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Mom's Time Out

Well it's that time again

Abigail Shiyer

(1/2010) Well it's that time again. Time to bring in a New Year and make a fresh start. Have you thought about what you want or need to change in your life? I'm sure that you have and my hope for you is that you follow through and make 2010 your best year yet.

As I write this, it is just after 10:00 on a Tuesday evening. I have successfully put one kid in bed and the other one is wearing me down. She is 4 and she has never been a good sleeper - check that… she is a good sleeper …once she gets to sleep. You may be thinking, "10:00 - that's not so bad" - and you are right it wouldn't be if I didn't know that my son will probably wake up at about 1:00 and could possibly be up for a two hour window any time between 1:00 and 4:00. So - as I sit here contemplating what my New Years Resolution will be for the coming year - all I can think about is getting more sleep. I hereby resolve to get more sleep and do less this year than ever before.

Is that acceptable? Who do I check with to see if my resolution is valid? You usually hear people setting goals to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with the family, get out of debt, get organized, quit smoking, quit drinking, enjoy life more, help others, start something new, etc.. So - at first - this sounded a little weak - "to sleep more and do less". It almost sounds like a cop out doesn't it? But, I have thought about this and I think it is just what I need to get me on a path to where I want to be. If I resolve to get more sleep, than that will mean that I will have to go to bed earlier, which means that I have to get my kids in bed earlier and fix their sleeping habits, which means that I will have to develop a strategy to make that happen. Once we are all going to bed earlier and getting more sleep, we are all more rested and happier. The time we spend together is of better quality. It all boils down to what is most important to you. For me right now, I want to be the best Mom that I can be for my kids - and getting more sleep and not trying to do so much is a good start.

What's important to you? Is it living healthier - with less weight and more fitness? Or is there something that you have always wanted to learn and haven't taken the time to make it happen? Is there a habit that you want to break? We all have something that we could change to make our lives better. Setting a New Years Resolution is basically a goal setting exercise. If you give it the attention and follow through that it deserves - you will be successful.

For some of us, goal setting and "sticking to it" comes naturally. In my younger years, I was a competitive athlete. My goal was to get a full athletic scholarship to college - which I did. Setting goals and following through has been something that I have always done without giving much thought to it. Decide where you want to be, think about how you are going to get there, take action and then never quit. That sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? It is, but it has been my experience that you have to pick one thing at a time. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Pick one thing and do it well.

I'm not quite sure what happened to me when I bore children, but sometimes I think part of my brain was paralyzed. Why have I let myself go the last 4 years or so on less than 6 hours of sleep a night? - sometimes much less? I guess that it is because I am so tired that I don't have the energy to make a change. Thank Goodness for the New Year!

Your New Years Resolution is important to you. Give it the respect it deserves:

" Be very specific about what you want. For example, if you want to start a new exercise program. Know what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, what your obstacles will be and how you plan to overcome them.

" Hold yourself accountable. Write your resolution down and/or tell someone what your plans are. Even better - get a buddy to join you and hold each other accountable.

" Take baby steps. Set small attainable goals for yourself. I'm sure you have all heard the metaphor "How do you eat an Elephant?" - "One bite at a time"... It makes a lot of sense.

" Celebrate your success. Keep track of what you do each week and month. On a daily basis, it may not seem like you are progressing, but when you look at it from week to week or month to month - you will be able to see how far you have come and it will motivate you to keep going.

" Don't give up. Keep going until you reach your goal and when you get there set a new one - even if it isn't January 1st.

" And most importantly - Believe that you can do it.

So, as I sit in my 'self appointed' time out this evening; I am going to picture myself sitting down in front of the fire with a hot cup of chamomile tea at 8:30 at night. In my minds movie, both of my kids will be in bed sleeping - dreaming about how much fun we are going to have tomorrow. I will be planning our next adventure - as a willing and enthusiastic partner instead of being short tempered and grumpy all the time… Now - how am I going to make this happen? - wish me luck

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