Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. ~ William Butler Yeats
As New Year’s Day approaches, it is natural to think about resolutions and goals for 2010. Yeats’ quote can be a great motivator and a reminder why goals are so important. If we wait until the iron is hot to strike, chances are great that we will never take action on our goals. Instead we need to generate the heat from within, and let our action fire us up and inspire us to make our dreams reality.
So many great thinkers have said that if we aren’t growing, we’re dying. New Year’s is a great time to commit to growing and developing more of our potential. Doing so will show our kids a powerful model for how to live their lives. Equally important, personal growth will enrich our life and benefit us for decades to come.
Some possible goals to consider:
Pick up a hobby you’ve always wanted to pursue. You may find one that your kids can do with you, or they may be motivated by watching you to take up a hobby of their own.
Take up a new exercise regime that includes the kids (skating, skiing, hiking, biking) and a chance to get out into our beautiful world. Life will be more stimulating and your family more connected for it.
Sign up for a computer class, learn how to operate your camera or videocamera better or commit to a games night with your kids.
Be patient with yourselves. Although New Year’s resolutions are often maligned, the fact is that without goals, not much happens. It took me years and many attempts to quit smoking 15 years ago. I wish then I’d known how to come along side my intentions and congratulate myself for each attempt, and for even setting the goal. The gentler you are on yourself, the easier it will be to find the help that you need to succeed. If you believe that you can reach your goal, you’ll be motivated to find the resources you need, and you will get there.
If your goal is to become a more patient, consistent parent, honor yourself for that commitment. As Shelley Lefkoe says, “A conscious parent is someone who makes mistakes, and then goes back to clean them up.” Treat your intention as the precious seed that it is, and then go about helping that seed to develop into the wonderful family life that you envision.
If you are wanting to become a better parent, make sure that you are giving yourself the support that you need. Sign up for my mailing list to hear about expert interviews and other parenting information. Find an expert whose work speaks to you and your unique situation and then delve deeper. Hire a parenting coach, take a class, read some books. Find an online group of parents who are also committed to making changes and who can help support you.
Every goal worth achieving starts with a single step. I know from personal experience that it is possible to go from parenting poorly to becoming the parent you want to be. The journey is the most fulfilling one you will ever take, and it is a difficult one at times. I believe becoming the person and parent we were meant to be is why we are here. Set that New Year’s resolution and a step toward it today.