New Year’s Resolutions 2019

James at 15 weeks

Giving birth to James in September made 2018 my most life-changing year so far. It has only been 16 weeks, but I can barely remember what it felt like before him, and I like that. I like that he feels like someone I’ve always known and always loved. Nothing and no one has ever made me feel such uncontainable joy all at once. But motherhood is a ride. It’s the highest highs and the lowest lows and everything in between dialed up to a ten.

I’ve never felt such gratitude—for my baby boy, for my unconditionally loving and patient husband, for my family and best friends, for my health, and for you. I’m so lucky to get to live another year of this life.

In 2019, I resolve to:

Be Mindful
This year, I’m resolving to practice mindfulness in each and every moment that I can. I’ll acknowledge now that as someone with a very, very busy mind, it won’t be easy and I won’t do it all that well. But I can commit to trying. So when I find myself in that familiar pattern of either ruminating on the past or stressing about the future, I’ll breathe and start again. And when I find that I can’t focus on the here and now because I have a constant loop of shoulds and wishes and dreads playing in my head, I’ll breathe again, and start over, again.

Be Kind
I’d like to think I’m a kind person. Kindness, after all, is a quality I value deeply in others. But if I spend, oh, say 12 out of every 24 hours tearing myself down, I have to wonder if maybe I’m not doing kindness right.
I heard Brene Brown say recently that you can’t give anyone anything that you don’t have. That feels true, and it reminds me how faulty it is to think of kindness as a one-way street. It also reminds me that if I’m ever going to show James how radiant, how meaningful, how transformative kindness is, I’ve got some work of my own to do.

Lose Weight
For the past two months, since James hit 8 weeks, I’ve been eating mostly wholesome food again. I’ve been buying vegetables, like I used to. Daniel and I returned to cooking dinner every night. All of these things we’d abandoned in the zombie apocalypse that was our first month with James. But it’s easier now. Our lives are steadier, more predictable. We can string together five hours of sleep in a row. And slowly but surely, I’m seeing the weight come off. I have a long way to go, but for the first time in my entire life, I don’t feel at odds with my body. Eating is the easiest it’s ever been and no one is more surprised than me to say that. I hope to keep this good feeling throughout 2019 and beyond.

Get Outside
Since it can be so cold this time of year, we don’t take James outside all that much. Either it’s a quick walk to the mailbox or we’re transferring him from the car to the house. But whenever we do bundle him up and take a stroll around the block, he seems to enjoy it (at least before falling fast asleep). I’d like to get him some fresh air more often, even if only for a few minutes.

Spend More Time as a Family
James is the sweetest, smiliest little person in the world, but he seems to have a tough time with sleep. To help him and also ensure that both Daniel and I get some rest, we started taking shifts. And for the most part, it has improved our lives significantly. But sleeping at opposite times can be lonely, so one hope I have for 2019 is that James will begin to sleep a little better (can you sense my fear of jinxing us?) and that Daniel’s and my sleep will align more and more, allowing us to do even more things all together as a family.

Do the Hard Work
I leave 2018 acknowledging that I definitely didn’t get enough work done. I could tell you all of my excuses—about how pregnancy made me more lethargic than normal and how once I gave birth I felt like I’d been turned inside out—but the truth is, I just need to own it and do better. I need to write even when I hate everything that comes out of me, I need to write through the many, many times that lead me to google “how to put two sentences together” because every time I want to run in the opposite direction of my laptop, I always, always, always feel better when I move past my own resistance and just do. the. work. This resolution isn’t about making promises to you; it’s about keeping promises to me.

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What are your goals for the upcoming year?

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18 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions 2019

  1. Jerry

    Long time lurker (found you during your days in costa rica prepping for your book), first time commenting. Just wanted to say that taking babies outside in the cold can be very beneficial and is very common around the world, and might help with James’ sleeping! Follow your gut instinct, Andie.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/08/12/339825261/global-parenting-habits-that-havent-caught-on-in-the-u-s Check out numbers 1 and 4 in this article; in Scandinavian and Nordic countries, it is typical to let children spend large amounts of time out in the cold, even taking naps in their strollers outside restaurants or their houses! (Number 9 is also interesting…) There was a great article about this on bbc.co.uk a while back, but looks like the link is broken.

