My Happiness Project: A Reality Check

According to CNN, about 100 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions each January.  From resolving to lose weight to promising to quit smoking, many of us take advantage of changing the calendar to try changing our ways.

The problem?  Only about 20% of us stick to our resolutions.  And the reason for that, according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, among other experts, is that we don’t make our goals reasonable and specific.

I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions.  (Each year, it seems, I decide that this will be the year that I stop biting my nails.  And each year I nibble them right back off.)  But I did use this New Year’s Day as an occasion to reevaluate my Happiness Project.  Considering Dr. Gupta’s advice – which, by the way, echoes Gretchen Rubin’s – I asked myself if my happiness resolutions are indeed reasonable and specific.

So I present to you today my Happiness Project 2.0 – with a few tweaks born largely of the transition from an energized second trimester to a sluggish-feeling third.

My guiding idea for Month 3 of my Happiness Project was “Get your house in order.”

  1. Get your financial house in order.
  2. Empty your inbox.
  3. Practice the evening tidy-up.
  4. Use up what we have.
  5. Get rid of things you don’t want.
  6. Don’t buy things you don’t need.
  7. Hang things on the walls.
  8. Take time for projects.

I’m sure that neither Gretchen Rubin nor Sanjay Gupta would be surprised to hear that the resolutions that I kept most faithfully were the most specific of the bunch (e.g. “Empty your inbox”) and the ones I stumbled on were the more project-y of the group and the ones that felt like guiding ideas rather than actionable steps (e.g. “Take time for projects”).

Before moving on to Month 4 of my project, I decided to edit my 24 resolutions from Months 1-3 into a more specific, more reasonable 10:

  1. Sleep.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Eat well. (Thank you, gestational diabetes, for making this much more of a no-brainer.)
  4. Read.
  5. Write.
  6. Just do it:
    1. Tackle a nagging task.
    2. Observe the one minute rule.
    3. Empty inboxes.
    4. Practice the evening tidy-up.
    5. Spend one hour once a week on projects.

As for this month’s new resolutions – the theme of which is “Love Your Family” – I’m already seeing that I haven’t been nearly specific enough and that some of these will be transformed into guiding ideas (or, as Gretchen Rubin calls them, “Personal Commandments”) in the months to come:

  1. Be patient.
  2. Don’t complain.
  3. Engage.
  4. Be silly.
  5. Prioritize physical affection.
  6. Start your day before the boys start theirs.
  7. Record memories.
  8. Cultivate traditions.

And then there’s that little matter of being 31 weeks pregnant, with a c-section scheduled for February 21.  I’m tired, I’m achy, and I’m grumpy a lot of the time and imagine that things aren’t going to feel any better during the next 7 weeks.

Am I being unreasonable living by a checklist at this particular moment?

It might seem that way, but, for the most part, I still feel soothed and satisfied by accomplishing small tasks when the challenges of life feel a little greater than usual.  And, on my on-going quest for seeking and defining happiness for myself, I’ll take soothed and satisfied.  Especially now.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  Do they tend to be specific and “reasonable” or do you prefer the bold and the lofty?

Image: Advent Calendar by paperladyinvites via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.
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57 responses to “My Happiness Project: A Reality Check

  1. I start my day 2.5 hours before my girls wake up. I loathe getting out of bed in general, especially that early, but it makes such a huge difference. On the days when I get up at the same time as them I’m a cranky mess. (It pretty much takes me 2.5 hours to wake up.) But days like today, when I make it out of bed before them? I’m always happy and ready to start the day when they barge into my office. (Of course I’m not 31 weeks pregnant. I cannot imagine trying to pull this off if that were the case!)

    • I started doing this a few months ago and it’s made a big impact on my mood for the day. I’m not too ambitious – I just set my alarm 15 minutes before my older son has to get up and get ready for school – but having my teeth brushed, face washed, clothes on, and coffee perking before I have to start organizing my kids makes me feel so much saner.

