It’s that time of year when everyone makes New Year’s Resolutions every January. We’re all over the indulgence of the festive season and ready for a healthy start to the year ahead. A fresh start, a clean slate. This ritual is a part of so many people’s routines, and I was no exception. Every January, I would diligently set New Year’s Resolutions, always with the best of intentions. Only to inevitably have them fail miserably by the end of the month and finding myself spending the next 11 months berating myself for not living up to my own expectations.
My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions Review
At the start of 2018, with time on my hands, I wrote a whole post on what I intended to achieve that year. In a rare moment of optimism for that particular period of time, I separated my resolutions into three different categories: beauty, blogging and self-care goals. In total I had ten resolutions. It had obviously slipped my mind that I was a full-time working mum to two energetic little girls. Some days I barely have the time for laundry, let alone plough through a list of resolutions. I was setting myself up for failure.
The general gist of these resolutions was to experiment more with my look and to not be held back by other people’s expectations of me. In other words, I wanted to wear more than nude eyes and a red lip. Unsurprisingly, these were the only resolutions that I managed to stick to. Simply because they were easy to hit. A minimal amount of effort was required beyond buying lots of new makeup and playing with it.
Blog and Self-Care Resolutions:
I want to be able to say that I managed to devote more time to the blog and self-care meaning that I therefore achieved my blogging goals whilst remaining in a good place mentally. But that would be a lie. Not one of these seven resolutions were achieved. In a nutshell, they were much harder to complete as they required much more of my time. For me in my current situation, they were just unrealistic.
Why exactly did setting New Year’s Resolutions not work for me?
The main reason that my New Year’s Resolutions failed is the sheer number that I had set at the start of 2018 was completely unrealistic. As I found out, it is nigh-on impossible to maintain the required level on focus on ten different goals, as well as keep my kids alive and well, not mention working for a living. However, the unfeasibly large number of New Year’s Resolutions wasn’t the only reason that I failed in my quest for self-improvement in 2018. There were three main other factors too.
Depression and Anxiety
What also didn’t help was that I had set my New Year’s Resolutions whilst in the grip of one of the worst episodes of anxiety and depression that I have ever had in my life. I wasn’t thinking clearly because I was unable to. During that period in my life, I wanted desperately wanted everything to be different because in my head, different would equal better. I soon found it wasn’t. Because of this episode, the first three months of 2018 passed by in a numb blur. I existed. I focused on the essentials but nothing else. When doing the basic was exhausting, I had no energy to do anything else, let alone focus on self-improvement so my New Year’s Resolutions got put to one side.
The House Move
And then just as the fog lifted and I began to feel ready to tackle my New Year’s resolutions, my life changed again. Unexpectedly, I hasten to add when the actions of my ex caused a catastrophic effect on my finances, forcing me to have to move house with very little notice. Because I was unable to prepare for this move and had very little warning, my focus changed again. I had no time to think about myself, let alone self-improvement. My housing situation wasn’t just about me, I have little people who are completely dependent on me. I couldn’t and wouldn’t let them down.
Although I felt at the time that this was a period when I didn’t have the time work on myself because I wasn’t working on my specific resolutions, with the benefit of hindsight, I realise I was. Being confronted with such a tricky situation prompted me to dig deep and find my inner strength. I had to re-evaluate my life as the life that I thought I had built for myself post-divorce, was clearly still dependent on someone else. My house move, although enforced was a blessing. For the first time in my adult life it gave me the independence that I had long craved. In lots of ways, the move was the making of me. I may not have been working on my resolutions but I had changed and grown.
2018 will be forever described in my book of life as the year of change because yet another unexpected event has turned my life upside down. I found out in Autumn that I am expecting my third child. Newborns are blessings and obviously bring lots of love, but they also bring lots of chaos.
I’m only in my second trimester and yet lots has changed for me so far and there will be even more change to come in 2019. First trimester illness and exhaustion had meant that whatever my intentions were for self-improvement and self-care in the latter part of the year, the time was more wisely used on sleep, sleep and more sleep.
What Next For 2019?
I already know that 2019 is going to be a very different type of year for me. I’ll be heavily pregnant for a fraction of it. I’ll then be on maternity leave for the majority of the year. I’ll be welcoming my third child into the world with all the happiness and disruption that will bring. But I’ll also get the opportunity to be a stay at home mum for a while, which I’m thoroughly looking forward to even though deep down I love the routine and structure of my working week. So because of all the changes, I’ve decided there is absolutely no point in planning anything for the year ahead.
Even though I am a mother already and know what it’s like to have a newborn at home, this newborn will be different. Each baby is unique. I have absolutely no idea exactly how things will change for me and for the first time in my life, I’m embracing the unknown. Knowing that 2019 will look extremely different for me, I don’t want to add extra pressure onto myself by also setting New Year’s resolutions that I traditionally fail at. That’s not to say that I won’t be working on myself this year, of course I will be. It just means that I will be doing it at my own pace, without any added pressure. Perhaps for me, that is an achievable New Year’s Resolution in itself.
Are you setting New Year’s resolutions this year? Let me know in the comments.