New Year’s Resolution No. 1: Eat Healthier
When eating habits need an overhaul, baby steps work best to improve your overall health. Making minor changes in your lifestyle is doable for most people. Try incorporating some of the following healthier options and tracking into each day:
- Drink one glass of low-fat milk at breakfast or lunch.
- Bring a variety of fresh cut veggies and protein packed items for lunch every day.
- Eat one vegetable (something green) at your evening meal.
- Designate two “fish days” every week.
- Track your progress every day. Did you meet your goals for the day? Check your weight, and/or body measurements. This tracking may take a little more work, but makes you more accountable for your actions and therefore more likely to follow through.
New Year’s Resolution No. 2: Bond With Kids
Take a good look at your kids: Would you recognize them in a lineup? If life’s so chaotic you’re rarely together, that needs to change. Some simple things to try gradually and get reacquainted with your kids for increased family fun time, may include:
- Schedule family meal time. Be realistic, but get everyone together several nights a week.
- Appreciate each other. Go to the kids’ games and performances. Establish a family ritual for honoring achievements, whether it’s a parent’s promotion, a kid’s good grades, a first job, or the first band concert.
- Get the family involved in community volunteer or charity work.
- Plan family meetings to discuss issues of concern, like “chauffeuring” challenges.
- Plan regular family fun, such as outings or vacations. Parents should set the limits in terms of time and money. Let the whole family vote and the majority rules. That means you don’t always get what you want, but sometimes you do- a good life lesson.
New Year’s Resolution No 3: Reduce Stress
Try not to obsess over things you have no control over, such as the economy or some crazy social media post. Try some of the following techniques as often as possible for better emotional and physical health:
- Listen to your body. When it says “enough,” it probably is.
- Remember “all things in moderation.” Too much of anything is usually not healthy.
- Take time for yourself each day, even if it’s only a brief time.
- Don’t lose sight of the big picture. We often get overwhelmed by details that get blown out of proportion, even on a bad day.
- Find something to be thankful for. Do at least one fun (healthy) thing a day.
New Year’s Resolution No 4: Improve Overall Health
- Keep up with annual exams & recommended screenings. This may include various blood tests, mammograms, pap smears/pelvic exams, bone density testing, colon cancer screenings or others recommended by your doctor.
- Get moving with regular exercise in small increments provides significant health benefits. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Exercise can also improve your mood, control blood sugar, and is good for heart and bones.
- Get more sleep. Fatigue on a daily basis takes a toll on your physical and mental health. To de-stress before bedtime: meditate, practice yoga, listen to music, or take a hot bath. Allow some “transition time” so your body can wind down before bed.
- Breathe deeply. Deep breathing from the rib cage area, while sitting at your computer or sitting in traffic, will reduce your stress level, so you feel better overall.
- Keep healthy snacks handy. With a stash of healthy snacks, you’re less likely to raid vending machines. Stock up on favorites, such as power bars, yogurt, fruit, or low-fat popcorn and keep bottled water handy.
New Year’s Resolution No. 5: Organize & Clean Your House
If you’re drowning is clutter, then try some of the following make your home more organized and a more welcome retreat for your family that will also reduce added stress.
- Sort your mail over the trash and toss the junk immediately. A trash can in the garage or by the entry door is convenient for this. Give the remaining mail a “home” in a designated place. Then create a routine with a time every week to review your mail/bills; Set up storage files that might include “pending” (disputes with a merchants), “bills to pay” “statements” “taxes” etc. to store everything when you’re done.
- Pick a closet to clean each month! We all accumulate “stuff” that we don’t really use or need anymore. Take an hour or so each month to clean a closet or even a room to remove items. Make 3 piles when doing this: 1) toss in garbage 2) keep and reorganize 3) donate and take to a donation spot or save for a yard sale.
- Schedule some deep cleaning time around your home. Deep cleaning your home will help clear our germs and keep your family healthier and happier. You can choose a room to deep clean every month or pick 1 month to do it all- whatever is management for you. Be sure the whole family jumps in to help and make it easier and faster!
Whatever your resolutions for 2023, set small, specific, and manageable goals for what you want to accomplish. This will help make you be more successful moving forward in the coming months! Have a happy, healthy New Years!