New Year Reflections vs Resolutions


This year, I am choosing not to create a resolution for the sake of a new year. I am a champion for goal-setting, self-improvement, and positive change, but too often, we get lost in the need for a ‘huge change’ or a lofty goal that can be more negative than the initial positive intention.

Rather than a resolution that focuses on change, why not shift that energy by celebrating all you have experienced and accomplished?

Take time to reflect on 2021 and find the highlights- the humbling and challenging moments shaping our hearts, the joyous celebrations leaving lasting smiles, the trips or adventures creating lifelong stories, and all the time in between sharing quiet moments with our family. Let’s not measure success based on someone else’s achievements but reflect on the goodness you have created and shared.

Measure Your Strength

Although we quickly want to forget the hard battles, I challenge you to look at how you overcame those stressful times and remained steadfast. We cannot forget how incredibly difficult the pandemic has been and how it has rocked all of us to.our.core. Staying strong during life’s stressors coupled with a global pandemic is not an easy task- but take stock, you have weathered it!

It’s within some of our most challenging moments that goodness can reveal itself unexpectedly. 

I will look back on ending my first year teaching after entering a new career following a layoff. My first year was exciting and fun but challenging and difficult, and I could not be prouder of what I accomplished. We experienced a miscarriage earlier this year. While I am not alone in pregnancy loss, it can feel like the most isolating hardship. Times of loss are unique because you find what you really have around you. Our friendships and relationships were deepened even in the midst of grief, and we are left feeling grateful for the care and support our loved ones have shown to us.

You are stronger than you realize. Take time to soak that in.

Look Back

Reminisce on the memories.

Were you able to travel to new places or have new experiences?

The beauty of creating new memories, especially with your family, is what life is all about. Don’t overlook the small moments, as they shape our mind’s golden album of our time. Go back through your camera and savor the outtakes.

As many families experienced, we could not see my husband’s parents for nearly a year and a half. We finally reconnected this summer and spent a lovely week in Cape Cod with them. Perhaps you felt it too, but the realization of gratitude in quality moments over quantity was something we learned to accept.

See the Love

Moments in life do not always have to be Instagram-worthy to be the best, and it can be the space between the photo-ops that are the ones to savor the most.

What sweet time were you able to capture?

Were you able to spend more quality time with the ones you love?

Did you watch relationships grow?

Who or what milestones were you able to celebrate?

My sister landed her dream job right out of college, my brother got married to his dream girl, and we celebrated the beginning of summer with 17 family members in a beach house.

Seeing your children grow a year older is bittersweet, but choose to enjoy the season of life it brings. My husband and I have been captivated by the bond our young boys are forging. Their interests are aligning, and they are becoming the best of friends.

This New Year, take a breath and let yourself celebrate life. No moment is too small to acknowledge, cherish and be thankful for.

Soak in the good, learn from what went wrong, lean into your goals, and love what you have created.

Happy New Year!

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Miranda Cauldwell
A Pensacola native, Miranda enjoys raising her two young sons in her hometown with her husband, Paul. She graduated with a degree in Exercise Science from the University of West Florida, which ignited a passion for adopting a lifestyle around health and wellness. With a large extended family stretching from New England, Colorado, and California, Miranda has loved to travel and crisscross the country visiting and exploring new cities with her family. When Miranda is not playing with her sons- Cohen (5) and Miller (3), she is finding a new home project to start, researching a new recipe, enjoying quality time with friends and family, or finally sitting down watching The Office with her husband and a nice glass of Pinot. She is excited to combine her love of all things Pensacola, the adventures of motherhood/sisterhood of mothers, and writing with Pensacola Mom Collective!


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