      Of course, this plan will fly out the window when the baby is born next month. Something tells me that: a. I am going to take every minute of sleep I can get; and b. he/she isn’t going to be on any sort of predictable sleep cycle for months – if not years!

  2. Kristen–I LOVE this post. I wish I’d read it before I made (and blogged about!) my own New Year’s resolution. I had mixed feelings, to tell you the truth, about The Happiness Project, and yet reading your posts about your own makes me truly appreciate its value. Lists help. Clarity is good. Goals need to be specific — and in the end, if we do what we set out to do, even if it’s “get dressed before 9 in the morning” (my mom’s very touching–to me, an early riser–resolution last year), we ARE happier. Anyway, I also realize, reading your post that I had actually made two very specific, clear resolutions/goals that go along with my vague one of embracing change — but I wasn’t brave enough to make them public. Hmmm. Anyway, happy new year, blessings on the last months, thanks for your inspiration, as always.

    • Hi Katrina – I can’t wait to get over and read your post. Embracing change has never exactly been a strength of mine and I look forward to seeing what you have to say about it.

      In general, I think big goals are attractive and important. The problem I have is that, when I make my resolutions too big, I don’t know how to apply them or measure how I’m doing while trying to meet them. I’ve found that I need to dream big and then break that dream down into smaller bits so that I can make progress toward realizing it. Sexy and romantic? Not exactly. But a balm for my neurotic nature? Indeed.

      P.S. My mom gave me a copy of The Gift of an Ordinary Day for my birthday. Very excited to dig in.

  3. Yesterday I blogged about my large, over-arching 2011 goals, and as I think today about the concrete ways I can put them into effect, I’m happy to read this post for inspiration. I love how you’ve taken control of your Happiness Project, tweaking it to make it work for you. And as for the pregnancy–I think the last part of the last trimester is when you need checklists the most. I don’t know about you, but my brain turns to utter mush around 35 weeks. I go on such slothy autopilot that I practically need a checklist to help me remember to breathe.

  4. I usually make a long list of both specific and general resolutions, but I often run out of steam on many of them. This year the resolution I came up with was, “don’t do anything I don’t want to do.” Which at first doesn’t sound positive, but I think it can be–either changing my attitude about obligations or removing undesired activities from my life. I’ve expanded it to encompass my ongoing simplification and organization efforts to “remove unwanted things from my life.” I’m also thinking about picking up The Happiness Project this year too. Good luck with your lists and your last weeks of pregnancy!

    • One of my concrete resolutions for the months ahead is “Say no” – very much in the same spirit, I think, as your “Don’t do anything I don’t want to do.” I find that it’s often so much easier to say “yes,” but then we have to deal with the resentment and frustration that stems from that “yes.” I hate conflict and am too much of a people pleaser so I absolutely look at your resolution as a road to happiness. Good luck! I’ll look forward to hearing more about how it goes.

  5. I don’t really make resolutions. I don’t think I ever have, mostly due to laziness and a lack of trust in myself to follow through (just being honest) 🙂

    My husband and I have a good long talk on Jan 1, simply about what we’re struggling with, feeling guilty about, what we would love to see change. And then we talk about dreams and make a sorta kinda plan for reaching for them (like saving money for example).

    It just plants the right thing in our hearts, I think. And even if we lose sight of it, we can fall back on the conversation.

    I love checklists and goals, too, though. I don’t always stick to them, but I try. And then try again 🙂

    • I love that you and your husband have that big picture talk every year. I always feel so much more connected with my own husband when we make the time to do that. And how exciting and inspirational is it to know that you’re walking forward, together, in the same direction – especially during a year – for you and us both – when there will be so much beautiful and challenging change?

  6. Once again, a terrific post. But I can’t help but think as I read your set of high expectations for yourself, that this might be the time to be gentle with yourself, and to expect strength, caretaking, and gentleness from other people. (See brilliant adesignsovast.com today for some wise words on this score.)

