This year, instead of making New Year’s resolutions I’m bound to break within 48 hours like eating less, swearing less or spending less time on the computer, I’ve decided to make a couple of resolutions that I might actually be able to keep.



First, I resolve to expect less from myself.

2012 was the most exciting year of my life, but it was also the hardest. Instead of enjoying the milestones and achievements, I spent months comparing myself to people who were reaching bigger milestones and achieving more. Nothing I did was ever good enough because I was too busy trying to top myself.

This year, I’m aiming lower. I don’t have to write the most successful book or have the biggest tour or get the most reviews. What I do have to do? Chill out. Enjoy it. Lighten the hell up. Where the book is concerned, but everywhere else as well.

I also want to master the fine art of saying “no”.

No, I can’t rearrange my schedule to help out at school at the last minute. No, I don’t have time to chair that board that I really do care about. No, I can’t arrange for a babysitter just to schedule a call when it’s convenient for someone else.

If something simply doesn’t work for me, for whatever reason, I resolve to say no without apologizing 500 times times and then caving and doing it anyway.

No. I can do that.

Just, no.

Go easier on myself and know my limits. Shouldn’t be all that hard.

Plus, drink more water, of course.

I’ve got to allow some room for failure.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Nicole 3 years ago

Good on you! That sounds like just what you need.

Women Living Well 3 years ago

I relate to every last word you wrote in this post – I actually got to the end of November and the idea of mixing blogging and the Christmas to-do list overwhelmed me and I quit blogging!!! So not like me…but I needed to refresh & to learn to say NO…I wrote about it here:

I hope your new year is full of wonderful things and some time for yourself to rest and enjoy this season of life with your little ones. Congratulations on your 2nd book deal!!! That’s SO exciting!!!

I just said a prayer for you.

Lots of Love,
Courtney :)

Meddy Teddy 3 years ago

Scarry Mommy,

Drinking lots of water is always a good idea.

I hope for you continued success this coming year.

MangoChutney 3 years ago

It’s funny, but that’s exactly what I’m looking to do. There’s no bigger critic then us. I need to find those Bon Bons that I don’t eat, and eat them. I’m gonna enjoy life more and my children at their ages now, instead of being high strung because I didn’t conquer the world today. I think you did a good job topping yourself this year;)

Breah 3 years ago

My resolution is to have more fun. Be it by doing something special for myself or just enjoying every moment and being more appreciative.

Jen 3 years ago

The learning the lesson of saying no… it’s hard but so worth learning.

heather 3 years ago

now that the kids are big, and (sigh) moving out, my only resolution is to figure out who i am NOW, as opposed of being that person i used to be…..because i’m not 25 anymore. i used to have a name, before it was “mom”……..or “bartender!”…..

Alexis 3 years ago

I’m trying to work on spending less time focused on what I DON’T have and more time on what I DO. Which seems like it should be easy but it’s not so there’s MY resolution.

And also, like you, drinking more water 😉

Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac 3 years ago

I’m putting down my coffee cup and grabbing some water to toast you. Congrats on everything you’ve done and good luck with doing LESS of it next year. :)

Klaudia 3 years ago

Welcome. I do not know English, so I use a translator. Today I finished writing a review of your book, which was published in Poland in October. I’ll post the portal editorial When we will send you a link. Congratulations on a great book. review is very positive, you can translate the translator and proud of the blog that you are well-known in the world. If you want, I can paste in a mesage Review for Polish readers. I greet and wish you a Happy New Year

murphy must have had kids 3 years ago

Another easy resolution: take the word “should” out of your vocabulary and replace it with “could”. :) For example, instead of “I should volunteer in my son’s class at school” use “I could volunteer in my son’s class at school but I’d rather do it another time.” Works like a charm for me.

Regina 3 years ago

I stopped making resolutions as I always forgot to write them down and when I did remember, I never followed through.

I think just trying to learn from previous mistakes and achievements, helps you be stronger and smarter the next year.

Your resolutions seem pretty achieveable though. Good luck!

Jesse Weinberger 3 years ago

I relate to the eternal and fruitless comparison. That’s just means we’re driven.

So my “comparative” resolution is to figure out just how much Patron Tequila I can drink while doing homework with my kids before I start singing YMCA as an interpretive dance of the 7 times tables.

Jill – wanna join me? We can videotape our one-ups. Could be hilariosity!!!

New Parent 3 years ago

Never thought of having resolutions that involve self-improvement. Love it- these are good ones.

Kelly @ In the Mom Light Blog 3 years ago

I love this. I have a similar New Year’s resolution, and I think so many women are too hard on themselves. You’re fabulous and amazing, and fact: there’s at least 367,459 X 4 women who would kill to have your success :-)

Natasha 3 years ago

I could have written this post! My list of resolutions DOES include eating less (dessert, specifically), but is mostly focused on changing my perfectionistic mindset and learning to be enough. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013!

just JENNIFER 3 years ago

Those are very good resolutions. I read another post where the blogger charged us all with just being nice to ourselves. I think that’s a good one too. Happy New Year, Jill!

