As I sit here, at the start of a brand-new year, I find excitement in the power of the idea of a clean slate, a fresh start, future promise, limitless possibilities. I totally understand that if you want to make changes you can do it at any time, but I do like the energy of a New Year for motivation. I feel empowered to take control of my own narrative, prioritising what’s most important to me and my life for the year ahead.
I used to write a huge list of life changing things I intended to implement, and I maybe made it to February before they started to trail off. These days I do things a bit differently. Instead of listing out all the things I’d like to change, I set one or two intentions to guide me and shape my decisions and where my energy goes for the year ahead. Having just one thing to focus on I find easier to embed into a lasting way of life.
Why set intentions as a Solo Parent?
Some people LOVE setting New Year Intentions, others hate it. I’m very firmly in the LOVE IT camp!! We can call them Resolutions, Intentions, whatever we want. The idea is that it’s one thing, or a few things that we can focus on, to be more intentional with what we bring into our lives as a solo parent and where we focus our energy to provide us the outcomes we desire.
Crafting intentions as a Solo Parent provides us a framework for navigating the complexities of solo parenthood, providing commitments we make to ourselves on how we want to show up and what we want to focus on to support us to thrive. It helps to ensure we are using our energy wisely on the things that are most important to us.
As we enter into a new year as solo parents, we can choose to embark on a journey of fresh possibilities of how we want to approach solo parenthood and life in general.
Benefits of New Year Intentions for Solo Parents:
Empowerment: Setting intentions help empower us to take control of our narrative. By setting intentional goals, we can proactively shape our lives and the lives of our children in the way we desire.
Creating Positive Habits: Intentions offer an opportunity to establish positive habits. By creating an intention to live our lives by, it helps ensure we are making decisions in alignment to our intentions, which makes them easier to stick to. These habits contribute to ensuring we are living our lives in the way that works best for us.
Focus on Personal Well-Being: Solo parents often prioritise the needs of our children and everything else over our own needs. Focusing on our intentions encourages a focus on personal well-being, reminding us that our health and happiness are essential components of a thriving solo family unit.
Building Resilience: Challenges are inevitable, but setting intentions can contribute towards a sense of resilience. They provide a roadmap for navigating difficulties, allowing solo parents to face obstacles with determination.
Examples of New Year Intentions for Solo Parents:
Having coached 1000s of women who are considering solo parenthood and those who are solo parenting already I have compiled some of the common topics that my clients have shared with me that they like to focus on:
Embrace my individual journey
Comparison as a solo parent can be common. It can be easy to look at everyone else’s situation and think they have it easier, they are happier, they are doing better. We can choose to drop the comparison and focus 100% of our energy into our own situation and making the most of our unique circumstances, not worrying about what everyone else is up to.
Build my support squad
2024 could be the year we really want to focus on building our support network. We can make an intention to actively seek and build a supportive community. Connect with other solo parents, friends, and family members who understand the unique challenges of single parenthood and can form part of our extended family.
Ask for and accept help
Many Solo Parents find it hard to both ask for and accept help that is offered. Accepting help can be a massive game changer and make our lives a lot easier. Linked to building our support squad we may also want to focus on how to ask for and accept help from those in our lives.
Carve out child free time for myself
A common experience of many solo parents is that we get very little child free time. It can be difficult to say that this is something we desire, especially if we have been on a long fertility journey to become a parent. For many of us, having some adult time to focus on ourselves can be extremely important and good for our mental health. I really focus on how to use any child free time I get in the best way for me and not to feel guilty about wanting some time to focus on myself. It helps me be the best parent I can be when I’ve had that time to refresh.
Treasure the moments that matter
As a solo parent with no co-parent to share the load with, we are often multi tasking, trying to get everything done. It can be very difficult to be fully present in the moment. We can pledge to spend quality, focused time with our children. Create meaningful moments through shared activities, conversations, and experiences that help create a bond between us. If we are having a tough day or we’re are finding solo parenting challenging, it can be easy to overlook the small wonderful moments that happen that I like to call Solo Parent Glimmers. We might want to be more intentional about noticing these small gorgeous moments that really matter.
Focus on experience over possessions
We can fall into the trap of thinking we need to buy our children expensive things, or pay loads for trips and days out. I’m trying to focus more on experiences, many of which you don’t need to pay for, and having dedicated time together and be much more intentional on buying less for myself and my daughter. I’m trying to reduce the time I spend shopping and replace that time with having fun micro adventures with my daughter. I’m sharing the adventures we have on my instagram account, things such as watching the sunset, short hikes, exploring new places, bike rides together etc..
Take care of myself
We can only parent to the best of our ability when we are taken care of ourselves. I am dedicating time each day to take the best care of myself. Whether it’s having an early night to get better sleep, cooking healthy food, taking time to exercise, relaxing in a bubble bath (this gets stick as a self care routine, but it honestly one of my fave things to do for myself and really helps me relax), read a few pages of a good book, or anything else that helps me feel good. Self-care is critical for maintaining my emotional and physical well-being and something I always try to focus on.
Be intentional with my spending
Solo parents only have one income. We are usually solely responsible for all the finances required to run a household. There are two main levers around finances, reduce our outgoings and increase our incomings. I recorded a podcast episode with a financial advisor on this topic. I’m focusing on how to reduce outgoings and be much more intentional on what I spend. I am better tracking and paying attention to what I spend each month and looking for ways to reduce in certain areas, especially around buying food whilst out and reducing the amount of pre loved clothes I buy. I’m also focusing on increasing my incomings by selling the things I no longer need or use. This has the dual purpose of creating more income and decluttering my house.
This year I am planning to specifically focus on just two of these intentions: Treasure the Moments that Matter and Be Intentional with my Spending. If you follow me on Instagram I’ll be sharing how I get on with them.
We will be covering many of these topics in Beyond Solo, the Group Coaching Course that supports Solo Parents to Thrive.
I’d love to hear in the comments whether you are setting any intentions this new year and whether any of these ones resonate with you.