Resolution Success! How to Dazzle Yourself!

Resolutions.

How do you feel about them? Do they feel exciting because of a fresh start, or kind of sad because you know you will fail pretty soon?

Well, what about this? What if you could stomp into the new year with confidence? Just like a 2-yr old happily stomps into the day?

Here are suggestions for REAL SUCCESS!

ONE: Make a list.                                                                  

What’s on your mind?

What do you wish you could change?

What do you WANT to change?

What seems to always get run over by the traffic in your life?

And what exactly are the benefits of making a list anyway? Glad you asked!

It’s a “blurt” or a “barf” of all those churning thoughts that inspire, excite, depress, overwhelm, and all together drive you crazy – all out on paper, where you can see them for what they are!

They’re out of your head, you’ve acknowledged them, and now you can choose what is really important to you.

 

TWO: Quick glance – which are the harder ones, and which are just nice to have, be, or do.

 

We think of resolutions as things that are hard to do, like “losing weight” (super common after festive eating). But resolutions are also the things that you really like and want to do such as…seeing your best friend more often or taking up ________ (fill in the blank).

Back to your list:

Draw squares around the hard-to-do stuff and

circles around the fun/hope/wish-list stuff.

 

 

THREE: Pick TWO things, one from the serious, “I really need to make a change” list, and one from the “I would love to do this!” list.

What are your top contenders? What makes you feel excited?

Here’s a TIP: Pick the EASIEST one from both lists!

Seriously! We tend to set goals that are so vague, challenging, or hard that they are not actually achievable, kind of like most of our food resolutions: never eating sugar again; losing 20 lbs really fast, always eating “healthy”.

For most of us, these are guaranteed failures waiting to happen.

What about simplifying with a different approach?

 

 

One sugary treat a day. That’s definitely less that most of us consume! Already a gain!

 

 

Losing one pound every week or two. Much more within reach than however many pounds to our perceived ideal weight (which btw, is usually less than a healthy weight!)

 

 

 

 

Try switching out one unhealthy food item for one that is good, and you really like.

 

 

This more moderate approach won’t have the drama of a cold-turkey change but your chances of long-term success are higher.

And guess what?

Success leads to more success,

because when we feel encouraged, we want to do even more and, remember, all the little bits add up.

 

FOUR: Give yourself a manageable timeline and recognize your successes!

New year’s resolutions feel hard because January 1st only comes once a year, expectations are high, and a year can feel like a self-imposed life sentence that you can opt out of whenever you feel like giving up.                               

So, what about a goal just for January? You can look at it again around Feb 1st.

 

If a month feels like its too long, make it two weeks, or one.

 

The point is that you can choose what you would like to change and on a timeline that suits you and helps you experience success.

“No sugar ever” is a killer. Sugar once a day for a week is do-able and you might like to do it again for another week. A few more of those, and you have a new and happy habit.

So, what is it? What would you like to do?

Here are some thoughts from my “resolution lists”:

I have a new business that is now full time, and when I’m not careful, this feels totally overwhelming, with thoughts like, “What if I’m an absolute failure?” This change in my life means learning to deal with fear, and that is a one-day-at-a time goal. I can’t even think about making it through to next New Years, and quite frankly, not even to the end of the first month of this year. But one day at a time, I can manage.

I want to spend more time with the friends and family that I love. I have been too busy, overworked, and flat-out exhausted to do that for over four years and I want to make a change. This is a one week or month at a time goal – I have a list of things that I want to do with my family, and of people that I would like to see. I can refer to it to plan what I can do and when, and gradually accomplish my list.

Year-long/lifetime goals: The top and over-riding goal for me is to be patient with the process of my life. I can’t know, do, or act upon knowledge, wisdom, and gains that I will have in the future. I can only do what is within reach today. Which leads me to the rest of my list, and this is number five:

FIVE: The Underwear Drawer List:

“Be more kind, don’t make the bed everyday, be patient, thoughtful, wise, floss my teeth everyday, drive more patiently, eat more veggies, cut my hair more often, learn to play better with the youngest people in my life, keep the car clean, go to bed earlier, exercise regularly, shop less, get rid of unnecessary stuff, drink more water etc.”

For me, these are all a journey. Not things that I will rigidly hold myself to in a current idea of perfection today. That’s just a waste of time, energy, and self-esteem.

