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Goodbye New Year's Resolutions, Hello Mission Statement

When I feel overwhelmed---which happens quite often---I privately re-commit to my heartfelt aspirations and sometimes, achieve temporary success. My life moves like the conveyor belt of a fast-paced treadmill and I am the runner atop this never-ending device, desperately trying not to lose my balance and fall off. Most often, I remain locked in constant motion and lack time to reflect or regroup.

It wasn’t until triggered the other night by a personal crisis that I realized once again, everything was off-kilter. I knew the time had come to re-define my priorities, with a clear vision of the future in mind.

The ultimate goal: to find my center amidst all of life’s messiness and chaos. I know that if I stay focused on the big picture, the daily and weekly details of the respective execution will come naturally.

I am not talking about simple New Year resolutions, that once accomplished are checked off a to-do list---forgotten or forsaken. Rather, I find it of greater importance to proactively identify deeply personal ideals and objectives that I must strive to attain, albeit at a snail’s pace, for the rest of my life.

Here is how I plan to recover my waning balance.

Goodbye frivolous New Year’s resolutions; Hello mission statement.

1. Work hard to re-discover the dormant passion buried deep within my marriage. Do what it takes to spend time alone with my husband---to listen to one another’s desires, dreams and respect the other’s differences.

2. Be consistent with my parenting practices. Be level-headed. Think before reacting and follow through automatically with previously outlined rewards and punishments.

3. Regain control of the children’s deteriorating language skills, and despite the vehement protests, speak only Spanish in the home. It will be hard at first, but focus on the big picture: bilingual, bicultural children.

4. Organize my writing and reading time so as not to interfere with the children’s needs. If I don’t have the time I want or need to complete a piece, remember that the kids are the priority and will never be this tender age again. Enjoy life and don’t get frustrated.

5. Be patient and forgiving with self and others. Not everyone can keep their word a hundred percent of the time. Exceptions do exist. Not everything happens overnight or when I want it to and adult people, just like kids, go through short-lived phases.

6. Re-define the spiritual needs of the family and let those decisions guide our family’s actions. Don’t let a tight budget or a less-than-perfect relationship with one spiritual leader or a particular religious institution influence the family’s religious connection.

7. Take care of my own spiritual, physical and intellectual needs. Take time each day to just sit down to relax, reflect and breathe. My family and the world-at-large will forgive me for stepping off that treadmill for just a moment---only what is necessary to ensure that my life mission is kept vividly in perspective, at all times.

C'mon people! Let's rebel against the proverbial "New Year Resolution." Enough with the pressure. Swear them off for good. For 2011 make it simple: Think of yourself (and your family) as a business. Write out a Mission Statement that reflects all constants that define you. Strive daily to follow that philosophy--- thereby choosing this "lifetime endeavor" over "fickle and unattainable annual goals." No more setting ourselves up for failure!