From Resolution to Reality
20 Ways Busy Moms and Dads can Actually Keep the 4 Most Common Resolutions
RESOLUTION: Lose Weight / Get Fit
1. Eat smaller portions: Don’t open the refrigerator with “wild dog hunger.” Insteak, keep a steady balance throughout the day with blood-sugar balancing snacks.
2. Work up to it: Begin the year with small bouts of daily cardio workouts such as jogging, biking or swimming and work your way up to p90x or Insanity.
3. Get serious about sleep: Researchers from Brigham Young University noted that women who varied their sleep schedules by 90 minutes each day had higher body fat percentages. Those who slept a consistent 8 to 8.5 hours a night tested with lower percentages.
4. Keep notes: Regularly writing down exactly what, how much and when you eat quickly brings perspective to your consumption and shows where you need to cut back.
5. Eat at home: When restaurants prepare their meals, they add hidden salt, sugar and calories that you consume unawares. Prepare your meals at home and take control of what you eat.
RESOLUTION: Quit a Habit
1. Find a partner: A friend or family member who regularly checks in on your progress can work wonders.
2. Establish clear guidelines: Bring credibility and strategy to your goal by writing down specifically how you plan on quitting and when you want to completely cut off.
3. Be realistic: Quitting cold turkey works for some; a steady timeframe for stopping works for others. Either way, slipping up does not mandate you jump off the wagon completely.
4. Don’t just subtract – replace: Family physician Thomas Leytham suggests, “Buy chewing gum, or take stretching breaks, music breaks or walking breaks. Do word puzzles or sing out loud with your car windows rolled up. Whatever you must do to replace your habit will be worth the effort.”
5. Change your environment: Research suggests that our environment cues our habits. Changing your environment, even temporarily, can help change your patterns.
RESOLUTION: Save Money
1. Examine your expenses: Look at your monthly bank statements and find ways to cut back on amenities you do not need until you have a better grip on your spending.
2. Make a budget and keep it: Plan your spending in every area and do it. You can and will gain control over your wallet within the confines of a realistic budget.
3. Pay in cash: As financial author Dave Ramsey likes to say, “Plastic doesn’t hurt like cash.” Not to mention, cash payments won’t accrue any interest!
4. Snowball the debt: Ramsey also suggests paying off the small debts first with minimum payments on all the others. Once it’s gone, take the money you were paying toward the smallest debt and anymore you can to snowball into the next one. You will see fast results.
5. Spend less than you earn: Living within your means constitutes living on less than you make.
RESOLUTION: Volunteer More
1. Commit within your means: Instead of feeling trapped in a commitment you can’t follow through with consistently, test out the one-time volunteer possibilities.
2. Consider your skills: There are millions of opportunities out there. Think about your strong suits and find an organization that can benefit from them and strengthen them.
3. Involve friends and family: Studies have shown an increase in overall relational appreciation and respect within families who volunteered together.
4. Think about your availability: Will weekly volunteerism fit your current schedule? If not, think about giving money, or even virtual volunteering, as a better fit.
5. Stay local: You don’t have to leave your hometown to lend a hand. Look for local opportunities to give your time — and be there to see the fruit of your labor. M
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