STRONG self(ie) Looks to 2018 with Fresh Resolve
A new year is upon us and like most people, we are taking a moment to step back and think about our goals. According to NBC News and Nicole Spector’s article “2017 New Year’s Resolutions – The Most Popular and How to Stick To Them,” the most common resolutions are targeted at the following objectives:
o Get Healthy
o Get Organized
o Live Life to the Fullest
o Learn New Hobbies
o Spend Less/Save More
o Read More
All of these are great goals and most are on our list, too. Of course, the trick is sticking to your resolution in order to actually achieve it! This year at STRONG self(ie), we have decided to make a list of resolutions but in true STRONG self(ie) style! Our lists are personal, meaningful, and shared with you all to keep us on track to actually achieving every item.
Part of our mission of inspiring girls to be their strongest self(ie) is strengthening the connection between the girl and parent. Our 2018 resolution list is not solely about getting to the gym more and eating better (although we still want to achieve those, too!). Instead, it is centered on our relationships with those closest to us. Our kids are growing up so fast and in a world much different than the one we did. Every day, we struggle with truly connecting with our daughters (and sons!) so we dedicated our 2018 resolutions to making stronger connections with our kids. But how?
Stephanie’s Top Three Resolutions
Stephanie took some time to think about what steps might help her achieve the ultimate resolution to establish stronger connections with her kids. This is what she came up with after evaluating some of her family’s habits…
Step One: Support One Another at Events
My kids are in many activities and most days we are lucky if they get to where they need to be in one piece and on time. Plus with three kids, my husband and I are outnumbered. Not surprisingly, life gets tricky when they all have an event at the same time and in three different places! Supporting one another is a life lesson that is on our resolution list. Our goal is to get to as many of each others events to support and cheer each other on!
Step Two: Family Dinner
UGH…feeding these kids dinner…what a chore! Tough to accomplish when they have so many after school activities all at different times and locations. Some days I feel successful just getting through a drive thru and putting anything that resembles food into their hands. We grew up eating dinner as a family most nights of the week. For that very reason, my resolution is to prepare a home cooked family dinner at least once a month...that's the easy part! The hard part...EAT AS A FAMILY…with no technology at the table!
Step Three: Technology-Free Hour
We started this already and I want to continue this in 2018. Every night from 8:15 to 9:15pm all technology is on chargers and turned off. We do allow school Chrome books for homework but no social media and no phones. My kids use this time to shower, clean up their rooms, play games, read, finish homework, prepare for the next day, etc. I am not gonna lie…sometimes there is a lot of fighting and yelling during this hour because they are actually engaging with one another and they are “bored” (insert huge eye roll here!), but human interaction is needed in life…even if it’s wrestling your brother!
Kristen’s Three Favorite Resolutions
Faced with the same challenge, Kristen took a look at her family’s routines and decided where a few improvements might help her achieve the STRONG self(ie) resolve to strengthen the connections with her kids. Borrowing some tried-and- true tricks from a friend and creating one or two of her own is helping her set the course for a successful resolution!
Trick #1: One-on- One Time
A friend of mine does this and I think it is brilliant. One night a month I am going to schedule a one-on-one date with each of my kids. They get to choose where we go and what we do. It could be dinner and a movie or staying home and playing games. It’s not about the activity, it’s about connecting with each of my kids independently.
Trick #2: Step Away From The Phone
Let’s face it…we are addicted to our phones. We aren’t sending snaps and we don’t have "stories," but our work and friends are all on our phone and that thing dings and vibrates constantly. Our phones are rarely more then 12 inches from us…they are practically an extension of our bodies. And as parents we complain that our kids are obsessed with their phones, but they see us on ours all the time so… it’s time to step away!
I, for one, am going to make a conscious effort to lock my phone in a drawer (or leave it in my office (on silent!) and talk to my kids, play a game or go for a walk. No doubt this is going to be a hard one but these little humans learn from us and we are on a mission here so I invite all of us moms to PUT THE PHONE DOWN!
Trick #3: Listen More, Talk Less
It is so easy to ask how your child’s day was or how he or she did on a test. But do you really, truly listen to your kids? We know we are easily distracted by our other kids, pets, and rushing to activities that sometimes we feel like we listen from a distance. As part of our resolution, we want our kids to feel like we care about what is happening in their worlds and that means taking the time to LISTEN and engage in a conversation that is more then two seconds long.
No matter what your resolutions are as you approach the New Year, at STRONG self(ie) we encourage all of you to relax, reevaluate and resolve to make 2018 your best year yet…