Instead of making a list of resolutions, these are 4 things I don’t want to do this time of year.
There are so many posts, pictures, and ads in my email box right now.
They are all designed to help me figure out all the things I need to do in the new year.
Here’s the thing – this time of year is a struggle, with a capital “S” for my family. I love a good end of year checklist, but sometimes, recovering from the holidays and trying to regain a sense of balance and routine (especially for children who desperately need it) is just about all I can do.
This year, rather than fighting it, or worse, trying to do all the things, I have decided to instead focus on all the things I do not want to do in the near year. Consider this my Anti-New Years Resolutions List for 2020.
4 Things I DON’T Want To Do This Time Of Year
I know, I know. We say this so much. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t compare your reality to someone else’s highlight reel online. I say it all the time.
But this time of year tends to allow the comparisons to creep in.
We should have more money in savings. How will my boys survive when I’m gone if I don’t even have a money plan in place like that frugal living girl on YouTube?
I need a cleaning routine. How does that mom keep her kitchen so spotless?
My children are not reading any poetry. Look at the family on Instagram with candles and hot chocolate around the dining room table. Why can’t I pull that off?
I have made all of these comparisons in the last 24 hours alone. It’s not helpful. In fact, it’s discouraging, and inspires far more fear than motivation for me.
2. Forget My Priorities
Perhaps its all the emails I am receiving right now about making this my best year yet, but this time of year tends to distract me from my true priorities.
My children’s health and well being.
My family’s closeness and care.
My home being a place of safety and rest.
My online work and relationships with all of you.
Nowhere on this list is a checklist or resolution. This time of year, I need these priorities to be first and foremost.
3. Choose Academics Over Mental Health
I have been guilty of choosing math or writing over my sons’ mental well being, off and on, for a good 11 years now.
My default tends to be power through and stay the course when it comes to my sons’ education. Over the years however, it has become clear (over and over again!) that children in crisis do not learn a thing anyway and anxious minds do not retain information.
I hope to embrace this truth with freedom in 2020.
4. Create Unrealistic Goals
When I create unrealistic goals for myself, it tends to take its toll on everyone around me.
I struggle, my family suffers and we all end up worse off than if I’d just ignored the siren call of new years to begin with.
There are some things I do want to do this year, of course. But my hope is to keep my goals focused on the priorities I’ve shared, and make them as simple as possible.
Specifically because my oldest son is in his second semester of his junior year, I have created some gentle goals for our homeschool this year. You can read all about them at Simple Homeschool today. I reflect on all the things I thought would be true about homeschooling and all the things I now know are true about homeschooling.
You know what I don’t want to do this time of year.
Good or bad, this is my plan for the new year –
Lots of grace, lots of love and, let’s just be honest, lots of coffee.
Wishing you a wonderful new year!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.