    I kept thinking this, as I read your post: here is a lovely woman with two children already, and is 31 weeks pregnant with her third, with a hateful gestational diabetes diagnosis to weather. Shouldn’t it be her family and friends that are taking care of her? Who are being patient, uncomplaining, engaged, silly, and affectionate?

    I am sure, given how you have described your family and friends, that they are. But if and when you start to feel tired, don’t be afraid to expect them to step it up a little bit in the caretaking department. I also hope you will also take the time to be all these things to yourself.

    This is all said, with great love and respect, from a woman who neglected ever to care for her pregnant-and-overtired self. If I could go back in time, I would tell my 31-year-old self just to LIE DOWN, darnit. Since I can’t, I’m telling you.

    • Oh, Launa, how I wished we lived closer so you could be my daily pep-talker, cheerleader, and reality-checker.

      Thankfully, my husband is a not only a terrific partner, but he is also a rock star as a father/father-to-be. He excels at the kind of strength, care-taking, and gentleness that the boys and I need from him right now (and, conveniently, is a college professor in the midst of a looong winter break). We also have an awesome babysitter who is very much part of my self-care picture right now. My OB ordered me to do some time lying down every day until the baby comes so, like it or not, I’m not able to be supermom and list-maker-extraordinaire as much as I often try to be – instead I get to do things like read lots and lots of books. And I’m okay with that. 🙂

  7. I haven’t made new year’s resolutions in a long time, in fact, I’m not sure I ever have. Last year I focused on revelations, and to be honest as topsy-turvy as my year was, I think I stayed pretty true to them. In part motivated by what you are doing here, and by what I also enjoyed about The Happiness Project, I’ve started a project of my own. I’m not following Gretchen specifically, but it is about establishing and keeping focus on areas I find/want to be a priority. The argument that she makes in her book about writing down/identifying goals as a marker for success really rang true for me, which is why I think using my blog to do it is the best solution.

    February 21st for the baby is SO EXCITING. It’s my second son’s birthday (and my sister’s). Fun!

    You’ll get there, and in the meantime we’ll be here cheering you to the finish line.

    • February 21st just keeps sounding better and better! 🙂

      I suspect that you’ll find – as I have – that periodically checking in about your project on your blog will help keep you motivated and accountable. Not that I can imagine any of our readers would ever beat us up for failing to meet a goal, but I’ve really appreciated the feeling that I’ve put myself out there and people know about it. It’s not just me and my checklist in the dark.

      Good luck to us both – I look forward to sharing friendship and happiness journeys with you this year and in the years to come. xo

  8. My two cents is merely to wish you happiness—today, tomorrow and all the days after tomorrow (which are all today when they arrive). Lists and books and maps and fingers pointing at the moon are not the moon; so however you get to your happiness, when you do, you won’t need your training wheels anymore. Along the way, however, #3 (engage) seems like an excellent one to keep front and center (as it will stay strong after happiness is robust—it just might adjust a bit in its meaning). Namaste

  9. I can’t help but echo the others: I love this post!

    I have never formally written any resolutions down- that might force me to commit to them. (However, I am a fan of using dry-erase markers on the mirror) Reflecting on this- I think it might be a good idea to have a small set of specific goals, with a common theme in mind. – much akin to The Happiness Project. (Wouldn’t the 2011 theme be- be the best person I can be?) With your spirit in mind, I have been trying to follow the one-minute rule- it works! Although I keep finding toom many tasks fit this rule. But I digress..At some point I received (or bought) a book called The Wish List- in checklist form, it has all sorts of so-called “goals”- with blanks to fill in as well. Occasionally I sit down with a pen and reread some pages, check some things off I have done/accomplished, and write in some new fantasies.

    I think I need to read The Happiness Project. My biggest struggle, besides clutter, chaos, and the quest to find “happiness”- is juggling my ‘identities”- how do they fit together and what size is each one?

    You’re in the homestretch! I’ve marked my calendar.

