Oh no, it\u2019s that time of the year again. Everywhere you look is an ad for a new weight loss program. That one relative says they\u2019re going to try cooking a new cuisine each week. We all make them, and many of us never follow through till the bitter end. New Year's resolutions. While making annual goals (and completing them) can be daunting, it\u2019s important to be realistic and practical. The mistake that many people make is to put harsh parameters and strict numbers on their aspirations. Lose 50 kilograms, visit 20 countries, read a hundred books. This will only set you up for failure. Instead, try to make the goals as vague and general as passion: lose more weight, travel more, read more. This way, even if you only end up losing 10 kilograms, or visiting 2 countries and reading only 10 books, you can still consider them a win (which does wonders for the self-esteem) and will motivate you to continue with those resolutions. If you need more good examples, here are some New Year\u2019s resolutions you should make as a parent. Improve Your Finances With inflations and rising cost of living giving everyone a headache, it\u2019s now all the more important to get your finances in a row. Start a rainy-day fund, start a profitable but practical side hustle, track your expenditures, invest. At the end of the day, it\u2019s not just about making more money, but about ensuring there is always enough for the future so you don\u2019t have to constantly worry about making ends meet. Again, don\u2019t worry so much about numbers (although a rough estimate wouldn\u2019t hurt). Keep a Parenting Journal The world is changing and so is the parenting landscape. More parents are aware of the negative side effects of corporal punishment and generational trauma. But there are hundreds of more ways that you can mess up a child besides using physical force and emotional manipulation. Keeping a parenting journal allows you to immerse yourself in some necessary introspection so you can recognise your own potential toxic parenting and nip it in the bud before it does any more psychological damage to your kids. Try for one entry each week, then an entry every few days. Similarly, you can even make simple notes like, \u201cYelled at the kids today, probably due to stress from work, improve on anger management\u201d. Your entries don\u2019t need to be paragraphs unless you\u2019re trying out a new parenting method. Practice Mindfulness On the same level as journaling to be a better parent, you can also practice mindfulness for your own wellbeing. After all, a well-adjusted parent makes for well-adjusted children. Once you\u2019re done analysing your parenting methods, take the time to analyse your relationship with others and with yourself. Are you taking care of your mental health? Are you setting proper boundaries? Are you happy in your career and marriage? Yes, these thoughts will force you to face your inner demons and confront some unpleasant truths. But just like a seed, you need to grow in the darkness first before reaching out towards the sunlight. Exercise More A healthy body makes for a healthy mind. But moving your body isn\u2019t just about keeping sickness at bay. Sun exposure, blood circulation, fresh air, endorphins. These all serve a holistic purpose of helping boost your mood, improve your sleep, heal your organs and of course, give you that fantastic glow. If you\u2019re having trouble conceiving, leading a more active lifestyle may just help kick the gears back into motion. But remember to stick to a practical exercise schedule. Many people tend to overdo it at the gym for one day and then abandon their membership for the rest of the year. Start small. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or follow an aerobic tutorial on YouTube. Exercise doesn't need to be expensive. Invest in a New Hobby or Skill We all need new experiences to enrich our lives every now and again, especially as we get older. You don\u2019t have to spend inordinate amounts of money cultivating a new passion either. Plenty of hobbies don\u2019t require much in the way of funds. Unless you are interested in expensive hobbies like pottery, music or horseback riding, for example. These all typically require you to sign up for month or even year-long courses that you can\u2019t necessarily back out of. So, if you\u2019re known to be particularly mercurial in your leisurely pursuits, try something relatively cheaper like knitting or painting. Expand Your Social Circle Dedicate some of your free time into joining communities and making new acquaintances. This can be done through PTAs (or PIBG, for us Malaysians), social events, at the gym, on social media, or even while out shopping. Don\u2019t just let your family members and co-workers define your interactions and relationships. You can even rekindle old college friendships. Having a community of like-minded and positive people around you helps enrich your life. Spend More Time with Loved Ones Probably the easiest and most practical resolution to have is to invest more time in your relationships. Yes, climbing the corporate ladder can be exciting (for those who enjoy it). But it can also be stressful, draining and may often not yield the results you want. Life can be gone in an instant, so cherish what little time we have by spending it with our loved ones.\u00a0Take those leaves, ditch the overtime, and plan your holidays in advance. Remember, our kids grow up fast and we\u2019re not getting any younger either. Dream Big but Start Small We all may make such lofty goals when the New Year eventually comes around. The promise and excitement of the occasion really does fill us with a sense of hope and optimism. But don\u2019t get all worked up about the novelty of the moment. When it comes to New Year\u2019s resolutions, it\u2019s okay to dream big, but remember to start small. At the end of the day, even a simple wish can set into motion life-altering changes. Whether that\u2019s doing more acts of kindness or making more happy memories with your loved ones. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!