1. Finish what you start
Resilience is a difficult skill to learn, so work up to it in small doses. Instead of watching the first three seconds of every Pinkfong YouTube video, make an effort to watch the entire minute. Ignore those trying to distract you from your goals. Isn’t it suspect that as soon as you start to climb the outside of the stairs your caretaker seems to require your help with some menial task? Keep your focus. Remember: no one will allow you to squeeze all the diaper cream out of the tube except you.
2. Eat better
Try a simple mantra like “More fruit [snacks], less trash [green foods]” to keep you on track. If you’re interested in a more complex and thoughtful approach, try the ever-popular toddler diet: refusing to eat something you previously loved for no apparent reason.
3. Move more
Run sprints in crowded parking lots, climb atop dining tables, army crawl under public bathroom stalls — it all counts towards higher daily activity.
4. Learn a new skill
Have you already mastered walking? Have you been putting a few words together for weeks now? Why not learn how to train your parents to offer you candy for successfully peeing in a designated location. But be careful: if you choose correctly too often, the rewards start to disappear. Remember to “Pee the 3 C’s” (corners, closets, and car seats) in order to optimize your reward timelines!
5. Do something that scares you
Watch someone vacuum. Visit a bathroom with automatic flushers. Let your brother wear his Wookie mask in your presence. Screaming in terror is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.
6. Spend more time with family
Family is the most important thing in life. Show your family how much you love them by zeroing in on their location like a heat-seeking missile whenever they are out of sight. Accompany your caretakers to the restroom at every opportunity. Insist on sitting on their lap. Stand outside the shower stall and provide insightful comments on their physical form for an intimate bonding experience. Later provide an invite to a 3 AM dance party. Caretakers are suckers for nostalgia. They’ll enjoy remembering the good ole days of not sleeping, even if they were only a few shorts months, weeks, or days ago.
7. Get organized
The new year is a great time to reorganize your living spaces. Return puzzle pieces to their separate designated locations around the house for safekeeping. Roll lesser-used matchbox cars under the couch, or strategically place them on the stairs for later use. Set a mental reminder to move the remote back to the bottom of the toybox every weekend.
8. Replace bad habits with new, better ones
For instance, replace unraveling the toilet paper with unscrewing lids. Instead of chewing on your fingers, try chewing all the sippy cup straws. Replace hitting or biting with pinching or scratching. It’s really all about simple swaps!
9. Rediscover a creative outlet
Inject creativity into your day in small ways. Doodle on your leg with a random pen some idiot left within reach. Redecorate the couch with a Play-Doh slipcover. Change up your look by styling your freshly washed hair with pancake syrup.
10. Pay it forward
Help others reach their potential by using your special skills. Help your caretakers learn a second language by immersion — refuse to “use your words” and only communicate in grunts and the three baby sign language gestures they taught you before giving up. Assist your older siblings with the challenge of learning patience by destroying their painstakingly constructed LEGO villages in seconds. Encourage the entire family to slow down and enjoy each other’s company by hiding the car keys in a saucepan in the play kitchen.