    • That quest to define and distinguish among many identities is very familiar to me. I certainly don’t have it totally figured out now, but I think I felt the most acute crises over it when I was at just about the same stage with J that you are with E – when you’ve been doing the mom thing long enough to know how it feels, but still wonder how the old bits of you fit in with the new (and with the ones that are yet to come). Believe it or not, starting to write has helped me to work through some of these questions. Okay, so it’s official: you need to start a blog! xo

  10. I never make resolutions because I’m an Eeyore. I just kind of slump my shoulders and say, “Ah, what’s the point?”

    You have motivated me these last few months to really focus on the quick and dirty “tidy up”–it does make me feel better, more in control of things.

    Two mornings a week I force myself out of bed at 5am (thank God for coffee) and while I dread it, I find that I’m more satisfied with myself on those days.

    Hooray for 31 weeks! I’m a Feb. 23 baby, so I look forward to meeting your little Pisces! Maybe nesting will set in soon and your house will REALLY be in order!

    • So far my nesting has taken the form of “Undertake Massive Organizational Projects.” Who knows, maybe I’ll even tackle Big Boy’s (now 3 1/3 years old) baby book before his second little sibling arrives!

  11. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t make resolutions, and haven’t in many years. Pointless proposition for pressure, and then a sense of failure. I choose a single, generalized area of improvement – and that works for me. Less pressure, and all progress is a “win.”

    One of the issues I have with lists – even very explicit ones – is not only the fact that they seem to spawn others (particularly for busy parents also responsible for household infrastructure), but the sheer number of items. It’s hard to accomplish 8 things or 10 things.

    Smaller bites are no less satisfying, and far less daunting. And you can always start another list, with the satisfaction of having done well on the more condensed set of items you began with. My two cents.

  12. Another Pisces! Hooray! (I’m a Pisces. Can you tell?) Hang in there these last seven weeks. Seven weeks, holy cow. That’s not very long, though I know it physically feels like forever. I think having goals for your home stretch will actually help the time pass. With specific tasks to commit to can carry out, you’ll focus less on the back pain, the exhaustion, the heartburn, the chocolate cravings you can’t yet indulge, and all those other third-trimester joys.

    PS: How did the wall-hanging go? Any white walls still staring back at you? Is the nursery ready??

    • Oh, the white walls thing. Sigh. I did manage to frame several posters and prints, but got bogged down when I found out that several things will need custom frames (holy expense, Batman!). I did update the photos in some frames, but really I failed big time on this one.

      As for the nursery, Husband’s study is being converted as we speak. He’s moving lots and lots of books to his work office and will be moving his bookcases down into the finished part of our basement (aka my study). Meanwhile, we finally moved Big Boy out of his crib and into a bed so we’ve got that issue tackled. Slow but steady progress.

  13. I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. I’m with you – too hard to keep. However, I feel I can speak with authority regarding the “be specific”. As a project manager, I know that I cannot expect anyone to complete a task if it is not well-defined (and has a date). Of course there are also the weekly meetings to make sure people are accomplishing what they agreed to do. 😉 Maybe that’d be a good idea – weekly check-in. Also – set dates! Things tend to stagnate if there are no dates involved, but that’s part of the “specifics” I believe.

  14. You ask if you are being unreasonable in making a list right now; I think No, not at all. Your list is reasonable and achievable and it’s broken down into bite sized chunks. Perfect!
    I always get up before my kids do. I get two cups of coffee into me and have the newspaper read before they come down the stairs. I highly recommend it – but this does not work when you have a newborn of course.
    Wishing you success and comfort in your last few weeks.

  15. I don’t make resolutions because I hate making promises. That might sound crazy, but I tend to be nuts about the promises that I do make. If I say that I am going to do something I tend to move heaven and earth to make it happen. And when it doesn’t it just frustrates me.

    So I decided long ago that I will do things that make life more enjoyable. I have had mixed results with that but over all I think that it is better for me and I am a happier man for it.

