Parenting has always been challenging, but parenting in the 2020s feels downright impossible sometimes. And coincidentally, it’s also impossible to stick to those lofty new year’s resolutions that you set for yourself under the guise of a fresh start that never seems to come when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.
We’re determined to make resolutions a thing of the past and instead embrace a better alternative: setting intentions that don’t require a new calendar year to begin. While resolutions focus on pass-fail goals, intentions allow for a more forgiving scope of success factors. They are often symbolic of how you want to feel versus something you want to accomplish (like those 10lbs you’ve been resolving to lose for the last 10 years). If you’re new to intention setting, we’ve gathered a few suggestions for busy parents to get you started. Here are some of our top picks for 2021 intentions that will help you live a more fulfilling life while also allowing yourself some grace during difficult times.
1. I will stop setting unrealistic goals.
This first intention ties in perfectly with our ditch-the-resolutions mentality. Setting unrealistic goals for yourself (or your little ones) will only lead to disappointment. Instead, set mini-milestones that are both ambitious and attainable.
2. I will focus on health.
Intentionally focusing on health can come in many different forms. One day it might be committing to a long walk around your neighborhood, while another day, it’s reaching for a banana instead of your kid’s Goldfish crackers. Making thoughtful choices that promote a healthy lifestyle will add up to measurable improvements.
3. I will talk to myself the way I’d talk to my friends.
Would you tell your best friend that they look fat? No way! Would you tell your best friend that they can’t accomplish something? Of course not! Would you tell your best friend that they’re a bad parent? No! So why do you engage in negative talk with yourself? Treat yourself like your own best friend and use kinder words in your internal dialogue.
4. I will welcome more fun, even if it makes a mess.
When your kids have gone wild indoors, it’s hard not to lose your cool about the tornado of mess that follows. Instead of concentrating on the cleanup, why not join in the fun from time to time? The mess will be there later, but the good times with little ones will only last so long! Don’t forget to snap a photo or two to cherish those fleeting moments.
5. I won’t shy away from tough conversations.
The past year has bombarded us with some seriously grown-up challenges. It can be hard to discuss heavy issues with your children when you’re trying to protect their innocence, but some topics should not be avoided—especially if there is an important life lesson to be learned. Check out this handy list of books to help you broach the tough conversations with confidence.
6. I will find adventure in every day.
As much as we wish we could be jet setting to an exciting destination every weekend, those big adventures aren’t always within reach. Instead, try to find a taste of adventure in your daily routine. Whether you’re trying a new recipe, learning a new hobby, or exploring a different part of your city, be intentional in the pursuit of adventure in the everyday.
7. I will stop comparing myself to others.
Your kitchen will never be as perfectly organized as your Pinterest board. It’s OK that you can’t DIY every home project. Your children don’t care about the way you dress compared to your neighbor down the street. Stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to who you were yesterday.
8. I will exercise my mind.
We tie so many goals to physical exercise that we often forget to exercise our minds! Try a mediation app like Calm or Headspace to add mindfulness to your daily routine.
9. I will show appreciation for my children’s mentors.
Teachers have become heroes. Keep track of who is mentoring your child and express your gratitude for the impact they’ve had on their development. A good mentor can change the course of your child’s life, and that is a contribution that should not go unnoticed.
10. I will spend less time on my phone.
Put. Down. Your. Phone… after reading this article, of course. The most significant, meaningful moments of your life are happening beyond the dimensions of your smartphone. This final intention is one that we’re excited to help you accomplish. The Cullie service will cut your screentime down by helping you sort through your digital junk drawer and live a more distraction-free life.
Now that you’re prepared with some meaningful intentions to guide you through the year, we hope this shift in mindset allows you to lead your life with more purpose. Let us know what your 2021 intentions are in the comments below!