New Year isn’t just for resolutions; it’s for pondering the past

31 Dec

New Year’s has it hard. Who wants to go after Christmas in the holiday department?  While it’s true that the start of a new year won’t get the kid’s vote, for us as parents, it’s become a very important holiday.

I have always enjoyed that feeling of freshness that occurs with the start of things.  Births, weddings, first day of kindergarten and a new year are all reasons to celebrate.  Not only do these occasions give you license to forecast your dreams for the future, but they offer forgiveness for what’s already happened.  With the first day of the New Year, life as you knew it is over and your fresh slate awaits.

Happy New Year from Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

Like most parents, I enjoy the long weekend away from work and spend it with my family.  Now that our daughter is older, she understands the significance behind the typical resolution.  One of my greatest joys is hearing what she wants for herself in the coming year.  Where before it was a new pet or shiny trinket, now her wishes have morphed into greater meaning, such as being kind to others and friendly neighbors.

As we go over our resolutions for the New Year, inevitably weight loss will creep up on my list.  Those final few pounds have haunted me for too long and I’d love to find out why…have any of you tried those 23andMe tests? It’s got to be genetics!  We giggle as I draw a stick figure of my current self and of the new improved mom that’s yet to emerge.

My husband tells me how beautiful I have always been and my child pragmatically asks, “Why didn’t you reach your goal?”  Great question; I casually brush it aside and mention that today is for thinking ahead, not worrying about the past, and she eyes me quizzically. “Why don’t they have an Old Year’s Day?”  Out of the mouth of babes.

Happy New Year from Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

We all agree that to truly enjoy the blessings that are sure to come our way this year, we need to think about what happened with the time that’s ending. We decide to hold the first annual Old Year’s Day ritual.  The only rule…you can’t talk about the future until you have discussed the past twelve months and what you would do differently.  Sounds simple, it’s not; takes a great deal of introspection.

Did I tithe enough to my church?  Did I handle my anger appropriately?  Am I certain my daughter and husband know how very important they are to me?  Was I a good friend, daughter, sister?  Take a moment to think back over the last year and ponder whether you were infinitely happy with the results.  If not, you can recommit to those items that fell by the wayside.  If so, congratulations on your success.  As the last light of firework dims in the sky, you may rest easy knowing that the New Year brings new promise to you and yours.

What do you need to resolve from last year?  What have you planned for in the new year? 

Happy Old Year!  Happy New Year!

Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

37 Responses to “New Year isn’t just for resolutions; it’s for pondering the past”

  1. Carrie Wood January 23, 2013 at 3:37 PM #

    Love the idea of “Old Year’s Day”! It will be a fun tradition to share with my kids.

    • HeliMom January 23, 2013 at 6:14 PM #

      So glad that you’ll try it, let me know how it goes! My daughter always thought it was fun remembering things that happened.

  2. Erin January 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM #

    I have 45 pounds to lose this year and my husband and I would like to pay off our credit cards and as much of our car loan as possible. Those two things would make me very happy, so I’m working hard to accomplish them this year 🙂

    • HeliMom January 23, 2013 at 6:11 PM #

      You’ll do it. Slow and steady wins the race. Good luck!

  3. Felicia January 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM #

    I reflected a lot on 2012 when 2013 was coming around and I’ve come to the conclusion that it was probably one of the worst years of my life. I’m really hoping that 2013 is a lot better than what 2012 was. I have some goals, but I think, for the most part, I’m going to concentrate on just being happy.

    • HeliMom January 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM #

      I’m sorry to hear this. We had a rough year too but that’s what is wonderful about the start of 2013. We get a chance to start fresh. I’ll pray that this year is better for you…

  4. Melissa January 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM #

    I like the idea of an “Old Year’s Day” and that reminds me of one of the activities that can be found in a calendar/planner I just ordered for the new year …
    I am really going to focus this year on making a better me inside and out this year!

    • HeliMom January 22, 2013 at 8:28 PM #

      That sounds wonderful. As moms I think we often forget to focus on ourselves first…it’s important that we do. Great start!

  5. Michelle January 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM #

    What a thought provoking post! Thank you!!! I tried to clear up as much from 2012 as possible before it closed out. I’m a true believer in leaving the past where it belongs and moving forward while keeping the lessons learned from previous experiences in mind. I love the idea of an Old Years Day!

    • HeliMom January 22, 2013 at 7:14 PM #

      Thank you for the reply. I absolutely agree with your comment about leaving the past in the past and leaping forward. Happy New Year 2013!

  6. Yona January 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM #

    Not having my driver’s license is the heaviest load on my shoulders that continues to weigh me down every year. I really need to say that this is the year and make it a priority…after the weather gets better.

    I’m currently becoming more successful in achieving my 2013 resolution to lose 15 pounds by my birthday. I should add a second part to say, once that is achieved the rest of the year should be spent getting my license, and then I’m all set for the past 5 years.

    • HeliMom January 22, 2013 at 7:17 PM #

      Keep studying, practicing and you will achieve your license. I’m confident that you’ll do it. And the world will open once you get it! Keep us posted, I’d love to hear from you when it happens.

  7. Kecia January 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM #

    Usually I am so ready for the year to end so that I can get that fresh start that I don’t take the time to reflect. However, at the end of 2012, I did think about what I had accomplished, what still needs to be accomplished, and what new things I wanted to accomplish in 2013.