    And if I may vent for a moment, I have been exceptionally productive lately yet still feel as if I have made little to no progress on my “to do” list. So I think that I’ll break my promise and resolve that this year I will build a time machine and go back to 1988. It was one of my favorite years ever.

  16. Kristen,

    I don’t make any resolutions because in the past they just set me up failure. I’ve taken a vow to honor my hours. Using my time to honor the things that are important to me.

    Feb 21 will be here before you know it. Hang in there! I admire your ability to blog and make these lists while dealing with pregnancy. You go girl!

  17. I read the Happiness Project in December last year. I found myself tweaking it to my own needs. I read the blog as well and through Gretchen’s blog I found other blogs and I joined the conversation out there. I started to blog as well and found a wonderful community of friends. I always enjoy your reflections here!

    • Thanks, Ayala! I think it’s great that The Happiness Project introduced you to blogging and the community we have here. I know that our blogging world is one of the things that makes me happiest!

  18. Nope, I don’t do resolutions. But I do make goals for the year. That works much better for me. Plus there’s nothing wrong with making adjustments during the year.

    Recently, I discovered that I do better without self-impose pressures. I was getting too caught up in my to-do lists and it was doing more harm than good. I still have my lists but they are a little bit looser now. Remember, rigid flexibility. What I’m really trying to say is that you have to find your own comfort zone and enjoy yourself.

    A Pisces baby! My dad is a Pisces and he’s one of my favorite people. 🙂

  19. Being pregnant was not my favorite. Except for the feeling the baby inside me part. I loved that. I used to take a bath, wake the baby up and watch the show. Elbows and knees saying hello under a little layer of skin while I sat in water that made my back feel better was something that made me a little happier about being pregnant.

    Touching my children. I know. Because toddlers tend to be touch intensive it’s tempting to ESCAPE! I found that if I dove ALL the way in and gave little back rubs and body massages – sometimes soothing, sometimes silly – I felt better about the times when I needed to say, “I am a no-touch zone for the next 45 minutes.”

    And, because I often gave my back to my husband while I cooked dinner instead of my lips… I learned to hug until he let go first. That was big for him. Consequently it became big for me.

    • It sounds like you know exactly where I am in terms of physical affection. I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for the past four+ years and sometimes I feel like I just need to be not touched for awhile. But I love your advice about hugging until the other person lets go. (I think Husband would appreciate that too since he’s the one who is often left in the cold after I’ve been hugging the little ones all day.)

  20. I’ve tried making new year’s resolutions but it doesn’t work for my flexible and free nature. I tend to do weekly or monthly resolutions or short-term projects which I find more gratifying and leaves room for change which I generally seek after a while of same-o same-o. For example, I tend to do indoor exercises in the winter, but come spring, I’ll want to get outdoors for a hike or a quick run. One resolution that I’ve been able to stick with is the 15-minute cleaning rule. I used to go full-blast on cleaning, as in hours go by, skipping meals, forgetting to do other things (before having a child). Now, I don’t spend more than 15 minutes at a time cleaning the house. It’s become a little easier now that my little boy is helping with his messes.
    I enjoyed reading Gretchen’s book; she’s a very good writer. I also like some of her one-liners (e.g. the days are long but the years are short).

  21. Ahhh…. it’s like coming home returning to your blog Kristen! A breath of fresh air. How I’ve missed you and your amazing words. I loved the Happiness Project and swore I’d do what you’ve been doing – make my own “Happiness Project” but along with everything else that recently flew out the window when I started consulting, so did that plan!

    This is actually the first year that I haven’t done New Years Resolutions (yet) for as long as I can remember. I’ve always put pen to paper and stashed my list away to look at on 12/31. This past year was the first year I feel I actually accomplished almost everything on my list. Maybe because my list was more my Dreams, things I REALLY wanted, instead of things I SHOULD do.

