a ‘new’ person is admirable for some, but there’s real magic in wanting to be ‘more’ of who we’ve been the whole time. Happy New Year to all of us.
Jill Simonian was born and raised in Fresno and is creator of TheFabMom.com. Her book for pregnant moms, “The FAB Mom's Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby“ is available now. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @jillsimonian.