Janet Dubac 3 years ago

It’s good that you have realized that you need to take a step back and take a break. I can tell that you are really giving it your all. One can only do so much so be easier on yourself, take a deep breathe, and exhale. I hope you’ll have a great run this year! Cheers!

Amber 3 years ago

No. Such a short word, so hard to say. I’d like to get better at it too. Then maybe I’d have time to get back to stuff I like to do, like blogging.

June O’Hara 3 years ago

You are an amazing and truly successful author/writer. Say no to everybody, kick back and enjoy it!!

Tanya 3 years ago

Learning to say no is one of the hardest things for me. I get so loaded up with stuff that I don’t have time to do it all. I should practice the “no” word more often.

Alexandra 3 years ago

Yes a thousand times yes.

And why I wish I lived near you, to help us BOTH through this. Because what is wrong with who we are, right?

LOVED this so much, Jill.

Amy 3 years ago

I’m vowing NOT to drink more water. Resolution success already! ::sipscoffee::

Good luck Jill!

Lollie ~ The Fortuitous Housewife 3 years ago

Great minds think alike!

I realized a few months ago that I was working feverishly at stuff I didn’t really care all that much about and losing touch with what was most important to me. My ADD went into overload, I was running around in circles not accomplishing much of anything, feeling defeated, and my poor family got dragged along or left behind. No more, I said!

I’ve spent the last few months stripping away what wasn’t important, saying “no” to most everything, and focusing on making time to share with those I love.

Let’s raise a glass & toast to a much less tiring, frustrating and disappointing year!

(Hmm, I think I just wrote the majority of the New Year’s post I sat down to write two hours ago, but got distracted by all the emails and surfing! Time to go get it done! Then on to chores!)

Stacey 3 years ago

Just say NO!! It’s a good feeling the first time you turn down something ridiculous without guilt. Ok, so with only a little guilt. After a while, people quit asking and then there’s no guilt.

Shell 3 years ago

Yes on saying NO!

I’ve learned that it’s best to not even offer an explanation, just a quick “I’m really sorry, I can’t.” and then end the conversation as quickly as possible. We can’t do everything and we don’t owe people an explanation all the time either.

Crystal 3 years ago

So there with you on these… I am always so wrapped up in trying to achieve the impossible. It’s exhausting. Lower expectations is NOT a bad thing. :)

Happy New Year to you!


Mom Off Meth 3 years ago

Saying “no” IS hard, unless I’m being asked to make three different meals for four different kids. Which, by the way, I do.

But it makes sense to slow down and enjoy. If saying “no” is what it takes, do it. I always do the SAME thing. Bigger, better, more.

I think I’ll join you!

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

It takes guts to say ‘No’, especially if you have kids.
My resolution is the same as last year : to not get pregnant. Ever. Again.

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    LOL. Well, that too.

Jen@whenpigsfly 3 years ago

Saying no is one of the hardest things to do. I’ve been working hard at doing it for some time now. Feels pretty good. Here’s to another great year for you!

Audrey 3 years ago

Well, I can help you out on that last one! Check out day 2 of my new blog, Metamorphosis. You can stick with your diet coke or coffee and say “No” to water. LOL

Sarah 3 years ago

I’m right there with you. I’m not a fan of resolutions, so I make non-resolutions to improve on things I’ve accomplished. I’m tired of setting myself up for failure. I don’t need New Year’s to do that–it happens every time I make a to-do list!

TheHeadacheslayer 3 years ago

Awesome Jill, just awesome!!

And just remember–even “if” your new book isn’t the greatest for some newspaper reviewer hack–you have your family IRL and your whole Scary Mommy family here who will think it’s the best book since…..your last one 😉

That no thing is awesome too 😉 BUT I hope and pray I get to meet you on a book tour! I’m going to be more “with it” and try to connect with more friends this year–the people whom I love and adore, and are as important to me as blood family. So….make sure one of those book tours is in FL. Please 😀 (And if not maybe we shall have to Skype. On your terms of course)

Love you!!

Alison 3 years ago

Saying no is good.
I learned to do that last year and felt like shit each time.
But it got easier, and now, no falls off my tongue as easily as the F word.
You won’t regret it.

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    THAT easy? Wow. Watch out, world.

Arnebya 3 years ago

Water is so good for you, Jill. You must try harder. Choose something easier to forego/fail at like Chipotle or chips or cookies. But drinking water shouldn’t be on your potential failure list (as I reach for a Pepsi and realize the last time I had water other than that contained in my lemonade was…um…never mind.)

