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New Years Resolutions

Making new year’s resolutions has always felt like the perfect opportunity to let myself down – if I haven’t managed to achieve the thing in question thus far then what is going to magically work on Jan 1st at one minute past midnight….the champagne? Possibly….the hangover certainly won’t help though…

Putting aside the idea of allowing alcohol to fuel all of my planning, I think there is room for some resolutions this year. We have had a very tough year and next year’s business plans are very structured and uncompromising. But the thing about being a mumpreneur is that at the heart of the business there is a mummy, and she may not always feel like responding to a structured and powerful business plan when life throws the other stuff at her….

I am going to use my New Year’s Resolutions to cushion the business plan with thoughts, feelings and reminders that will help me when the going gets tough next year…. In the absence of something more rigid to guide me, I think a resolution or two could help…:

1)      Look after my health

Recently I managed to make time for some serious regular exercise – after saying all year long I needed to do it, I finally committed over November and December. It has been wonderful. I am energised, happier, more relaxed and far more efficient. Next year, when my motivation wanes and other things start to eat away at my time, I will read this paragraph and remind myself why for me, a crucial aspect of functioning well, is making time to exercise.

2)      Look after my family

My new year’s resolution for my family is going to revolve around food….Instead of grabbing something from the freezer, sticking it in the oven and rushing the children through it so I can get back to work while they watch telly, I am going to cook at least one meal from scratch and eat it slowly with them. Every single day. Without the radio on and with the phone switched off….Better dust off that Annabel Karmel book….

3)      Look after My Parents

I have spent all year resisting the fact that both of my parents need a good degree of support. It has felt inconvenient and restrictive and to be brutally honest I have felt resentful that they need this level of help when my children are both still so young and I am trying to keep my business going. Then I waste time feeling guilty for not being more understanding. Someone much wiser than me once said “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. I need to get on with the business of accepting this situation for what it is. If I can’t help them with good grace and patience, then I shouldn’t be trying to do it at all.

4)      Accept My Family as it is

I spent a lot of 2011 wishing for another baby. It’s not that I can’t have one, but my husband sees our family as complete. I also get extremely ill when I’m pregnant (hospital features heavily, as does a lot of lying down, some crying and a GREAT deal of vomit). He would have to look after me, my parents, my children and the dog for months, whilst holding down his job and pretending to be pleased that I am bringing another little person in to the world against his better judgement. I have wasted a lot of time being sad, angry, resentful and ashamed at myself for all of the above feelings and we are no further forward. It seems to me, I can allow the sadness to pervade my otherwise happy life, or I can choose to get on with enjoying what I DO have. Guess which one I am going to try for in 2012.

5)      Lighten Up

Some days, this year, it has felt as though I have to remember to be happy. I now realise that with exercise, good food, the odd reminder of the brighter side and a gentle-telling-off-of-myself when I start to wallow, that happiness does not become a conscious decision. It just happens. The business has been very challenging this year and for a while I forgot why I was doing it. I also forgot to enjoy it. I want 2012 to be the year that we remember when laughing our heads off was the norm and being stressed or angry was unusual. I plan to maintain that mindfulness and accept control of it. Wish me luck – this could be the best year of our lives if I let it …..

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