I thought about these lists in the shower, I thought about them while cooking, and even while in synagogue (in between chasing my 4-yr old and picking up spilled cheerios and apple slices). And although I didn't get any of them down in writing (not yet, hold on) I realized I've accomplished a lot over the past year. That said, I have even more to improve on in the year to come.
Last year flew by, lots of challenges at home with the kids, lots of changes at work. Luckily, the changes are mostly for the better, at least from my perspective. Thank G-d. I've heard some pretty nasty work stories from friends in other places.
The home front, now, that's a whole different story. Each day comes with its own new adventures, new approaches, new frustrations and new successes. I have to fight to communicate with my 12 year old son, to get him to do homework, to try to squeeze him into some semblance of a schedule, and I know I yelled at him way too much last year. Another challenge is keeping my other 2 sons on track as well. And making sure everyone is well-fed and healthy. And trying to spend quality time with my husband. And getting my life more organized. And, and, and...Sigh.
So, how do I plan to improve things this year? Here's my list, narrowed down to the top 10 most critical changes I'd like to make this year (and since I'm going all out and posting them here, I expect you to hold me to them):
- Don't yell (or, realistically, yell less).
- Get more sleep.
- Make more family dinners we all sit down to together.
- Follow up more closely on children's school & homework.
- Look for the positive in everything and reinforce it.
- Go out alone with husband (to movie, dinner, coffee, whatever!) at least once a month.
- Demonstrate patience & respect, and try to instill these more strongly in children.
- Make the extra effort, even if I really don't feel like it.
Now, you may be thinking that some of these items shouldn't be too hard- but let me assure you that everything on this list has been tried and tested, and will take a genuine effort on my part to achieve consistently. I think they're all pretty quantifiable, and there's a pretty good balance among them.
A new year always brings with it so much promise, so much hope, so much opportunity. With all of the above in mind, I will try to make the most of it.