Planning a happy new year – part two

So, hopefully you’ve been brainstorming and have made a huge list of aspects of life you would like to change that could then be turned into resolutions for 2011. Now, how do you decide on a game plan?

Reminder: children need happy parents to grow into happy adults.

Ok, so keeping this in mind and looking at your list, here is where John Maxwell has some great thoughts to help you decide which to pursue and how to put those resolutions into motion.

  1. You begin to build a better life by determining to make good decisions. Good often does not mean easy, cheap or popular.
  2. Prioritize you life and give focus and energy to those things that give the highest return. Look at your list. What things do you have to change to make the biggest impact on your life? Keep them on the list. What things are less important, but can be easily achieved? Keep them on the list. Everything else on the list should be placed in a parking lot. The place you will go to look for agenda items if you achieve the more important ones on your list.
  3. Live your life according to those priorities. Do you ever have one of those days where you think, “What did I do all day? I didn’t accomplish anything.” You likely accomplished much, but you didn’t address your priorities and you felt it at day’s end. Distractions, unnecessary tasks, email chewed up your day. Try hard not to allow this to happen by having a daily agenda and keeping it.
  4. Decide to have a good attitude. A person’s attitude is a decision and it influences your success in all other areas. Determine to have a good attitude and do attitude checks daily.
  5.  You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Little baby steps add up to great success.
  6. The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. In order to reach your goals, you need to know where you are going and have a daily plan to get there. Look at your goals and plot them out on the calendar for the year. At the beginning of the day, make your schedule/plan. At the end of the day, ask yourself if you accomplished your agenda. If not, why? Adjust your approach and make a plan for the next day.
  7.  “Think, act, talk and conduct yourself like the person you want to become.” I really love this one. At the end of the day, after having worked all day, sometimes the thought of coming home alone to 3 kids with homework, cooking dinner and cleaning is overwhelming. But, I decided long ago, that wasn’t my children’s problem. They deserved a happy, enthusiastic mom. So, many nights I fake it. I don’t feel like being upbeat, enthusiastically correcting homework and cooking a great meal, but I want to be that person for my children, so on those nights I “act, talk and conduct myself like the person I want to be” and oftentimes within an hour or so, I’m truly feeling like that person.
  8. Do what’s right even when you don’t feel like it.
  9. Put your family on your calendar first. Schedule fun time, one-on-one time, and time for creating family traditions. Feeling connected with your children and significant other reminds you why you are working so hard.
  10. Every day set aside time to think and determine to think on the right things. Every day think about your priorities, look at your daily agenda. Are you moving toward achieving those things that will make you feel successful (and thus happier) in life? If not, what adjustments can be made?

So, armed with pen and paper, I am getting started on my plan. Please post your thoughts on this site or the Children’s Hospital Facebook wall to continue the discussion. Cheer each other on, tell us your resolutions and challenges to achieving them. Did something help you achieve one of your goals or resolutions?

Kelly Ross, M.D. About Kelly Ross, M.D.

Kelly L. Ross, MD is an assistant professor in the Department of Newborn Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a pediatric hospitalist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She also serves as Director of Pediatric Hospitalist Medicine at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. As mother of premature triplets, Dr. Ross’ clinical interests include multiple birth, neonatal prematurity especially the late preterm infant and post partum depression, especially as it relates to high risk pregnancies. She is the Medical Director of Mothers of Supertwins (MOST), an international organization that exists to support families who have triplets, quadruplets or more. Dr. Ross is also a member of the MOST professional advisory board. She has co-developed two educational videos about multiple birth families, has been featured in a TLC documentary about a family of quintuplets, interviewed by Newsweek, Pregnancy magazine and various other local news programs and is currently editing a book for couples expecting triplets or more. Dr. Ross is featured on a monthly email from Babycenter.com and along with her hospitalist group, runs a health information discussion group on momslikeme.com. Dr. Ross served as a consultant on a National Institute of Mental Health-funded grant to educate medical professionals about post partum depression.

Connect with Dr. Kelly Ross on Facebook: ChildrensMomDocs and

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