I have a resolution problem. And (humble brag), it’s not not keeping them. I love to-do lists. I love making goals. And for that reason my resolution lists would quickly become unruly, overlong -- we’re talking outline with multiple sub-points -- and full of things I already do. I don’t need to resolve to read anymore. I will. It’s a habit, just like brushing my teeth (humble brag 2.0, yikes).
This year, I’m breaking out of my resolution rut.
Thanks to one of my top podcasts (Happier!), I’ve instead been inspired to pick a mantra for the year. A single theme to color and inspire 2017.
Ok, Ok. I’m not totally cured of list-making mania. I picked three mantras. One for personal growth, one for parenting and one for my marriage. I love the crisp simplicity of three mantras for the most important aspects of my life. I don’t miss my unwieldy, boring, bloated resolution lists at all.
Mantra for Personal Growth: Stretch
In one sense, I mean this mantra quite literally. I’m getting really into yoga, and plan on practicing (see? already in on the lingo) 3-5 days a week. But the mantra isn’t about the numbers, it’s about how I feel so much better physically and emotionally when I take the time for myself to do a little yoga.
Seriously. I started doing 20-40 minutes a day 5 times a week in December and I felt a tremendous difference in everything from neck tension to calmer thoughts. When I skipped over Christmas week, I came back uncomfortably tight. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. Like caffeine (guilty). And sugar (guilty again).
So far, I’m focusing on my home practice. If you think you might want to try too, I wholeheartedly recommend Yoga with Adriene. Every January she creates a 30-day yoga program, and then continues to release weekly videos throughout the year. I’ve been working through Yoga Camp (her 2016 program), and I absolutely love it. She does a great job of keeping each day challenging, accessible and rewarding.
I’m also reading The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. Thanks to Ike’s wonderfully thoughtful Christmas gift, I’m well on my way to becoming (slightly more) enlightened.
Applying Stretch Every Day
I also love this mantra because it can be applied to so many things. I won’t say I need to stretch by reading a certain amount of books, but I may challenge myself to read more nonfiction. I won’t just attend church, but (horror of horrors!) start digging deeper by contributing to small group discussions. That has been, to use another term from Happier, a “Happiness Stumbling Block” for me. And I won’t make blogging goals, but try to pour my energy into a creative writing project (while blogging and freelancing...streeeeetch is right).
So basically, any situation where I’m tempted to take the comfortable route, I’ll try to stretch. Reach beyond complacency and into the land of the living. As I saw with my (short) dip into yoga, even a few weeks of daily stretching can give you newfound flexibility you can’t remember you didn’t have.
Mantra for Parenting: Consistency
This mantra isn’t some nuanced way to reach a better version of myself (looking at you, stretch). It’s more like a quick encouragement. I hate to use negative imagery, but parenting a 3-year-old is kind of like parenting a velociraptor. He’s always testing the boundaries for weaknesses. Always. So I need to make sure they are strong.
I’ve made a list of his “Red Light” behaviors and what consequences they earn. Do I follow through every time? Sigh, no.
So, Consistency NOW!
Mantra for Marriage: Romance
And last but not least, Ike and I are working on quality time this year. With the addition of a new kid and a move away from free babysitting, sometimes you have to be creative with quality time. Thankfully our kiddos are great sleepers (humble brag 3.0) so when they go to bed, we are free to have time for us.
We added a weekly game night with just us two to play, listen to music and talk. So far it’s been an evening I really enjoy and look forward to.
So this year as I stretch, stay consistent and amp up the romance...what will you be doing? Do you have a favorite resolution or mantra you want to share?