    I hope to get around to my list in the next week for 2011. I’ve started writing them out the past two days in my blog… but for me, having that list to check through at the end of the year is gratifying, or discouraging depending on the year!

    Can’t believe you’re 31 weeks already. I’m getting excited for you! xo

  22. For me, the last trimester of my pregnancy I felt soooo useless and unable to control my own body that I tackled lists with an amazing fervor. I think it was the first time EVER I actually completed my daily to-do lists for an entire week. It was just my Type A way of exercising control over my world.

    Btw, I gave your blog a shout-out on mine, just thought you should know! I hope more people stop by, love reading your stuff!

    • Thanks, Stephanie. That was so nice of you!

      And this line – “It was just my Type A way of exercising control over my world” – could be a one-sentence summary of my life. I’m all about trying to exert control over my life and my environment – not always so easy to do as a mother, huh?

  23. At 31 weeks pregnant, I think you can do anything you want. 🙂 I tried to make more simple, specific goals this year with the intention of sticking to all of them…we will see though. New babes can make things difficult…

    Happy New Year!

  24. I love the theme you have for this month! XD And I love your lists. Kristen, you are so inspirational. I want to, like, put you on a box, wrap it with a pretty ribbon, and set you on a shelf – um…but not in a creepy stalker way…just a you-are-awesomesauce way.

  25. Wow! I’ve got this goal setting down, then! I actually found my resolutions from last year and did very well on all except one–where I thought I could get up at 5 am every morning. That did not and will not happen.

    As you mentioned, mine were very specific–ignore the computer while the kids are awake; participate in aerobics or some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week; etc.

    Can you tell me how you intend on starting the day before your boys? This is killing me. I suppose I could go to bed earlier…

    I find your goals to be fantastic and think it also superb that you allow slack for the post-baby time. The nice thing about personal goals is you can alter them based on your situation. And you can also return to certain goals when you are physically able. A cool perk, I guess.

    • I’m spoiled in this department because my boys sleep pretty late. I set my alarm 15 minutes before we have to get the older one up for school – just enough time to do the most basic me-centered tasks, but it’s made a huge difference so far. I’m also lucky in that I have an insomniac husband who is sure to be awake on the days when they boys wake up before we have to get them up.

      And of course this part of my plan will be moot in about six weeks when Baby #3 arrives!

  26. Wow – 31 weeks! I’m so excited for you. I’m now in my second trimester and love the boundless energy; I’m dreading the last trimester once all that energy nosedives. I can’t imagine handling all that you’re tackling now at your stage.

    I don’t make resolutions but somehow the new year coincides with my resolve to create goals that I’d like to achieve in the coming months. I haven’t yet mustered the courage to write them all down yet, afraid it would be too daunting once they’re set on paper (which can sometimes feel like stone).

    Wish us both luck huh? To you especially for your baby book ambition! 🙂

  27. I have never been big on resolutions lofty or reasonable. They just don’t seem to work for me. I accomplish most when I am not thinking too much about accomplishment, I tackle the longest lists when there are in fact no concrete lists… That said, something here speaks to me. “I still feel soothed and satisfied by accomplishing small tasks when the challenges of life feel a little greater than usual.” This, I buy. Every time I feel lost (hey a lot of the time), I sit down and do something small and I feel a tiny surge of energy. These surges add up quickly, don’t they?

    As for the pregnancy, I more than hear you. I’m coming up on 30 weeks and am achy and whiny. Not at all the way I felt the first or second time around. Oh well, ’tis for an exquisite cause, no?

    (And Feb. 21 is so so soon! Yay!)

  28. Kristen, I so loved this post. And upon reading it (and after posting my non-earth-shattering epiphany about new year’s and every moment), I’m inspired to create my own list. I LOVE your list–and love the specificity of your goals. Your aspirations closely mimick some I’ve made for myself over the months…thank you, as always, for your beautiful words. xo

  29. I realize this is kind of late….but what kind(s) of traditions? Traditions, as in informal, everyday “rituals”? Or events such as marking the kids heights on the doorway frame (Something we did at my grandparents house- which was torn down when they remodeled). I like the idea of making the ordinary extraordinary- quality, not quantity.

