Read this and more inside the Jan/Feb issue of Military Spouse Magazine!
2020 has been a whirlwind. As a new year approaches, many of us are hoping for a fresh start, one in which the worldwide pandemic ends and a new era of normalcy begins.
But what is it we want to achieve in 2021? Should we make any resolutions, or should we just hope that the world doesn’t end and call it good? If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that if I do make a resolution, it needs to be realistic, achievable, and less broad than in the past. Here are some resolutions that we milspouses can make and achieve in 2021:
1. Eat out less
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a fridge full of food, only to get take-out because I was “too tired to cook.” I would end up spending more money than I wanted on eating out, and I would throw out a ton of fresh produce that I never got the chance to use due to my own laziness.
If you’re like me, then you’re probably wanting to be less wasteful this year. Try to make a plan for meals that are easy and less time-consuming. *hint* Instant Pot!
2. Go back to work (or school)
If you’ve been a stay-at-home parent for a while and you want to expand your horizons, there’s no time like the present! Stepping back into your career or going back to school is such a good goal. Make sure you organize your time wisely. Try to change your routine in steps, like childcare, meal plan, set aside time to study, so you do not burn out immediately.
3. Set (specific) fitness goals.
How many of us have said we’ll eat healthy and go back to the gym, only to fall off the wagon about a month later? Be specific. Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Do you want to run a 10k? Start doing yoga? Give yourself a small, attainable fitness goal. Then set a new goal! This way, you’re not putting pressure on yourself to become a fitness guru overnight.
4. Establish new routines
This one is a more difficult, but worthwhile effort. Having specific routines can establish stability for yourself, your kids, and your spouse and not become overwhelmed. You don’t have to create all of your routines at once — you can start off with a simple bedtime routine for the kids (or for yourself). Then, you can move onto meal planning (you can even set “themes” for meals for every night of the week!) Give yourself and your family some time to adjust to these new routines – real change doesn’t always occur overnight.
5. Be punctual
I struggle with this one a lot. With how busy our lives can be, it can be easy to fall into a routine of being “late” to everything. And while others may extend us grace when this happens, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to set such a low standard when it comes to showing up for the important things in our lives. I know this can be really hard—especially if you have children! But try to get out the door and arrive early to your appointments and special events.
6. Be more intentional in your marriage
Busy is an understatement when it comes to my own schedule, and I am definitely guilty of not making my husband a priority. Carve out a slot of time at least twice a week for just you and your spouse. I usually spend time with my husband after the kids are in bed—we talk, laugh, play video games, and just enjoy each other’s company. We also “check-in” with each other regularly to make sure each other’s needs are being met and we ask general questions about our relationship.
7. Get more involved in your community
If you have the time, getting involved in your community is a great way to make friends and learn more about where you live. Plus, it just feels good. If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, check out your local Spouse’s Club or Family Readiness Group. They are sure to have lots of opportunities for you to get involved!
8. Set ONE big goal
If you have something BIG you’ve been wanting to work on, but you’ve been putting it off in lieu of “more important” things, why not start it this year? I have been putting off writing my book because I’ve been “too busy” with other things that, honestly, didn’t bring me much joy. Now that I’ve cut back on my commitments, I’m finally going to start writing my book. Whether you want to write a book, start a business, or create a life plan, if there’s anything we’ve learned this year, it’s that NOTHING is impossible.
9. Be kinder to yourself
How many times have you set impossible standards for yourself, and then beat yourself up when you couldn’t live up to them? *raises hand* Well, let me remind you that you are worthy of the love, kindness, and respect that you show everyone else in your life. This year, you could resolve to make self care a priority. Give yourself some time to relax. You are AMAZING, and it’s time to start treating yourself like you are!