It’s a new year. Have you spent some time recently reflecting on the past year and dreaming of what is in store for you and your family in 2019? Maybe you’ve made resolutions or set goals you want to achieve. For my family and I, we want to make some changes this year. We want to change our mindset concerning how we approach certain aspects of our lives. Maybe you are in the same boat. Maybe you haven’t thought about it much. That’s OK. Here’s what we are doing more and what we are doing less in 2019.
More exploring locally
As a travel writer, family vacations and weekend getaways are part of our DNA. This world is full of unique, interesting locations to explore. We love experiencing new cities as a family. What sometimes gets lost in all this is the fact that Cleveland and Northeast Ohio provide endless exploration opportunities. Cleveland is full of museums, historical sites, monuments, sporting events, restaurants, tourist attractions, parks and recreation opportunities, Lake Erie, and some of the most unique neighborhoods in the country. 2019 is the year of Cleveland for our family. While we do have a beach vacation planned for this summer, our family is making it a point to get to know our home base better.
Less spending on things we don’t need
We all do it. We spend money on things for ourselves and our kids that we think we need. Our basement storage shelves look like a museum of past purchases that have gone by the wayside. We are cutting back and so should you. Let’s invest in more experiences for our families and less on the latest and greatest gadgets that will end up collecting dust in six months.
More self-care (and family care)
We struggle with taking care of ourselves properly. Whether it’s being physically active, dealing with stress properly or spending time learning and growing as individuals, we aren’t good at scheduling time for ourselves. Do you have that problem? Our family schedule is always full of work, practices and games, school, writing, and all the day-to-day chores that fill the calendar. If we don’t schedule time for ourselves, our family gets the leftovers, when we are tired, stressed, and prone to make snap decisions. Our families deserve better.
It seems counterproductive to spend more time on yourself when your schedule is overflowing already. It’s not. You will approach your day from a better place mentally. Our families deserve the same time, too. Promote self-care with your spouse and your kids too. Educate them on the importance of caring for themselves through healthy outlets (not just video games). The world we live in isn’t always easy to deal with. Let’s equip our families with the tools they need to survive and thrive.
Less worrying about what everyone else is doing
As I scroll through my feed, it’s hard not to play the comparison game. It seems every other family is taking more exotic vacations and getaways, owns better stuff, and is living their best life. It’s time to get over ourselves, be happy for our friends and their experiences, and live the life we want. Who cares what everyone else is doing? In the grand scheme of life, it won’t matter. Don’t let the fear of missing out actually make you miss out on the life and family you’ve been blessed to call your own.
More good in our community
It’s hard to watch the local news and not get bummed out with our world sometimes. This world seems so cruel at times. We feel small and so insignificant. What can we do to create change? The reality is we can do a lot. We are committing 2019 to find ways to impact our local community and support organizations changing lives in Northeast Ohio and beyond. Whether it is through volunteering for an event or finding ways to get involved long term, our family wants to be part of the change. It’s important to not only model this behavior for our kids, but find ways for them to do the same.
Less pretending we have it all together
Our kids have lived long enough to see the best and worst versions of me. We aren’t perfect and if I had to guess, neither are you. This is a good thing, trust me. If we always act like we have it all together and nothing rattles us, our kids might grow up feeling they need to do the same. There are times I am a mess. Sometimes I just want to escape daily life and watch stupid YouTube videos, hoping the rest of the world will leave me alone. This doesn’t mean I’m going to go out of my way to let people know when I’m having a bad day, but I’d rather be real than always feeling like a photoshopped version of myself.
More investing in our future
As busy as we are usually, I know we need to spend more time investing in our future. That could be actually investing money for later on in life, investing in ourselves by learning new skills or encouraging our kids to explore different activities to see what they like most. This might require a major overhaul in the time management department, but it’s worth the investment.
Less waiting for things to happen
Too many people sit around dreaming about a better life or situations to change. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming at all. I do it all the time. In the end, how you spend your time shows what is important to you. If you want something to change, sometimes that requires you to take action and force the issue. I wanted to start writing when I was in middle school, but I pushed that dream aside for most of my life. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t think it was possible or if I chose to accept the life path I saw in front of me. What I do know is that I never became a writer until I made a decision to become one and took that first step. Life is way too short to wait for good things to come along. You and your family deserve better.