    I personally have always been a cold sleeper. According to Mom, I struggled to sleep as a newborn and would habitually kick my feet out of my blankets as an infant; poor worried Mama wouldn’t leave my crib so she could lovingly tuck them back inside every few minutes. Little did she know that if she removed the entire blanket save a corner that laid across my chest, as she would learn after a few months, I fell asleep quicker than a bird when you put a sheet over it’s cage, and slept soundly for hours at a time. Still sleep with the door or window open no matter the season, nearly 40 years later. Maybe a little cold therapy would be helpful!

    Happy new year to you and your family!

    Reply
    1. Pam Fraim

      HI Andie and family, Take your time and enjoy the NEWNESS of the baby, they grow so fast! I love all your posts and will keep following you on your new adventures with everything :) Happiness and Peace to you all. :0

      Reply
  2. Amy Eriksmoen

    It will get soooooo much better! I had a 6 month old at this time last year and I can tell you, within the last year it has gotten so much better and easier and you truly do start to get more and more bits and pieces of your life and some time back. I say this because I remember at this time last year and in the months previous, I would be frantically googling “when does a baby get easier” and I would find these mothers who posted things about how “it never gets easier” – and while I don’t doubt that there is truth to the fact that all ages and stages can have their own challenges… I just have to say that it is really missing the point. Because it does get SO SO much easier looking back now. My husband and I also did the sleep shifts and I honestly had almost forgotten that when I read your post- but I remember desperately missing spending time with my husband and as a family. And when your little one starts to sleep better and all of that comes back.. it feels like a truly wonderful gift. Sending lots of love and support and I promise that it gets better and it gets easier- this is 1,000% true.

    Reply
  3. Hilary

    Check out Taking Cara Babies for sleep help! If you don’t want to buy her classes, even her instagram posts are super helpful and can help your babe be the best sleeper he can be!

    Reply
  4. Paula

    “So when I find myself in that familiar pattern of either ruminating on the past or stressing about the future, I’ll breathe and start again.” Thank you for that. It resonated deeply with me and I’ll be invoking that thought/mantra/reminder since I tend to slip into the same thought-pattern. I have read your blog for years (commented here and there), read your memoir (amazing), tried a number of recipes (the salmon pitas are on rotation in my home), and have always felt lifted and inspired by your beautiful writing, in good times and bad times. You already make the world a kinder one and you have given so much of yourself to so many people through your writing. Again. thank you. Above all: kindness and patience..remember that for yourself. A very Happy New Year to you, Daniel, the munchkin, your Mom (still have her weight loss journey in mind), and all the chubby-dubby pugs!

    Reply
  5. Mimi

    Motherhood sure is a ride!!!!! Infants are tough but it will get easier! Even if James is never an awesome sleeper but he should get better as he gets older. Good luck with your resolutions! Mine are pretty much the same:)

    Reply
  6. Judy

    Those are some of the best resolutions I have seen from anyone. They are deeper and heart felt. Your writing is amazing. Yes be kind to you. You do so much. You have a blessed life due to your hard work and your talents and due to grabbing opportunities. If you can’t be kind to the wonderful person you are then how could any of the rest of us be kind to ourselves. You and Daniel make a beautiful team for that precious boy. Happy 2018 to you all.

    Reply
  7. Katie Marini

    Hi Andie,

    Not sure you remember me, but I commented some on your posts back in 2011 (a long time ago, I know, when you are in the middle of caring for a newborn!). I wanted to say, I’m so happy to see new original content from you. Having your first baby can feel somewhat traumatic – like you don’t have the same life anymore – and you can feel like you are grasping for shreds of normalcy. I struggled after having our first daughter five years ago. It felt like it took a ton of effort to even to simple things, like brush teeth or take a shower. My recommendation – ride the ride and try to be in the moment and not get too upset or rigid about the little things. Please keep posting. Sometimes when I need inspiration to eat better, I listen to your TED talk and get inspired by your comment, “Can you make it today?” I think the same philosophy applies to having your first child… Good luck! I think you are amazing.

