Do you remember those exercise videos where they’ve got 3 people demonstrating the same activity, but at 3 different intensity levels? (If you don’t, Studio C has a great exercise parody that’ll catch you up to speed. I think it’s time we admitted that our New Year’s Resolutions need some modification, too. And, we all have to find the right level of achievement that works for us in keeping those resolutions.
1. Lose weight.
Anyone else mean to lose weight last year? I’d say I forgot to, but that extra scoop of cookies ‘n cream ice cream was deliberate, I tell you. Or at least delicious. And since emotional eating is, in my humble opinion, a totally valid coping mechanism when you’ve got small kids running around all day (some of whom aren’t even sleeping all night, I might add!), let’s have a good laugh and keep going.
Expert level: Commit to an amazing new lifestyle that results in a healthier, more muscular you.
Medium level: Commit to exercising and eat one healthier thing each day.
Real mom level: weigh self holding children at beginning of year. Throughout the year, hold fewer children while weighing self. Boom. Weight lost.
Expert level: see above.
Medium level: Exercise for 3-5 times each week for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy getting stronger and being healthier!
Real mom level: Make this year’s goal to print out the following statement and hang it in a VERY prominent location. Or several.
“Exercising releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t kill their husbands.” – Legally Blonde
Then, when you’re stressed, your husband will remember this quote and send you for a run. Or at least a nice, leisurely walk where you swing your arms a lot to log extra steps on the FitBit.
3. Eat better.
Eating better and healthier is important, I get that. And I’m all for it. It’s just that I’d be more for it if it didn’t also involve a lot more work. Work like:
- Meal planning
- Grocery shopping
- Cooking our healthy food
- Cooking food for the kids that they’ll actually eat
- Cleaning up the dishes
- Unloading the dishwasher (WORST chore EVER)
- DOING IT 3 TIMES EVERY SINGLE DAY
Expert level: Get another degree as a dietitian and attend culinary school so you can design, cook, and plate the most amazing dishes ever created. Ever. Even the picky eaters will laud your kitchen skills and ask for seconds.
Medium level: Try to add one more vegetable to each dinner, and substitute a fruit for that breakfast candy.
Real mom level: Does anyone know if Blue Apron offers a buy-it-in-bulk-and-already-
ready discount for moms?
4. Spend more time with the kids.
Exactly how we’ll pull this one off is anyone’s guess. After all, the kids are already literally hanging onto our legs for pretty much every minute they’re awake. Can we even GET physically closer than that?? I don’t think so.
Expert level: Learn how to bend the space-time continuum to get everything done.
Medium level: Set up a “device free” time at home so everyone can spend better quality time together.
Real mom level: Realize that your loss of solo bathroom time counts as “spending more time” with the kids and call it a solid win.
5. Keep the house neater.
Does anyone else just get exhausted thinking about what all needs to be done? That leaves no energy to actually clean! Instead, I offer this realistic cleaning chart.
Expert level: Chore charts, schedules, and cleaning up before bed guarantee a clean house!
Medium level: Teach your kids the Boy Scout rule of leaving things cleaner than you found it. It probably won’t stick, but maybe they’ll learn by example.
Real mom level: Live and die by this real mom’s guide to a clean house.
6. Do more ____________________.
Expert level: You’ve already mastered changing the space-time continuum, so this is a piece of cake. Not that you’d eat cake, because you committed to being uber-amazingly healthy.
Medium level: Try to do those things you love. Realize that it may not happen, and that’s okay. Just do your best. Feel free saying “no” to those things that aren’t as important so you have time for those that are – including yourself.
Real mom level: WHEN?? For the love of all that is holy, when do we have more time to do anything? Forget doing more! Just say no! Revel in the thought of saying no so you can sit on a chair for more than 3.5 seconds – in a row, even.
7. Get out of debt
Raising kids is expensive. In fact, it’s estimated that it costs $225,000 per child to raise them. And that doesn’t include things like college. Or *shudder* that crazy-detailed wedding your little girl has planned out already.
Expert level: Go back in time to invest in Apple and Disney stock. Invent the internet while you’re at it. Welcome to the 1%!
Medium level: Try to be money smart. Use coupons, shop sales, and do the best you can. So what if the kids don’t have an amazing college trust fund?
Real mom level: Debt and denial go hand in hand. And since “da Nile” is in Egypt, everything will work out. You’re doing your best, but you’ve built some shopping therapy into the budget, because Target.
Whoever said resolutions are a lot of work obviously wasn’t working at the real mom level… the kind of level where we recognize that we aren’t perfect. Sure, we’re working on being better, but we aren’t going to give ourselves an aneurysm because we didn’t achieve it today. And maybe these are the kinds of resolutions we can actually keep… but probably not, because we’re kinda busy surviving, spending time with our families, and having a good laugh while we’re at it.
Born and raised in the Southwest, Kimberly blames the desert heat for her dry sense of humor. She also managed to acquire the slightest of Southern drawls while living in South Carolina. Kimberly now lives in Utah with her husband, their 4 beautiful children, and their dog. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys reading, eating good food, spending time with her family, attempting to garden, and writing about all of the things at KimberlyCStarr.com. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.