January is a month filled with resolutions. On the first day of the month, as each of us wave goodbye to the previous year, we make way for all the things we plan to do once we have a fresh slate. We ask ourselves, What will I do better this year? How will I do better? What do I want to change about myself? About my behaviors? How can I improve? Resolutions made by women by and large get a bad rap. At face value, it's so easy to assume they'll all be the same: I'm going to lose weight!; I'm going to wake up earlier!; I'll travel! but if you take a look deeper, you'll notice just how raw and real resolutions made by women — especially moms — are. They're complex, multi-layered, and they're also incredibly honest.
Mothers aren't just making resolutions for themselves. They're constantly factoring in how the things they do and say and believe will shape and influence their children. Though moms are faced with these types of decisions day in and day out, the new year provides an opportunity to look at the year as a whole and to consider all the things they plan to change and improve on. For 2017, Romper spoke to 31 different moms all over the country in an effort to highlight just how diverse, bold, and exciting their resolutions are.
Name: Keiko Zoll
City and state: Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation: Writer, Designer
How old are your kids?: One boy, aged 3-and-half years old
What resolution do you think you're supposed to make? Why do you feel this way?: Get fit. Get moving. Lose the weight. It's the same resolution year after year: Sometimes I'll actually say it out loud to myself. Other years it's never said, but it's always there on the back burner of my mind as another year begins. It just seems like some kind of default resolution, particularly for women. Media messaging reinforces this, between ads for gym memberships, weight loss programs, and weight loss supplements that seem to dominate the ad landscape this time of year. Could I stand to lose the weight? Of course — but in the context of New Year's resolutions, it feels so forced.
What's your actual resolution this year, and why?: My resolution this year is to be more present, to be in the moment more. I spent a lot of 2016 so wrapped up in politics and world events that in some ways, I feel like I disconnected from those people, moments, and things that are closest to me. This year it's all about reconnecting, being fully present, and savoring experiences.
What's the one resolution you won't make again?: A couple of years ago, I had this grand idea that I would not only participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) at the same time — and try to crank out a book proposal all in the same year. Don't get me wrong: I love to write, but those goals were beyond unrealistic that year.
I spent a lot of time dedicated to and focusing on my own mental health and wellness in 2016 after a severe depressive episode the year prior. For me, getting to a state of mental wellness was so much more important that the numbers on my scale.
What's one thing in your life you want to change but don't feel like you can?: If I could change one thing in my life, it would be other people, but of course that's impossible! I know I'm not alone when I say I'm beyond concerned for the future of our country. I've worked with my own legislators before on issues important to me and I've seen real change happen — but the 2016 election demonstrated that our nation has undergone a paradigm shift. I'll still continue to advocate for issues and causes important to me, but I fear for how the tide has turned. I worry I'll be trying to swim against the current no matter how much I invest myself in doing my part to shape a country that I can feel comfortable for my son to grow up in.
What's one thing you did or didn't do last year that you forgive yourself for?: I didn't get in shape. I didn't lose the weight — just like I try to promise to myself that I'll do every year. But I'm not stressing about not meeting that goal, or that it's not my resolution this year: I spent a lot of time dedicated to and focusing on my own mental health and wellness in 2016 after a severe depressive episode the year prior. For me, getting to a state of mental wellness was so much more important that the numbers on my scale.
Do you tell your kids your resolution? Why or why not?: I haven't told my son my resolution, largely because I think the concept of mindfulness and being present is a little beyond the scope of a 3 year old's understanding. That said, I'm hoping that by my actions in being more mindful and present with my family will be apparent to him as the year goes on.
What specifically do you want for your kids this year?: What I want more than anything for my son this year is that we build even more great memories together as a family. He's finally at an age where years from now, he'll be able to remember things from his youngest life with more clarity. Whether it's as grand as a family vacation or something as simple as telling knock-knock jokes to each other, this is the time of his life where the memories start to stick — and I can't wait to make even more with him this year.