Finding Time for Your New Year’s Resolution

Have you set your New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Whether you’ve been successful with past resolutions or not, there’s a drive in all of us for self improvement. At this time of year, we all get the bug to set some goals.

What’s kept you from consistently achieving past resolutions? Probably finding the time. If you’re like most moms, your schedule is already packed. You aren’t twiddling your thumbs looking for another commitment or activity to fill your time.

So how can you get some extra time to successfully achieve your New Year’s resolution?

Some of the resolutions that could apply to the three strategies for “finding time” listed below include exercising, meal planning, reading the bible, getting organized, meditation/prayer, and others.

1. Replace Another Activity

You’ve heard this advice before; watch one less TV show, spend an hour less on Facebook and voila: you’ve made time for your resolution. Why is this so much easier said than done? We’re tired! It’s easier to just zone out in front of a screen. Break your inertia and get some momentum going with these three tips:

  • 15-Minute Timer. If you are too tired or too busy, set a 15-minute timer for your resolution. You can do anything for 15 minutes a day, and it adds up to almost 2 hours a week and over 91 hours a year dedicated to your resolution.
  • Just Do It. Did you think about whether or not you will brush your teeth today…whether you feel like it, have time for it, want to do it? No! You brush your teeth every day. Don’t stop and think about whether you “feel like it”, just do it.
  • Fire alarm. What will motivate you to jump up and get going? Is it enough to put a calendar reminder on your phone? Do you need an accountability partner – personal or professional – to check up on you? Find the alarm, be it a carrot or a stick, that will prod you to action.

2. Multitask

You may have heard multitasking doesn’t work because your brain can only do one thing at a time, but you can get more bang for your buck by combining tasks and using your “dead time” wisely.

  • Make it a social activity. You can spend quality time with your loved ones or friends while exercising, cooking, or participating in a new hobby.
  • Listen while you work. Use your headphones to listen to your book, bible, or podcast while doing an activity like driving, cleaning, or working out.
  • Enlist the kids. Have you resolved to get organized, cook at home more, or exercise? Find an age appropriate way to involve your kids and they will learn invaluable lessons in the process.

With a toddler, I often feel like I have to wait until he’s sleeping to get anything done, but that’s not always enough time. For exercise, I take him for walks in his stroller and let him play beside me while I do a quick strength workout. We “clean” the house together, making it a fun exploration time. The greatest joy and most satisfying days are when I find ways to do things with him!

3. Buy Time

We all have 24 hours in a day, but maybe you can “buy time” by outsourcing or delegating tasks. Sometimes there truly isn’t any way for you to get it all done by yourself. If this is the case, consider hiring someone to clean, get groceries delivered, or babysit. Evaluate your budget to assess whether this is an option for you. The benefits you would gain from reaching your resolution may outweigh the financial cost.

Have you successfully completed past New Year’s resolutions? What tips can you share for dedicating time in your day to get them done?


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