I know, I know it's probably not hip to admit it, but I'm going to anyways: I love making New Year's resolutions. Like any good writer, I love making lists and checking off my goals with my trusty pen and paper. I'm also a huge believer in the practice of goal-setting. I think setting goals, both personally and professionally, is incredibly helpful. While building up my own business, I made it a habit to set monthly goals and I kid you not, guys, they came true. Of course, I focused on setting attainable and realistic goals, but a few months, I threw in some crazy dreams "just for fun," like the one time I set a goal to make $10,000 in one month and I shattered it.

I attribute my personal experience with goal setting more to the fact that actually taking time to really think about what you want out of life, either professionally or personally, and then committing to those goals in some visual way, whether your write them on a blog or a list you stick on your bulletin board, forces those goals to become forefront in your mind. As a result, you're more likely to take action on them and thus, help them become real. Funny how that works, right?

Because I've loved setting my monthly goals and have seen great results with the practice, it only makes sense that my love of goal/list-setting would translate into the biggest one of them: New Year's resolutions.

Why I Love Making Resolutions

Next year I'll turn 30, which is another whole reason to reevaluate my life and set some fresh resolutions, but beyond that, I adore how the end of the year provides a perfect excuse to do some serious reflection and introspection. Life seems to be zooming completely by me and the older I get, the more I realize that there are no "later" chances to live the life I want — that time is now, and if I'm not intentional about realizing what I even want out of life, I may miss the opportunity completely.

I really feel like I've been in survival mode for the past eight years. My husband and I got married when we were 21 (I was 5 months pregnant at the time), had our daughter a week after my 22 birthday, then added three more kids, multiple job changes, a Masters degree, and a home along the way. It feels like I am just now barely, barely starting to poke my head out of the hole we fell into when starting a family and trying to figure out how to adult.

Quite honestly, I'd really like to move to the next phase of our lives with a little more purpose and intention instead of just trying to get through every day with some semblance of sanity intact like we currently do, which is why I think New Year's resolutions are a great tool to use to reflect and think:

What the fudge do we want our life to look like next year?

My New Year's Resolutions

As a mom, I'm firmly against any type of goal-setting that makes us feel guilty about our lives or even about myself. Any time I've had a baby, I've never set a goal to "lose weight" and "look great." It's been more like, "sleep, find sleep, and don't leak through every outfit," and that's about as ambitious as I get. I don't like making goals that feel like they're set up to make me fail — looking great and feeling great, for me, falls on a spectrum, and that balance changes daily. I don't want to limit my body and my mind to adhering to societal standards, so making goals to look and feel a certain way just because society has deemed it acceptable isn't really all that important to me.

My kids are 7, 5, 3, and 1-and-half, and while that doesn't sound like an era of independence, compared to my life last year, trust me when I say it's a different world. Plus, I'm not breastfeeding so, essentially, I'm freeeeeeeeeee. The independence for both my kids and me means that this year's resolutions are anchored in clearly visualizing the life we want to lead from here on out. We're moving a bit out of building up our family and into living and enjoying as a family, and I'm really excited about it. I want to take action to acquire our dream property, something my partner and I have talked about for our entire relationship, build a home together, get some chickens, and really build a life that's meaningful to us.

I'm scared that my children are going to remember parents that were unfulfilled, stressed, and constantly cleaning up mess after mess, and this year, I want that to change. I know that we sacrificed a bit of our personal fulfillment as individuals in marrying and starting our family young, but I'm still glad we did things that way because at the age of 29, I have a beautiful family and the chance to make a resolution to live the life I've always dreamed of.

Images Courtesy of Chaunie Brusie (2)