You read that heading right.
“Stop what?” you may be thinking. Isn’t that an incomplete sentence?
It is. But I stand by it nonetheless.
Stop, you think? She must be crazy. Isn’t the new year a time to go, to move forward to press ahead with a resolve that will result in good things all around? So many resolutions are about starting something: it goes along with the idea of a new year, a clean slate and a fresh start. “Start” being the operative word.
Stopping sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? At first listen, there is an air of negativity to the verb. Stopping often means ending something that’s not good: stopping smoking, stopping over-eating, stopping any range of bad habits.
Yet putting a stop to something can be surprisingly positive. Let me explain.
In the coming year, I resolve to stop doing so many things that are detrimental to not only myself but to my kids as well.
In 2016, I will STOP doing the following five things:
- Trying to be the “perfect” parent – I’m not that mom who has parenting down pat, even despite the fact that I’ve done it four times over many years. I’m still learning, I make mistakes and I will probably never have my act together enough to bake three-dozen amazingly delicious cookies for my kids’ school bake sale. I am not the perfect parent. And that’s okay.
- Stressing about things that don’t really matter – In the larger scheme of things, is the thing that is on my mind constantly really that important? Probably not. Yet it’s clouding my thoughts regardless. This coming year will see an end to the unnecessary worry that I’m inflicting on myself for no good reason. If I can look back on what’s causing me stress a year from now and it’s no longer a big deal, it shouldn’t matter in the present, either.
- Doubting or ignoring my “gut feelings” and instincts – If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong. How many times have we all had a “bad feeling” about something, not based in any objective facts? Yet, we just knew that something was awry and, sure enough, it was, as we often found out later. This year, I will stop ignoring that nagging inner voice that is telling me to be aware, to reconsider or…to stop.
- Feeling insecure about my abilities – As parents, we are often our own worst enemies as we allow the voices in our heads to tell us how much we’re failing at any given task at any given time. It’s hard enough to be responsible for your child and to provide them with the love, nurturing, food and shelter that will allow them to grow up to be productive and caring members of society. To successfully provide for a child day in and day out is a difficult yet admirable and impressive task in and of itself and doing so is a likely indicator that we’re doing the rest of this “parenting thing” pretty well too.
- Worrying about things I can’t control – Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you have to go with the flow. When these events occur, we’re often unprepared and yet, surprisingly, we rise up to the challenge and many times exceed even our own expectations of how we’d behave. This coming year, I’m going to stop worrying about the “what ifs” and focus on the “what is” – the here and now. Because that’s all I or anyone else has.
What will you stop in the coming year?