2016 was a different year for me in regards to making resolutions. I decided to set goals that would improve my life and make me happy. I used to set goals that were unattainable, that had to do with my appearance, because I wasn’t happy with my body or my eating habits. For me those goals would never stick yet I continued to make them year after year. 2016 started off much differently than most years though. I had been feeling the deep weight of postpartum depression, which I wrote about here. I was battling anxiety and depression everyday and the pressures that come with new years resolutions was not something that I wanted anything to do with. I was deeply struggling with my worth as a wife and mother already. I didn’t need another reason to criticize myself when I couldn’t keep up with unrealistic and unattainable resolutions.
Instead of putting unrealistic goals into place, I thought of things that would bring me joy and help me be more mindful. Reading more sounded great. Meditation was already helping, so I wanted to keep exploring that. I also wanted to be more loving and accepting of where my body was and to treat it with respect. And finally, I wanted to cook more with my kids.
All of these goals felt good and were within my reach. I may not have reached the full potential of these goals, but I am really happy with the growth that I achieved.
I wanted to read, however in the past I’ve set goals of 25-50 books like some of the avid readers I follow. I’ve come to realize that I’m not that person so I thought 12 books was within my reach. I didn’t quite make it, but I did read 10! I’m currently reading/listening to 4 that I was really hoping to finish in december, but haha. Nope. Because...well, december is as it always is and there was just no time (or energy). I’m not sure I’ve read more than 4 books in a year since I was in high school so I’ll take 10 as a win. I had an original list, but I only read 3 from it. I just read what sounded good and I found some really good ones!
Here’s what I completed in 2016:
I’ve written reviews on these in my goodreads profile. I really enjoyed all of these, but I did have a couple favorites. The Gifts of Imperfection was amazing. It was a quick read and extremely useful. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a more wholehearted life. A new earth was really great too, but a little over my head. I’m really looking forward to reading Eckhart’s The Power of Now this year. I plan to read A New Earth again in the future. I’ve never had a favorite author before. 2016 changed that and I can’t wait to read more of Rainbow Rowell in 2017! I loved Eleanor & Park and if you like cute romantic stories, I think you will too.
At the end of 2015, meditation was helping me find some calm and peace in the midst of PPD. I really wanted to continue with the daily meditation I had been doing. I allowed the word daily to be very flexible. As my needs fluctuated this resolution evolved. At first, it was me getting up early and either sitting quietly with a candle or doing yoga. I became very fond of following Yoga with Adriene, which gave me a lot of confidence to do more self guided yoga when I needed it. I also used some great guided meditations when I needed a little more from my practice. Sometimes I just needed to write. Other times I prayed. And sometimes I would just cry. As the year continued, reading became a form of meditation and calm for me. During the summer I started bike riding with my friend after my husband got home. I also started to pray more throughout the day. I tend to get busy with the tasks of the day and forget to pray in the morning and am often too tired to remember at night. I let go of the idea that I could only pray when I was kneeling by my bed. I started praying when I’d remember which was sometimes while I was making breakfast or in the car driving (eyes open of course ;)). It occurred to me that it doesn’t really matter when and how we pray, Heavenly Father just wants to hear from us. That realization for me was huge. At the end of the year, I wasn’t meditating like I was at the beginning. However, I was reading and taking more time to do yoga which was what I was needing more.
Loving and accepting my body as it is. As a teenager and young adult, I would obsess about my imperfections. However, since having 3 girls, I really let go of that obsession. I still had many moments of disatisfaction when looking in the mirror, but I wasn’t letting it control my life as it had been. That was a great improvement, but I really wanted to stop looking foward to when my body might be smaller again. I was ready to accept where I am in this season of life. I embraced the size 14 (did I just say that outloud??) and started looking for clothes that complimented the curves that I’m rocking these days. I got rid of a ton of clothes that don’t fit anymore because, what does that help? In the process, I got new clothes and cleared up some space! I also did exercise that really felt good to me. Yoga, biking and walking were all bringing me happiness and peace.
And finally cooking with my kids. I did better than the year before, but I realized that cooking with my well meaning very eager children was not helping my anxiety. So, I tried to find ways to do it with them where there wasn’t a deadline. We made lot’s of muffins, energy bites and cookies. I picked low stress recipes and an added bonus that baked goods are always exciting to eat. Dinnertime help will hopefully be in our future. Maybe when I actually start preparing earlier? ;)
I would say that resolution wise, 2016 was a win for me. How did your 2016 go? I’m always curious to see how those resolutions, mantras or words turned out by the end of the year. Let me know in the comments or over on instagram!