Monday, January 3, 2011
It's resolution time. Housewives everywhere are resolving to lose weight, eat right and spend less. We all know that in most cases this will not end well. Hopefully you will be the exception to the rule. For those of us who want at least one year without weight loss as a New Year's resolution I have the perfect suggestion.
Make 2011 your year of happiness. Resolve to be happy.
Step one: Confront your finances
Calculate your annual salary. Calculate how much you paid in taxes last year by looking at your pay stubs or W-2 and subtract that amount from your annual salary. Calculate your rent and bills for 12 months and subtract that from your income. This is what you have left to pay off your credit. Don't create new unnecessary debt. Make a list of everything you need. When you see a sale check to see if what you need is on sale. If it isn't, don't shop. It's that simple. If you shop anyway, the money you need to spend on necessities is going toward desires and you will wind up unhappy in the end. Remember that this sale is not a once in a lifetime sale. There is only one time of year when you should go all out at a sale and that is from Black Friday to Christmas. Avoid after Christmas sales like the plague. Most of the things on sale are either being discontinued or are defective returns.
Step Two: Make realistic weight loss goals.
Never resolve to lose a massive amount of weight by a deadline. It is almost a guaranteed fail which will certainly result in unhappiness. Most diets fail because of unrealistic goals. Think about your dieting history. Each time you dieted you probably lost between 5 and 15 lbs the first 5 weeks and then plateaued. Shortly thereafter you quit your diet. Always remember that the first month of a diet you are mostly losing water weight. Once you plateau it's time to step up your game and exercise. Don't choose a restrictive diet. When you deprive yourself of something completely you will go after it twice as much as you had done originally. Resolve to add a salad to every meal, drink a glass of water after sweets or with every meal and snack. Eat one meatless meal a week to save money and calories.
Step Three: Give yourself one night a month
Let's face it, having one date night a week is difficult when a trip to the movies for two costs at least $50 not including dinner or the sitter. If your husband works odd hours you can pretty much forget it. This can be frustrating. Frustration leads to unhappiness. Instead, give yourself one night a month. Take one night out to dinner or to a show, whatever you want to do. If you can't steal a night then give yourself a day, at the spa or at the mall. My favorite way to give myself a day is to hire a maid. Maid services for one day can catch you up for a month. It's affordable and it gives you a running head start. Be creative. Give yourself a day or a night a month to stay happy.
Step Four: Take a trip
It doesn't have to be a long, expensive trip. It can be a trip to the beach, to a local casino or wherever. Just be sure to take a trip at least once a quarter. It does need to be to a city other than your own. If gas is too expensive then take a short trip to a bed and breakfast for a night. You could rent a room in town and order room service. Taking a trip is a great escape and a great way to stay happy.
Step Five: Increase your intellect
Learn a language or teach a language in your spare time. Study up on the math you could never understand before. It will help when your child brings home that homework assignment he needs your to help with. Read a history book and learn about someone you didn't know about before. Being a housewife doesn't mean the only thing you need to know about is soap operas and ketchup stains. Come to think of it, a crash course in chemistry would help immensely. many women are unhappy with being a housewife because people talk down to them. If you make an effort to learn new things you won't lose touch with the rest of the world.
Step Six: Sign away your kids
Basketball sign-ups should be happening right about now at your local YMCA or community center. Baseball won't be far behind. The cost is typically about $50 a season. If your child isn't old enough to join a competitive team sign them up for an everybody wins league. Boy or girl doesn't matter. Get them out of the house to a place where they can burn energy. That makes bed and nap times easy for you. The sight of your little one participating with a team can make you smile.
Step Seven: Redesign your routine
There's no point in getting bent out of shape every time someone fails to wash out a dish or scrub a toilet. You may be expecting too much from your family. You know that no matter how many times you tell your husband to was a dish when he's done he won't do it. So don't bother getting upset over it. Simply serve his food on paper plates. It won't be long before he gets tired of it and puts more of an effort into washing out his own dish. Your kids are not going to stop leaving skid marks in their underwear or in the toilet until they are old enough to be embarrassed. Until then, become their supervisor and not their maid. Make them pre-treat their own underwear and scrub their own toilet. It won't be long before they stop leaving skid marks. People don't realize what you deal with until they have to do it themselves. This goes for discipline too. You don't always have to spank when timeouts stop working. Try using your camera phone to your advantage. Snap a pic of your child in mid tantrum and threaten to text it to everyone she knows. She will straighten right up and you will get a great laugh. Works every time.
Do whatever you can to remain happy this year. There are enough things to be upset about.
Posted by The Red Housewife