I have one word for 2014, and it’s not Resolution!

One Word Resolution, by Helen

This year I have made a one word resolution to apply to all aspects of my life. Instead of unachievable goals, I have a principle for living.

I used to make resolutions. I suppose it was an antidote to the let-down that was New Year’s Eve; that night where I would have the best party ever, meet someone exciting, kiss the boy I’d fancied all year long, and wake feeling exhilarated and full of anticipation. I would make all sorts of plans, changes, convictions for the following 12 months.

That was before jaded reality set in. Those parties were always a let-down; he wouldn’t show, someone rubbish would try his luck, or we’d get chucked out of the pub for having no ID. New Years Eve became a symbol of regret for everything I’d not achieved the precious year.

Most Januarys I’d start a health kick, convinced that this would be the year I’d finally manage to eschew chocolate and wine, favouring instead 10k runs in the bitter cold and soul-destroying hours staring at the FTSE 100 at the gym. I never made it to February, and would feel even more depressed.

This week is the first time I’ve made it into a new year without a sense of loss. My children are sad and resisting the great decoration pull-down, but I feel more positive than I have in a long time. And that can only be down to one thing: I’ve made no resolutions. Instead, I am defining an ongoing development in my life – one of nurturing myself and my family.

What is a one word resolution?

I came across a post by Dorky Mum recently, in which she describes her own process of self-evaluation as each new year approaches. She considers where she is in her life, and what she would like to focus on over the coming year. Then she gives it one word. I like this idea of a one word resolution – a sort of anchor for the inevitable chaos and fickleness that is family life. I cannot predict what will happen this year, but I can focus on how I want it to happen.

My one word resolution is “Nurture”

I will nurture myself:

Over the last few months I’ve changed the way I eat. Not dramatically – I still eat chocolate, plum crumbles, pork crackling, and real butter. But my plate is not so full, and I don’t always finish my meals. I listen to my body and stop when I feel full. I feel better for it, and it shows on the scales.

I know I need to be fitter too, having reached that age where lectures about bone density and cholesterol are looming. The trouble is time; once the kids are at school I work until they come home, then I parent until they go to bed. At what point do I exercise in that routine?? And don’t say evenings – in 29 years I’ve made it outdoors in a pair of trainers after 7pm once!

I also need to watch more TV – bear with me here: I get jealous when Fearne Cotton discusses Sherlock, and I lament my naivety when friends pick over the latest episode of Homeland.

I will nurture my soul; before I had a young family, I would spend hours lying on the carpet listening to music. I would sing, then have a bath, and that time alone, relaxing, restored my soul. With the advent of social media I have neglected my soul in favour of interaction. There is always someone to talk to, laugh with – and that is a wonderful thing. But but I find myself online increasingly later, and it is always in a rush that I scramble up to bed around midnight. I want to read more. I long to wallow in a hot bath.

I will nurture my family:

That thing about me parenting my children every afternoon until bedtime? I lied. I may set them up with a craft, or some homework, but very soon I am back at my desk, or grilling fish fingers as I tweet. At weekends we watch a family film together on the sofa, but it’s never long before an iPad joins the party. I have been proud of my ability to multi-task, but I am deluded.

In the thick of the night I berate myself for my parenting style, and make whispered promises that tomorrow I will be more present for my children. I want to play board games, help my son with his writing, and read to them.

My commitments for 2014:

  1. The hours I spend with my family, I will be 100% present. I will not work distractedly in the background. I will engage with them, and enjoy their young company while I can.
  2. I will continue to cook real food, exploring my recipe books, and serving smaller portions of lovelier dishes to all of us.
  3. I will leave my desk earlier, in favour of books in bed or a long soak. Lights will go out earlier.

So, the one word resolution for Actually Mummy in 2014 is Nurture. What would yours be?

24 thoughts on “I have one word for 2014, and it’s not Resolution!”

