Thursday, January 3, 2013

Forget Resolutions, I have Goals for the New Year

It's a new year and after a much needed vacation, I'm back on the blogging wagon.  I promise to answer all the emails that came in as soon as I get unburied.  In the mean time, a post just in time for New Year's. 

This time of year the question I hear most often is what are your resolutions?  Why must we make resolutions every new year only to break them within the first month?  Most resolutions are boring, restrictive and completely contrary to our personalities.  Just the word "resolution" conjures up images of failed weight loss attempts, missed opportunities and failure.  My resolution this year - no resolutions!   I do, however, have a few professional and personal goals I'd like to meet in 2013.  When I meet them, I will celebrate - most likely by doing a little happy dance somewhere that embarrasses my kids.  If I don't meet them, I will evaluate what didn't work and move on.  No guilt over not having lost that last 10 lbs for me!

So to help me be accountable for my goals, I am sharing them with the world - or at least the dozen or so people who will read this entry.  Feel free to use the comments section to share your own goals with the world.  We promise not to judge you (too) harshly.

On the professional front I have two goals for this year.  The first is to strengthen my network.  I spend a lot of time building my network and it has been invaluable to me at critical moments.  This year I'd like to focus more on strengthening the relationships I already have and focus a bit less on building new ones.  With that goal in mind, I will endeavor to meet with at least one person from my existing network once each week.  I will also be more active in connecting good people to other good people.  What good is a strong network if you can't use it to help out your friends?

My second professional goal is to expand my skill set.  I feel pretty confident in my everyday areas I practice.  And while I need to stay current in those areas, I'm not adding much value to myself or my employer by being complacent in gaining new skill sets.  So by the end of 2013 I would like to add at least an elementary understanding of a new area of law - preferably something relevant to my in house practice.  I haven't decided what that will be yet, so any suggestions are welcomed.

On the personal front I also have two goals for this year - improve the quality of the time I spend with my family.  I've given up on the idea that I can increase the time spent with them.  Until I win the lottery, I have to earn a paycheck and that means being away from my family for long hours during the week.  And since no matter how often I play I can't make those little balls come up with my numbers, I'm going to focus on what I can control this year.  And that is simply the quality of the time I spend with them.  So instead of rushing home to do dinner, homework, bath time - I'm going to squeeze in a little play time.  And instead of spending the weekend doing laundry, grocery shopping, and other distractions while in the same room as my kids, I'm going to focus on them exclusively - at least until they tell me to leave them alone.  Recent events have made me keenly aware that when I drop them off at school on Monday I may not see them again.  So I will hug them a little tighter, play with them a little longer and cherish them for as long as they let me.  And after they've gone to bed, I will focus on my husband.  I will listen to him go on about his latest game or the newest discovery in the news that has him excited.  I will learn more about his interests so I can have a more engaging conversation with him.  And, much to his relief, I will try really hard not to turn every minute of his down time into a "honey do" project.  Although the shed looks great honey!

My last goal is the one I neglect every year.  This year I would like to spend a little "me" time.  As a working parent it's easy to get caught up in the guilt trip that every waking minute should be devoted to your job or your family.  And any minute not so devoted is a minute wasted in selfishness.  Logically we all know the fallacy behind that sentiment, but we nonetheless fall victim to it time and time again.  A few weeks ago a group of in house mom's lamented over the fact that no one had time to get a hair cut because it meant taking time off work or skipping out on mommy duties.  A hair cut!  It shouldn't be so hard to maintain basic grooming.  So this year I will take at least one hour each week to do nothing but focus on me.  Get a hair cut or a mani/pedi, read a book, watch a mindless tv show that no one likes but me, or even take a nap.  One hour where I will feel no guilt for not being devoted to anyone else for just a moment.  Sounds heavenly, doesn't it?

I give myself a 80% chance of actually reaching my goals.  Will let you know in January 2014 how I did.  


  1. Tanya, I love your posts and your perspectives. These sound like great goals, but as a long time working mother (much of the time as a single mom), I have one suggestion: consider one day a month as "me time." One hour a week sounds like you are squeezing it in and it is easy to be pushed to reschedule that one hour - because, after all, it's just an hour, right? Taking a day - even if it's 8 hours or 10 hours, not 24, is more apt to allow you the relaxed time to pamper and puts everyone in the house on notice that for this one day a month, momma gets to go do her stuff.

    I look forward to hearing how the rest of the year goes!

    1. Thanks for reading, and the advice. I may have to work my husband into an entire day "off" - since he's a stay at home dad, an full day of me time means an extra day of him being solely responsible for the kiddos. But definitely worth trying for! Of course, I have no idea what I would do with a whole day. :)