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    I’m so, so, so bad about water. Days can literally pass and I’ll notice I have had none. I’m trying. But I hate it.

onSanity 3 years ago

good start!

Pam 3 years ago

Ditto…fucking ditto.. minus the book and public appearances.. but ditt- Ohh!

Jenna H. 3 years ago

2012 was my year of saying no and let me tell you, it feels great! I was less stressed and more able to handle the twists and turns of everyday life.
Here’s to another year of saying no and sticking our ground!

Lynnette 3 years ago

Hi, I had the “just say no” resolution for 2012 and it had to be the hardest one I have ever kept! Including giving up smoking! at times it felt I was letting everyone down, the guilt was the worst, but I can honestly say it is worth it! Now I can prioritise my time with my family coming first, and those I say yes to know that I really want to and best of all I am not so stressed and can enjoy my life so much more! So here’s to a happy No year :)

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    So, it CAN be done, huh? :)

Emily 3 years ago

That’s a great resolution. Us moms get so caught up in trying to make everyone else happy around us and totally forgetting about our own happiness. I’m just reading your book and its very inspiring. You’re a down to earth true mother. Enjoy 2013! 😀

BloggerFather 3 years ago

Good luck on the water thing. I got myself a CamelBak last year, and water is no longer an impossible task. I also need to stop looking at myself through other people too.

Nina 3 years ago

I’m right there with you! (minus the book tour) ! 😉

anymommy 3 years ago

Yes to more no and more water. I need more of those in my life. Also, I aspire to accomplish even half of what you’ve achieved since I “met” you and started to read your brilliant, sparkly stuff. The idea that you wouldn’t think it’s enough is amazing to me. But I get it, I’m terribly hard on myself as well.

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    It’s never enough. Major character flaw. And the way you write? I would kill to.

Christine 3 years ago

Thanks for your post – setting boundaries is totally where I’m at for 2013 – and if people can’t seem to deal with the “no” they will indeed get a “hell no” complete with hand on hip because I just don’t have time for it. I can relate to so much of what you post – I’m a mom and a physician – I work with the mentally ill and when my work doesn’t exhaust me, my child and crazy ass dog do. My husband is a good man – thank God and helps me the best way he knows how. They are worth every second and what I love about your inspiring blog is that despite all the bitching and moaning that comes along with being a mom – its still quite clear that you still feel its the best job ever. I couldn’t agree more. Sigh… back to work.

Dora Groothousen 3 years ago

HOORAY! 2012 Introduce pinterest to many of us and has put the pressure on us even more to be these “Perfect Stepford Wives/Moms”. I love the neat things I find on Pinterest but not going to ALLOW others to make me feel bad because my kids party wasnt as snazzy as theirs. Hence why a few weeks ago she did not have a party for her 2nd birthday. We went to Chuck E Cheese just the 3 of us and had a ball. Besides we are going to Disney in March. Would rather spend all of that money there on family time VS a party with a TON of adults and barely any kids.

Bethany 3 years ago

Yes. It’s SO hard to stop and enjoy the view…. Cheers to you and NON-perfection in 2013. :)

Stefanie 3 years ago

Yes on No.

And I can SO relate to this…”Instead of enjoying the milestones and achievements, I spent months comparing myself to people who were reaching bigger milestones and achieving more. Nothing I did was ever good enough because I was too busy trying to top myself.” I resolve to enjoy my successes, not compare them! Also, I need to see your face.

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    One of the days, I’ll tackle that fear of flying so the notion of seeing you doesn’t make my stomach drop. :) ONE DAY!!!

      Stefanie 3 years ago

      You and me both girl.

Andrea 3 years ago

I’m with you. I just posted a few resolutions, too )…but I forgot to add drink more water. I’m perpetually thirsty. Good luck in 2013!

Super Sarah 3 years ago

LOVE NO. I used to work with a little autistic girl who learned the “I want,” sentence structure (e.g. “I want cracker,” or “I want outside,” or whatever) and eventually learned “no.” So, you see where this is going, she just said, “I want NO.” And often I do, too. Not “I want no,” so sorry, I’m such a jerk, etc. Just “I want no.” The end.

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    I love that!

    Bethany 3 years ago

    Ha! That’s great. :)

Elaine 3 years ago

Your 2012 was pretty awesome. And I was so glad I got to hug you this year! :-) Here’s to a water-logged 2013 full of “No”s!!!


Kim 3 years ago

An excellent list. Enjoy your new year!

Symanntha Renn 3 years ago

Those sound like great Resolutions Jill! I am going easy on myself this year too. My only Resolution is to read 3 classic books before the end of next year.

    Scary Mommy 3 years ago

    That’s a great one. I’ve completely stopped reading and I miss it!


Enjoying this? Then like us on Facebook