    Reply
  8. Janet Woodrome

    Andie, it does get easier. And please don’t beat up on yourself about not feeling like writing some days! Please don’t! Do you realize your wonderful recipes and advice are still hanging out in the universe for everyone? I made your pumpkin spice cake recipe for Christmas (I’ve made it many times) It was a huge hit!!!!!!! And I make it with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour because my youngest has stomach issues. Still moist and perfect. It’s one of my favorite recipes. So please don’t be hard on yourself. You’re awesome!

    Reply
  9. Anne F.

    I tend to catastrophize those ill-rational thoughts about the future. I’m going to work hard on that this year. It is as if I go from one to ten in thirty seconds! about something I have no control over anyway!…..I have always been a believer that “air up a child’s nose” is good for the infant/child AND the parent. It just gives everyone a sense of calmness and a few minutes to “start over” for the remainder of the day. Back to square one. Also, possibly a short walk or just sitting outside with James before bedtime might help…..Think about putting up a post-it note that says, “ THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS!” It will help you keep things in perspective…situations are not likely to last forever. Babies get older and in 10 days, it IS something else! Enjoy sweet James and love it all as he will
    quickly be in kindergarten!!! in a flash. Hugs to your family.

    Reply
  10. Emily of The Three Bite Rule

    I love that your resolutions are ways of being that you can work on in different areas of your life. The super specific ones seem like the first resolutions to go and for me, the ones that make me feel like a failure. I have a 4-month old & a 3-year old so I hear you, on so many levels. This year I’m focusing on constant efforts for organization, doing more food prep in advance, and always having a book or kindle on hand to better use those fleeting few moments away from social media.

    Reply
  11. Lisa

    Good morning Andie, I love this post. The “Be Kind” resolution really spoke to me. I’m going to add this to my list. In 2019, I’m going to continue my journey of health/fitness & sobriety. Living life to the fullest!!! Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. James is absolutely precious ❤️

    Reply
  12. Lee

    Congrats!!! You are coming out of the baby abyss! A champion, adjusting, & naturally aware and grateful and honest. James , your gift, your baby boy. He is Already blessed and loved by you both, enjoy every moment, milestone, it truly flies by, time that is. Your LOvE shines through, Andie, nothing else matters. As he grows, so shall you and Daniel. You will slowly fit in work stuff. Do what you can, he will forever be your top priority. Love watching your family grow and blossom. Thank you for sharing all of it with us. Thank you for inspiring nusnto be our best, do our best. Love and blessings to all, he is beau,love, Elle lee

    Reply
  13. Pat

    James is absolutely adorable He is very lucky to have you as his mom. 2019 will be a wonderful year and you are an inspiration to all ❤️ Remember to breathe mindfully and be
    Yourself HAPPY NEW
    YEAR

    Reply
  14. Chels

    Hi Andie- I have been reading your blog for years. I own your book and cookbook and have benefited so much through reading your journey. I was wondering, would you be willig to share your post partem weight loss journey with us? I recenetly lost a baby but still put on weight from the process and now am trying to get it off again. Slowly, healthfully, and without shame. I keep checking your blog, hoping to read some of your journey. I know it’s vulnerable and I have 0 rights or expecatations even to ask it- but I thought I would all the same from someone looking for someone else to learn with and from.

    Thank you (seriously) for all you do share. I appreciate every sentence.

    Reply
  15. Jami

    Your truth speaks to my truth. I love how you worded being mindful. It helped me put into words what my inner-workings have been like. And kindness to yourself… simple yet profound. I love following your journey. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  16. Naomi A Jones

    Thanks for sharing your life with us.

    I am really wondering how I can support my husband. He is obese and has asked for my help in losing weight. I really don’t know what the best way to help him is. I do all the cooking but don’t want to jump onto a dad diet that will harm my kids. Can you give me any advice?

    None of my kids are overweight but two of them have a hormonal problem that predisposes them to metabolic disease. The doctor’s suggestion was “teach them a healthy diet.” But didn’t give me specifics!!

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Reply

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