    Paying off as much debt as possible in the new year is our top priority along with continuing my weight loss journey!

    • HeliMom January 22, 2013 at 7:20 PM #

      Kecia, good luck with the debt. You can do it. Check out Dave Ramsey’s books, he’s great at debt payoff.

  8. sara January 22, 2013 at 2:24 PM #

    Wise daughter you have there. I think it might be implied that we look over the past year before making goals for the new but I’m not sure if that is just me.

    I do shy away from thinking about the past too much because it always makes me depressed to think about all I did not accomplish. It is a whole lot easier dreaming new dreams and setting new goals.

    What’s the point of making goals if you don’t intend on meeting them?

    We all know that many make the goal of losing weight in the new year (almost a tradition) but how many people actually follow through and meet that goal? Why? Why not?

    Reflecting on the past might help – told you your daughter is wise.

    I think if we can grasp what is keeping us from meeting a goal we continually miss we can better plan the path to reaching it anew.

    • HeliMom January 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

      Well said.

  9. NYCSingleMom January 21, 2013 at 8:34 PM #

    No more resolutions for me just goals. I have a whole slew of them and slowly working through them but made them achievable. Instead of reading a book a month, i will be happy to read 1 book.

  10. Susan January 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM #

    Thank you for the good reminder that reflection is an important part of our spiritual journey.

  11. andi January 21, 2013 at 8:22 AM #

    that’s what great about a new year – looking back over the past and then moving forward…..

  12. Nickida January 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM #

    I don’t do resolutions. I can barely keep my weekly schedule in tack without something happening to make me have to change it. I just try to do things different and make small changes as I go. That’s what works for me.

    • HeliMom January 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM #

      I think this is a great premise too. Adjust as needed.

  13. Nikki January 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM #

    For years, I used to spend New Years Eve writing in my journal about the highlights and low points of the previous year. I’ve gotten out of that practice, but I still like to reflect and replay the year in my head. I don’t make resolutions because I don’t like to set myself up for failure, but I do have goals that I would like to achieve in 2013. Becoming financially stable is the biggest one. Losing weight and living a healthier life is another.

    • HeliMom January 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM #

      These are great goals and easy to achieve if you create a plan. Financial freedom is so important. Have you had a chance to read Dave Ramsey’s books on this topic? They helped us get where we wanted. Good luck.

  14. Dominique Goh January 19, 2013 at 7:19 PM #

    I do resolutions every year and also look back to see if they have been fufilled by year end or start of the next year. This year I did manage to complete all that I set out for 2012.

    • HeliMom January 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM #

      That is awesome, congrats! Let’s hope that 2013 turns out the same…

  15. Jenni Allen January 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM #

    I love this idea of an Old Year’s Day. My husband and I usually look over our goals from the year before and then set new ones for the coming year. I think my oldest is old enough to include next year. I will definitely remember some of your ideas.

    • HeliMom January 19, 2013 at 1:28 PM #

      We started including Beloved as a toddler, even if only for fun. They catch on quick!

  16. Jean January 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM #

    It always amazes me how far away the previous January seems as we start the New Year. I usually get a little down around the holidays and right afterward and wonder if that is not part of it: The reflecting back to the previous year. One thing I do is review the previous year’s calendar. It really is a nice reminder of all our activities and adventures from the previous year. Last year I focused on saying “no” more and was mildly successful. This year I’m trying to focus on the small everyday gifts that are present in each day.

    • HeliMom January 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

      Great idea! I imagine it also helps to see all that you did accomplish when you have the 2012 calendar sitting in front of you. And I find it helpful when “recreating” memories to have the calendar. You may have forgotten about the monkey at the zoo until you see the trip penciled in. Thanks.

  17. jollyjillys January 19, 2013 at 7:52 AM #

    what a great idea! I am sure I did not do well with the weight loss thing last year, but like you Im sure I did ok family wise. I was pleased I went to church often and did my best to be a nice person. So I will be working on the weight thing in 2013 lol
    Good luck with all your hopes and dreams and thanks for “Old years day” i enjoyed reading it

    • HeliMom January 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM #

      thanks! Why is it that weight loss is always that annoying nit-gnat that won’t stop buzzing around? ha haha

      • Jill January 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM #

        So true lol. Keep in touch and thanks for coming to visit my blog

  18. Real Posh Mom January 19, 2013 at 7:51 AM #

    Sometimes kids say the wisest things. 😉 I agree. I like the New Year’s to get some things in check – mainly my priorities. I look back at the great memories and some of the things I may not have done, and in the New Year, plan a away to make it habits or remove the hinderance in my life. In 2013, we are moving and one of my resolution is decluttering my life with things and activities. So far, so good!

    • HeliMom January 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM #

      Moving can be stressful so good luck. Definitely take time before the move to purge and think about what thing can go! Where you moving to?

  19. Tracy January 19, 2013 at 2:00 AM #

    I love setting goals. As I posted my goal updates last year, I documented my ups and my downs. The downs help me see where I need to change and adjust.

    As I did not accomplish all my goals in 2012, I made progress in each one. As I planned for 2013, I adjusted and keep pressing forward.

    Goal setting from January to December increases my productivity while I continue using time wisely. Happy reviewing!

    • HeliMom January 19, 2013 at 3:32 PM #

      Progress is good. Good luck with 2013!

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