But they’re in the back of my mind, blurted out on a scrap of paper, and, here is my suggestion to you:

Put that piece of paper in your underwear drawer – if you have one. (I don’t – it’s an underwear box!)

 

The thoughts are out of your system, letting you concentrate on your top choices, but they are still present in your life.

Every now and again – and on a good day – pull the list out and look it over, and smile at the day-to-day growth that you probably didn’t notice. Just having it there and occasionally looking at it will do more than you can know, and I’ll bet that you will subconsciously put the things on that list into practice – bit-by-bit – all towards one glorious, thriving whole! This might, in the end, be the best list of all!

Go for success! HAVE FUN! Confidently stomp into your new year, new month, new week, or your new day! You can do this!

Summary:

  1. Make a quick list.
  2. Mark the items with a square or circle, or highlight, so you can see easily the hard stuff and the fun/hope/wish-list stuff.
  3. Pick one thing from each list, the ones that will bring the quickest success.
  4. Set a reasonable time-line, one that makes sense to you, and most importantly, is achievable.
  5. Store the rest in your underwear drawer/box for occasional review and ongoing growth.

A little bit about me

I’ve been training with an wonderful organization called bebomia where I am nearly finished birth and postpartum certification and am working on the Breastfeeding and Sleep Educator certifications. bebo mia’s Marketing Director, Alana Nugent has been particularly encouraging and helpful in getting me started in what I’ve discovered I love even more than walking alongside parents during labour and birth and the postpartum days: helping parents to parent. 

Alana asked me to write my story and I’d like to share that link with you. This is part one of three, and I have to tell you, some parts of this story are very hard to tell, not part one so much…but I’ll say something about part two before it is published and I share the link.

Here is part one: Enjoy!  

bebo mia’s Spotlight: Stories, Journeys, Twists, and Turns with Laura Gillian.

By the way, this looks a lot like the road that I learned to drive on in Esperance, Western Australia!

What Kind of Parent Will I Be? What Kind of Parent Do I Want To Be?

This past week I had the privilege of speaking at Kingston’s Go Green Baby, to a small group of mostly parents- to-be. Well, I would consider that they are already parents, and that their lives are already marked for good by the presence of their unborn little one. I admire their wisdom in seeking wisdom in advance – before sleep deprivation sets in and the dial is set to “function at any cost!”

Do you know that there is so much planning and preparing that a new parent can do in advance, just by taking time to thinks things through, by observing the world of parents and little ones and pondering what their response might be?

Sometimes we laugh at the pre-parents that we were, remembering things such as, “my kid will never ______________” and fill in the blank. Some of these “my kid will never” we have control over and some we don’t. One of my “I will never do!” was allowing a little kid to run around with a snotty nose.

And then we got one of those little ones for our very own; a sweet, loving little person with chronic upper and lower respiratory problems which included, yep, a thick, grungy, output, right in the middle of an unbelievably cute little face.

We were visiting my mom and step-dad in California, and of course, even though it was winter and freezing, we all wanted to go to the beach. This same little cutie-pie climbed up the little sand dune where my mom and I were sitting, with a thick stream of gunk hanging from nose to chin, and for some reason, I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have a single Kleenex; neither did my mom – and we normally needed at least three.  Deep breath. I reached over, squeezed from the top of that cute little nose down, and removed all that stuff in a single swipe with my bare fingers, smearing them in the sand to get them clean. My mom and I sat in silence for a minute, before she quietly said, “I’m so proud of you.”

I never thought I would do such a gross thing, and not even really mind too much. Another of those, “I will never do that” moments occurred when I already had two little ones.

We were invited to dinner at a home where there were two teen/pre-teen sisters who were so viciously unkind to each other that I felt in shock, just being present, just by having to listen to them. The mom kind of shrugged her shoulders and said, “Teenagers! What can you do??”

“Anything! Everything!” was what ran loudly through my mind.

I looked at my little toddler son and his infant baby sister and thought to myself, “you will never treat each other like that”.

Just like that.

A decision made and held onto through the years to come. It was a rock-solid goal to be reached any way possible, at any cost, with no obstacles deemed to be too large. This was one matter in which the end clearly defined the journey.

A few years later, I heard someone say about their family of four kiddos, “you will love each other. “

Just like that. The same thing in reverse. It was hard work, but so worth it.

