New Year’s Resolutions for Moms. Pffft. Every year, many Americans set them. Yet, only 8% of us keep them. Crazy, huh? I’m part of the 92%. But then I revisit them, try again. By April or so, I find myself saying, “Oh well, January has come and gone, let’s move on.”

So, this year I am setting goals, not resolutions. And, I’m putting them in my planner. Like any good goal, it has to be measurable. And, we have to have baselines to see if we are making progress.

Goal Setting Books

I read a TON of books. Lots of nonsense fiction, but a lot of self-help and how-to books as well. And, goal setting books.

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Two of the best books on goal setting that I have read are Atomic Habits and The 12 Week Year.

What I like about these goal setting books is that they completely flip the whole idea of goal setting. I’ve even used the Atomic Habits technique for some of my IEP advocacy clients.

The concept is this, and I’ll use weight loss as an example because it’s a common New Year’s Resolution.

Many people set a goal of “I want to lose 15 lbs this year.” And then, while many have an idea in mind of what they can do to lose weight, there are no concrete action items.

So think about what you need to do to lose weight. Eat better, exercise more, get more sleep, things like that. And make those things your goal.

Instead of “lose 15 lbs” this year as the goal, your new goal is “pack my lunch 4 days a week instead of eating fast food.” And put mechanisms in place to make that happen. Presumably, if you do those goals (eat better, walk more) you will lose weight.

Getting outdoors more frequently is a common New Year's Resolution for Moms.

What I love about 12 Week Year is that it makes goals seem attainable. Sometimes a year just seems too long. 12 Week Year encourages you to chunk down your year, just like we chunk down assignments for our kids!

Here are some things I will be doing to stay involved in advocacy and not lose my mind. And find peace.

New Year’s Resolutions for Moms

Some of these new year’s resolutions are for IEP moms, others are generic New Year’s resolutions for Moms.

Only because, well, this is mostly an IEP website!

  1. Keep my IEP paperwork organized. I invented the IEP organizer in 2015. And in 2015 and 2016, I really used it, and it worked well. Last year, I fell off the wagon and my paperwork is a mess. Now I’m staring down an IEP meeting in 2 months and I feel totally frazzled. I’m printing off another one and that will be my project as soon as the kids go back to school.
  2. Take time for Yourself. We cannot be constant caregivers and case managers if we do not take care of ourselves. You cannot fill others’ cups if your own pitcher is empty. I signed up for a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge at our health club and I am going to make it a priority. No more “Well, I really don’t have time….” I also intend to use the three, yes 3, unused gift cards that I have for massages. I never do things for me because there is almost always something I could be doing for someone else. Usually my kids. My to-do list for my household and family is never going to be complete. It’s ok to take a break. For me.
  3. Ignore the noise. I get better at this every year, as time goes on. I still have room for improvement. Turn off the TV, social media, whatever is bringing you down. The amount of change that is still needed for our kids is overwhelming at times. Take baby steps and focus on small wins.
  4. No drinking wine. I’ve been doing this since August of 2017, with about 90% consistency. I want this to be completely alcohol-free. I am just putting it here to stay accountable. My friend Lindsay and I started this before “sober curious” was even a thing. Now I’m hearing it’s “gray area drinkers.” If you want to read up on that, please do. But you don’t need a label on your head to stop drinking. If it’s not working for you, stop. Get whatever help you need to make it happen.
  5. Read your IEP procedural safeguards. Yes, read them. All of them. I’m going to re-read mine this year because I always find several useful pieces of information that I forgot about.
  6. Remember that I am not alone. There are literally millions of kids with IEPs. Sure, the kids are individuals. But many of the situations are similar.
  7. Learn. Take a workshop, go to a conference, do my online IEP training. Something to help increase your confidence as you navigate the IEP process.
  8. Ditch negativity in your life. If they’re not on TEAM YOU, why are they there? Just because they’re family? Nope. Unfollow and unfriend generously on social media. And for your social commitments. Think of it as “konmari’ing” your life. Do you need it? Does it bring you joy? Then out it goes, no matter what it is.
  9. Help another mom. Reach out. Just one person helping one person. Imagine the impact if we all did this!
  10. Stay away from absolutes. Sure, we want our personal goals to be measurable. But if you add in absolutes, we’re sure to fail. Instead of “walk the dog every day” make it a goal to “walk the dog more often than I currently do.” Consistent small changes are the key to success.

Wishing you a bright, shiny and successful year!

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