    • Good question – and one whose answer I’m still working on. For me, having an interfaith family, it was important to think about which rituals we would make part of our family’s routine during the December holidays. (Making – and glitterfying – paper snowflakes and decorating a gingerbread house were big hits that I think we’ll stick with.)

      But I also like what you say about commemorating the little moments too. I know from my childhood that it was often the simplest things that we all enjoyed together that actually became memories.

  30. I think it’s exactly in times like the exhausting 3rd trimester that we need lists that are specific and reasonable. Because they can keep us anchored and focused in an otherwise ridiculous sea of anticipation, anxiety, and fatigue.

    I don’t really make resolutions, but I have been trying to get up before my girls do, so that I can have a few minutes to myself each morning. Sounds like you do this, too. I am a much happier mama if I have a few minutes of peace before the demands of motherhood begin.

    By the way, I just noticed that you have an Anne Lamott category. What fun! I love her and will look around more when I have a few minutes.

  31. Lists and order give me calm. I may not stick to them, but at least getting them out of my head and onto paper is very clarifying for my brain. When #3 comes along, who knows where these lists will end up but it doesn’t matter b/c no evening tidy-up will compare to the new addition!

    I don’t generally make resolutions at the new year. I tend to resolve throughout the year (with varying degrees of success). But this year I did decide to make one – be more resourceful and less wasteful. It falls in the grand category of resolutions but what the heck! I guess I made it purposely broad b/c I feel as though a lot of other things fall under it. If I am being successful I’m living intentionally, not wasting time and making time for the other priorities – family, reading, cooking, writing, working, exercise etc.

  32. I have 2-3 weeks of my pregnancy left and I am hanging on by a thread. Tired, cranky, and all over the place with my moods. I decided that with all the changes and things that are goign to be out of my control (midnight wakings, early morning rising, having a baby attached to my boob, hormones balancing back out, etc) that making resolutions was probably not the best thing for me right now. So I came up with a word to focus on…Create…..and my thought is that I will create my daily reality and happiness.

    Hang in there! You are going to get that nesting burst of energy one of these days. Last night before bed I partnered every pair of socks and rearranged all my clothes drawers! hahaha!

    • Oh, Sarah, I wish you well in these last couple of weeks. It isn’t easy, is it? But you couldn’t have picked a more appropriate word for a mom with another baby on the way: Create. You get points toward your goal just by giving birth. Perfect!

      (I’m having a scheduled c-section; maybe I should add “give birth” on that day’s to do list just to give myself something to check off that day.) 🙂

  33. I agree. When I have a few minutes to myself before everybody is up, I feel slightly more centered to begin the day.

    Not too many resolutions this year. I feel as I have been challenging myself (in good ways) since the late summer. So for me, the “resolutions” are to keep up what I have been faithfully doing for the last few months.

    Scheduled c-sections are awesome! Except when baby decides to show up just slightly sooner, which is ALWAYS good (as long as it’s not too much sooner.

    I think the most important thing to remember, Kristen, is to just surrender to the changes that are coming your way very rapidly. If you are aware that they are coming, and embrace the good with the sucky, it makes a world of difference.

    There is something magical and chaotic about a third child. You have some of the fear and anxiety that you experienced with first and second children kind of melt away. And all that is left is a delicious baby to love…So excited for you and all of your guys!

  34. Apologies for coming late to this post. (Massive stomach flu hit our house this week…) Just wanted to echo the other commenters here and say that I continue to applaud your efforts and find inspiration in them. It’s been 7 or 8 months since I read THP, but I made it one of my resolutions (inspired by you) to revisit it and choose one of her projects to implement in my own life. Thanks for keeping us apprised of your progress. And be sure to cut yourself some slack leading up to and following your delivery!

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