What about you?

What things stand out as “never!” or “always!” or maybe there isn’t an extreme, but a simple desire to do “this” and maybe not “that”. May I encourage you to think about it? You don’t have to solve everything and have solid plan in place before the baby is born or before they can talk, but just thinking about it, with gentleness and/or determination, will put you miles ahead and help you to achieve that overall goal.

 

Finally! The “coming soon” is over and the MESSY PART is here!

 

Welcome to INTENTIONAL PARENTING!

 After the challenges of birth and postpartum adjustments comes the even MESSIER part: the day-to-day challenge of guiding this little person from infancy to adulthood.

No matter what the age of your child, if you are here looking for

help or reassurance, I truly believe you will find just that;

I believe that you will be encouraged, and

that a flame of hope and joy in this,

pretty much your most important task in life, will be either ignited or reignited.

Let’s get going!

 Parenting is a difficult task (did I just open with a dire understatement??). Most of us jump onto this path with little or no preparation and with an expectation that we can just

figure it out as we go.

Generally, figuring it out as we go works to a degree, but it’s not uncommon for us to often feel

unprepared,

over-stretched, and

overwhelmed with the minutia of day-to-day details.

Many of our relational interactions are ones that we might prefer to have done differently – usually with greater

patience, wisdom, and kindness.

There are many factors that contribute to these feelings and these are things that can definitely be identified and understood, both by themselves and within the context of who you are as a parent. I would love to show you how to look at yourself as a parent from a different perspective.

Being the parent that you want to be is so very much within your reach,

so do-able, and

I believe that right from the start,

you can make a significant difference almost immediately.

First, however, I want to encourage you with the news that not only do you not have to parent “on the fly” but you can develop amazing parenting skills, with competencies that are

 carefully considered,

step-by-step,

on a day-to-day basis and,

in ways that are satisfying, enjoyable, and rewarding, for everyone.

I think and understand best in pictures, so for those of you who are similar here are two stories from my life.

I like all aspects of parenting: I am also a birth and postpartum doula supporting parents from the very start right through to learning how to best relate to these tiny, growing, and constantly changing little humans.

However, for a long time, I had little success in sharing my passion and here is why: my hue and cry was that I’m not very business-y, and so business development became my “weak link.” This weak link prevented me from jumping in to develop a business making a living doing what I love.

I tried several times, but the need to earn an income kept getting in the way, until, I began certifying with an organization that also provided business development information and support (Thanks bebo mia!), and I almost became as excited about the business aspect as working with parents. Almost. But, I still needed more so, I hired a business coach to lend her wisdom and hold my hand through the hard parts (Thanks Lianne Kim!!)

How does this apply to you?

I had tried to just doula and let the business fall into place by figuring things out “on the fly” – and it was not working. I even felt like a failure in the part that I like – journeying with parents into life with a new human being.

Now, with good coaching and pertinent information, I feel confident, strong, capable, and EXCITED!

With Intentional Parenting, you can identify your personal challenges and sticky points and learn how to manage them well:

YOU can feel confident, strong, capable, and EXCITED about how you parent!

Here is the second story.

I love to garden. I love it so much, that I often use gardening stories to simplify things that can feel murky.  You don’t have to love gardening to understand the analogies, but the hard science of biology gives strength to the images and explanations of social and relational matters.

For example: If you want to grow daisies, plant daisy seeds, not corn. How simple is that?

If you want your child to listen to you, guess what? You have to listen to him. He learns more by observation and interaction than by instruction. Plant, or demonstrate, what you want to see your child doing; don’t assume that you can plant corn and still get daisies.

Here is another garden story: when I’ve planted new seeds, it FEELS so successful and I keep wanting to run outside to have another look. And guess what, it always looks just the same as 5 minutes ago. Surprise.

But that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.

This is where patience and consistent care comes in.

Those hidden seeds need water and soil-warming sunshine to germinate and grow. Eventually, little green sprouts will poke up through the soil, and you will see that something amazing is taking place.

As humans, we are constantly (hopefully!) changing and growing, and the new good parenting practices that you will put into place may not feel immediately evident, but they will quietly take root and become a permanent of your life.

I am looking forward to sharing so much with you!

May Courage and Confidence be yours!

Laura