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"Should" I Make New Years Resolutions?!

Sure. Or maybe not. When I talk to moms, regardless of how their mood or their feelings are showing up, their thoughts are screaming "you SHOULD...." Often this thought is completed with something that is overwhelming, unnecessary, or misaligned with the mom's own goals, values, or intent. Even if the mom doesn't WANT to do the "should", her brain frequently chases this "should" thought with a feeling of guilt, sadness, or shame.

Sometimes, we don't even notice our own thoughts and they become an ugly background noise that drives a low-grade nervousness. It turns out that we can't actually control our thoughts or feelings. BUT on the other hand, we also don't have to act on them. So before you decide to make New Year's resolutions, check in and notice the thoughts your brain is sending you and run them through this quick fact checker:

  1. Is this thought a "should" statement? What feelings show up when you have this thought? If you change the wording to "could", what feelings show up?

  2. Is this thought a "need" statement? If you change the wording to "want", do your feelings following this thought change?

  3. Is your considered resolution in alignment with YOUR values or is it coming from an external pressure? Who benefits if you keep your resolution? What is the cost of your resolution?

Once you have checked in on the WHY of your resolution, if it is something you WANT to do and it aligns with your values, be sure to formulate your resolution as a goal-meaning it is specific, time-limited, measurable, and includes a set check-in to re-evaluate the achievability. Your resolution should be REALISTIC. Remember, positive change starts with small increments. If we plan a check-in, we create space for flexibility and adjustment. If you ultimately decide you do not want to set a resolution, that is perfect too. True success is when you make decisions that support your mental wellbeing-Happy New Year!

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