  1. Hmmmm…. I think mine would be… ‘Be there’ (yes, I know that’s two) saw this short film that made me think about how much of my time I spend trying to capture every moment on social media and my camera phone instead of juts enjoying what’s actually happening! So from now on – FBing every fucking meal/glass of champagne/trip to the park ain’t happening. Gonna spend more time having fun than tweeting about it :))) x

    • This is exactly what I’m talking about. So often I can feel my pulse racing as I cook dinner, take a shower, or help with homework, and it’s because my mind is always on something else. My life is flying past me at 100 mph and I’m just not there!

  2. You do surprise me – fishfingers? No really (of course I do with pasta and peas to be healthy you know lol). Nurture is a really good word and I really like you commitments for the year – think I ought to work on some of those too. Thank you for sharing on MotivationalMonday too.

  3. I read Dorky Mum’s post too and went through the entire workbook that she recommends. I enjoyed those evenings being off line and have come up with the word ‘Confidence.’ Nurture is a good one and am glad you’re implementing it – good luck ๐Ÿ™‚ X

  4. That all sounds really positive, like you I don’t really believe in resolutions as they set you up for failure but I think your plan is a really good one.

  5. Great idea Helen. Life really gave us a kick up the backside over Christmas as my daughter was admitted into intensive care for a week. Nightmare is an understatement. So for me, it really all is about family and just spending quality time with each other as it really is fleeting and fragile. My word for 2014 is to ‘live’. Happy New Year!

  6. Good luck with your goals Helen! I am aiming for 1 and 3 too but it’s so hard to switch off sometimes and i feel I’m always getting distracted or checking just one more thing! x

  7. That was definitely motivational !!!! WOW, I hope I can follow your footsteps. I need to do all those things twice over. Thanks for sharing what a wonderful concept to do a word as Nurture instead of resolutions that fall to the side by February! I am guilty of this very thing every year. Maybe I should rethink it as well each year. Great post!!!!

  8. Mine is Sacrifice which sounds heavy but the more I think about it, the more i realise it applies to so many areas of my life….kind of a ‘put others first’ attitude….a lesson i want to teach my children. So, your goals are fabulous and i can relate to every single one of them (except smoking!). Mine are much the same, although I’m not sure I could stick to the ‘not sneaking the ipad in whilst watching TV with the kids’ as much as I long to. I have a big list of things I’m aiming for and think this one may just tip me over. Good luck! x

    • Oh I don’t smoke – that was just for the purposes of illustration. I’m not joining a gym either, or running a marathon, and there’s very little chance of me saving any money ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sacrifice is a tough one, you’re braver than me – I’m fascinated to see how everyone gets on though. Good luck x

  9. Mine is kindness, I’m trying to be a better human being towards everyone from complete strangers to ‘difficult’ family members and also to myself!
    I think that small changes work well instead of going completely ‘cold turkey’ on 1st January and trying to be perfect. Good luck with the nurturing x

  10. Ooh I didn’t spot you had done this – I had one word for me in 2014 too – Discipline. Not quite the same word, but the same idea. Great post, Helen; and having read what you wrote, your aspirations for 2014 are very similar to mine. Go us ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Ah I love this – you need to take care of yourself you know that don’t you? Although if you ever need help with a plum crumble just say the word and I’ll be there. Yes, I am a gooooood friend ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. My ‘resolutions’ are a theme – ‘less of this and more of that’. But I might swap them for your commitments which I think encapsulate better everything I’d like to achieve! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I like the idea of just applying one principle to everything. It feels way more manageable than a host of dramatic changes, and actually small steps add up

  13. Love this word and the way you describe nurturing the soul it’s a wonderful thing that is hard to describe. You gave me a tiny moment of this is the ‘lucky voice’ karaoke thing, as ridiculous as it may be, closing the curtains and wailing out power ballads when everyone’s out gives me back an occasional moment of ‘meness’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I wish I could focus on the children entirely when they’re around but as they’re always around my only option is to dedicate some time to shutting everything down and just be there – which I’ve been trying to do more and more.

    I don’t watch any TV but do love The Voice and my hubby wants us to watch Sherlock so may give that a go. xx

    • I need to get my Lucky Voice kit hooked up to the TV. Although if I did, I think I’d never get any work done! It is hard when there is so much ‘busyness’ we could be getting on with.


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