New Year, New You: Joyful Living in 2015

2015 joy
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Every year starts off with the same six words: I'm gonna look like Gillian Anderson be a better me.

I know, it's silly, but I've been doing it all of my life, and it's become sort of routine — make-New-Year's-resolutions-you-will-not-keep-because-it-feels-right-even-though-you-know-it's-totally-not.

Only last year I tried a different approach. I got more intentional about my resolutions.

I focused on something real — something that I could truly accomplish — that did not involve me getting a full-body transplant that I felt compelled to do for no one other than me: living joyfully.

To make it a reality, I identified things that were contributing to my unhappiness (Facebook, jeez, Facebook), I made changes in my routine to eliminate those elements (hide all of the annoying people on Facebook), I sought out new experiences designed to make me more joyful (only interact with happy, joyful, non-vaguebooking, non-braggy people on Facebook and in real life actually, too), I consciously sought out happiness, and I formed a team of champions to help me succeed. 

{ MORE: First Trimester Got You Down? Check Out These Experienced Moms' Tips to Help You Get Through }

Team Happy Mamas, the 11 women who help me lead the Happy Mama Movement, helped me end this year feeling more joyful, more positive, more optimistic, and more connected to like-minded people.

I think I speak for the group when I say all of us increased our joy through this intentionality, which is why we are encouraging mamas to put the ME back in mommy this year by committing to yourself to live a more joyful life on your terms, for your reasons, with our support!

So many people resolve to be happier in the new year, and we want to help moms do that. You can join the movement in 2015 here.

And follow our Happy Mamas Joy tips to get started on more smiling-while-mothering days…

Image via Amanda Rodriguez

“Learn to forgive yourself. So what you ate a whole bag of peanut butter cups while hiding in your shower from your kids? Jam the empty bag in the bottom of your garbage can, wash the chocolate off your hands, and smile. Tomorrow is a new day that you can face with a new outlook and, if you're lucky, with kids that won't drive you to binge eat chocolate to survive.” – DudeMom

Image via Arnebya

“Stop thinking about it as year by year. Maintain the joy you have as if it has no expiration date. The things that make me happy make me happy all the time.” –Arnebya 

{ MORE: What You Need to Know to Get Through School Car Line Successfully }

Image via Momof6

“Start each day right. When my alarm goes off (and after hitting the snooze button a few times), as I start to wake up, rather than allowing my first thought to be ‘I am sooooo tired,' I am trying to think of three things that I am grateful for. I am a firm believer that gratitude is a direct path to happiness.” – Mom of 6


Image via Really, Are You Serious?

“Live in the present. Not in the past. Not in the future. Am I always successful? No, but I try. I look at what I have and appreciate it. No keeping up with the Joneses.” – Really, Are You Serious?

Image via The Miss Elaineous Life

“Don't let the little things get to you. And cookies. Cookies always make people happy.” – The Miss Elaineous Life

Image via Not a Supermom

“Netflix in a bubble bath. No one bothers me in the bathroom (now, after years of training).” – Not A Supermom 

{ MORE: You Don't Have to Complain About Your Kids to Be a #RealMom }

Image via Moments That Define Life

“Stop comparing yourself to others. It's a thief of joy (as they say).” – Moments That Define Life

Image via Just Is a Four Letter Word

“Stop ‘justing' yourself. To be clear, I am not referring to justice, which I truly believe in. I never want anyone to feel like they aren't enough or that being ‘just a mom' or ‘just working' is somehow cheating at life. Really, ‘just' is a four-letter word!” – Just Is A Four Letter Word

Image via These Little Waves

“Enjoy your children as they are. Each and every age has its wonder. I focus on finding it and loving it — loving them — as is.” – These Little Waves

Image via Simply Stavish

“Think of the quiet to come. In the chaos of tantrums, hair pulling, and a messy house [I try] to remind myself that someday the house will be far too quiet and I will yearn to get these days back.” – Simply Stavish 

{ MORE: Putting Up Christmas Decorations Early Is Good for Your Health }

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New Year, New You: Joyful Living in 2015

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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