You’ve likely heard the statistic that 80% of us will fail to accomplish the New Year’s resolutions we set forth (according to U.S. News & World Report). If you’ve already given up on that goal you set, just know you’re in good company. If you’re still working at it, congratulations! I am rooting for you, and I know you can do it.
Gwin emily
Former Editor / Progressive Dairy

s for me, I won’t be setting any resolutions. It’d be nice to get in better shape, organize my house and curb some of my spending habits. But I know myself well enough to know that none of these things will be a priority until we’re back home and settled from my daughter’s next surgery. So instead, I’m aiming for a few “non-resolutions.” The following will require a shift in thinking from how I’ve operated up until this point.

But with how life’s circumstances currently are, I believe them to be a requirement for my mental well-being. That being said, I’ll probably always be a “work in progress” in these three areas, so I’m calling them non-resolutions.

1 Be open to change

Our world was flipped upside down on Jan. 23, 2019, with our unborn daughter’s diagnosis of spina bifida. Our world has never quite righted itself, and we still regularly get blindsided with unexpected news, procedures or therapies to start, and new required surgeries. But as my husband will attest, I still desperately try to hold on to anything that even remotely resembles a plan and get upset when that plan gets disrupted.


Over the past year, we’ve had to learn how to take things one day, sometimes even one hour, at a time. I’ve learned to be more adaptable, but I certainly have some room to grow. I want to be the type of person who can roll with the punches and feel OK when plans need to change.

2 Live in the moment more often

With our oldest daughter, I constantly find myself wishing time away. “When she’s __ years old, she’ll be able to __ without needing me.” With our younger daughter, I want to stop time right where it is, where I can solve all her problems, or at least get her to the people who can. As she grows older, the fact that she’s different from other kids will become more apparent. I’m not looking forward to the conversations that will need to happen and the hurt feelings I won’t be able to protect her from. With both daughters, I want to take in and enjoy the present more. I want to celebrate their milestones, even the small ones, like holding a sippy cup or singing the “ABCs” without help. At work, I want to appreciate the small wins of the day, instead of beating myself up about the things I didn’t accomplish.

3 Laugh more

During a recent marital disagreement, my husband suggested to me I should fake being happy, at least when he came home from work. I balked at the idea at first, but I have to admit, it’s made a big difference in how our evenings play out. I’m usually frustrated and frazzled with trying to get the baby fed and supper on the table, and the toddler is almost always doing something she shouldn’t be while I’m distracted with those other tasks.

But instead of taking it out on him as soon as he walks through the door, we all make a big deal about being overjoyed to see him (and we are, of course). In turn, he’s more likely to pitch in and help me or keep the toddler out of trouble. For those of you who struggle with depression or anger management, please know that I’m not in any way downplaying the importance of learning to express your emotions and finding healthy ways to cope.

I’m saying I have a tendency to hold a grudge over trivial things, like the toddler dropping a bottle of shampoo on my foot during bath time. I want to get better at learning to laugh off some of these minor grievances.

What I’ve always loved about Jan. 1 is that it’s a fresh start, a blank slate. But the thing is, every day is a blank slate – a chance to do better, to think positively, to be kind to yourself and to others. We don’t have to wait until next year rolls around. This year, let’s all aim to just take it one day at a time.  end mark