Here’s what I know — the holiday season with young children is L-O-N-G. It’s filled to the brim with magical moments, of course: rummaging through last year’s sentimental ornaments, marveling at how much has changed. Weeks of rosemary in the kitchen, classic Bing Crosby croons, a tree glowing bright – and then! The single high-expectation morning with shredded wrapping paper all over the floor, half-dressed/hyped-up kids running around with new swords and sticky cinnamon roll fingers, their parents eyeing each other from across the room — is it naptime yet?
In short: a new year is just the fresh start we all need. Here’s how to kick it off right in 3 quick & easy steps…
Carve out a few minutes to reflect on what worked last year and what didn’t. Don’t think you have a few minutes to spare? You do! Brainstorm in the shower, while brushing your teeth, or as the coffee brews. Make it your priority to rein in your thoughts as you focus on reflection. The minutes are there, I promise. It’s up to you to use ’em wisely.
If you need a jumpstart on your reflection, we’ve listed 6 questions to ask yourself this year right here.
Once you’ve determined what didn’t work last year, get ruthless in eliminating those routines or processes from your household. Does screen time make your 2-year-old bananas? Try a detox and find a few ways to connect with your toddler. Did you rely too much on takeout than you’re comfortable with? Consider a meal plan to keep you organized and your fridge fully stocked. Has it been months since you’ve cleaned out the playroom? Carve out a nap time to ditch or donate the unused and unloved.
Remember: in these early years, we have a surprisingly large amount of control over the environment we’re raising our kids in. By establishing habits, routines, and rhythms that will help the whole family thrive, you’ll be creating healthy patterns for the entire household to rely on for years and years to come.
Hooray! Now that you’ve ruthlessly eliminated what didn’t work last year, it’s time to add in what does. Take a look at that clean, fresh calendar ahead. One of the joys of a blank slate is that YOU get to decide what to make of it. Is this the year for your child to try ballet? For your spouse to enroll in a pottery class? For the whole family to take the Yosemite road trip you’ve been dreaming of for ages?
I hate to burst your bubble, but if it’s not on the calendar, it’s likely not happening. Get realistic by putting it in writing (heck – Sharpie if you’ve got it!). And don’t worry – we’ve got you covered in the planner department. Our bestselling Everything Planner is ready for you instantly, so you can get started dreaming and scheming right away.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you can reflect on last year’s wins and challenges, take action to ruthlessly eliminate what didn’t work, and pre-schedule a few realistic dreams to tackle throughout the year, congratulations! You’ve just taken 3 massive steps in creating the family life you’ve always envisioned. Giddyup, friends – you’ve kicked off a wild, fantastic year ahead.