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Progress over Perfection: A Mother's New Year's Resolutions

With the start of the New Year, I made resolutions, goals, plans… and my favorite - lists. As a list-making, planner-toting mom of three kids age 4 and under, I have looked forward to the flip of the calendar with anticipation and at times, desperation. I’m a full-time work-from-home mom.

I may be living with the same demands, responsibilities, and stresses as I was on December 31, but somehow there’s a sense of hopefulness that comes over me with a new year. After taking a fresh look at everything that happened during 2019, my husband and I came up with a few practical things we needed to change to make life more simple and run our business (Marken Media Co.) well.

In December, we celebrated two years of being self-employed. I bought myself a brightly-colored new planner from Target to celebrate the start of 2020. As I filled in the fun things like family birthdays, our upcoming 10-year wedding anniversary, and events we wanted to attend, I realized something.

At the beginning of the 2020 planner was a bucket list of goals for the year. I quickly jotted a few things that had been on my mind, my hope to read more books throughout the year, make sure to get time alone in an attempt to stay sane, finish my laundry room makeover, clear the carport of clutter, and a few other house projects. I flipped to the beginning of the 2019’s planner and what did I see written on its pages? The same goals.

It seems I’d lived in the hamster wheel called “survive” all year long only to find that what I’d accomplished was just that… survival! I was disappointed.

Rather than wallow in discouragement, I decided to adjust my perspective and reassess what is actually doable in this season of life. My goals hadn’t necessarily been measurable, and they certainly weren’t attainable even for this firstborn, get-it-done, multi-tasker. I needed to make goals that were both achievable and personal.

So this year, instead of just “read more books,” I looked through my shelves, selected 15 books I wanted to read or re-read and placed them on my nightstand. (Most of them are non-fiction, a few biographies, some about parenting or motherhood, and a few related to entrepreneurship and creativity).

I know that I need to read about a book a month in order to stay on track. Instead of comparing myself to the people I know (thanks to social media) who knock out 100 books or even 30 books a year, I’ve decided that this goal is what is both challenging and achievable for me. My goals need to be personal.

I’ve also had to get more creative when it comes to time to be able to work on projects for our business. When I just had my two boys, right after they went down for bed was the best time to get my creative juices flowing because I could work without interruption for a good two to three hours. Now that baby Emi has joined the party, things have changed yet again.

“Life is a series of adjustments” as the saying goes. And once we get one thing figured out, kids change it on us again. With that in mind, I know 2020 probably won’t end with everything checked off my list. But I’ve decided that even that isn’t my goal. I’m aiming for progress not perfection.

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About the Author

Kennan Buckner

Kennan Buckner

Kennan is a wife and stay-at-home mom to Jaxson, Caden, and Emilyn. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and has many years of experience as a writer and photographer. She now uses her skills to run Marken Media Co.(www.markenmediaco.com), a company she owns with her husband Marcus.


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